Why You Won’t Be Able To Bet On Michigan Football At Some Casinos Next Week

Written By Matt Schoch on November 9, 2020 - Last Updated on April 26, 2022
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It probably turned out to be a good thing for Traverse City area Michigan State fans last month.

But another state’s provisions are keeping some Big Ten football games off the board at two Michigan sportsbooks.

Rutgers football games are not currently available for action at the Onyx Sports Book by William Hill at Turtle Creek Casino or betting terminals at Leelanau Sands.

Rutgers plays host to Michigan on Nov. 21, and the Wolverines are a big draw for sports betting here in the Great Lakes State.

A spokesperson for William Hill in Michigan said action on Rutgers should be available soon. Michigan’s online launch of sports betting could come later this month.

NJ rules keeping Rutgers off some of Michigan’s boards

It all comes back to New Jersey’s sports betting rules, which forbid betting on in-state college teams. William Hill sportsbooks are active in the state.

However, it’s not a legal issue here in Michigan for William Hill, but more about the company’s internal systems.

“In order to get up and going quickly in Michigan, we did leverage some of the work that we had previously created for New Jersey,” said Michael Grodsky, a William Hill spokesperson, in an email to PlayMichigan.

The matter should get sorted out in the next few weeks, Grodsky said.

Michigan has 14 retail sportsbooks open statewide. Twelve have betting on Rutgers available. As of now, only William Hill books exclude Rutgers games.

Kevin Hennessy, spokesperson for FanDuel Sportsbook, said the company’s MotorCity Casino sportsbook has betting available for Rutgers there.

“If a specific regulation on a betting market is put on a state, our systems have the ability to exclude the market on a state by state basis online and at retail,” Hennessy wrote in an email to PlayMichigan.

Rutgers topped MSU, playing U-M next week

Rutgers pulled a season-opening upset of Michigan State on Oct. 24, thrashing the Spartans 38-27. MSU fans hoping to bet on the Spartans for the debut of coach Mel Tucker at Turtle Creek were spared that day.

But the Grand Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians casinos won’t have betting available for Michigan next week either unless the systems get sorted out in the meantime.

Coach Greg Schiano is 1-2 at Rutgers this year after losing to Ohio State 49-27 on Saturday.

Rutgers plays host to Illinois on Saturday.

Illinois sports betting laws also prohibit wagering on in-state college teams, which means betting on the Fighting Illini and Northwestern games are not available there.

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Matt Schoch

A Michigan native, Matt has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Missouri and the Virgin Islands. A versatile sports reporter, Matt has covered sailing on the Great Lakes, cricket in the Caribbean, high school and pro playoffs, and the Olympics in Rio. He's also the former host of the Locked On Pistons Podcast and producer of a documentary on Emoni Bates. A former blackjack dealer, Matt has studied the industry from all sides.

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