Northern Waters Casino Resort Review
Northern Waters Casino Resort is a tribal casino and hotel located in the north woods of the Upper Peninsula in Watersmeet, MI, surrounded by the Ottawa National Forest.
The property is owned and operated by the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians.
It opened in 1996 as the Lac Vieux Desert Resort Casino. The rebranding came in 2017, following renovations to the casino and hotel that included the launch of a new restaurant and a sports bar.
The 25,000-square-foot casino on the property has 650 slot machines, blackjack, craps, roulette and bingo. Northern Waters also features a 132-room hotel, a restaurant, snack bar, indoor pool and spa, a sports bar and banquet and meeting facilities. The 18-hole Lac Vieux Desert Golf Course is also on-site.
In January 2020, the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa inked a deal with US online sportsbook operator PointsBet to run various online gambling verticals at Northern Waters in Michigan. This deal includes a retail sportsbook on the property and online and mobile sports betting and online casino products.
Northern Waters Casino Resort
- Address: N5384 US-45, Watersmeet, MI 49969
- Owner: Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
- Operator: Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
- Online Sportsbook: PointsBet Sportsbook
- Online Casino: PointsBet Casino
- Online Poker: None
- Hours: 24/7
- Casino Games: 500+ slots, blackjack, craps and roulette
- Sportsbook: TBA
- Poker: No
- Legal Gambling Age: 18+
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Northern Waters online gambling partnership
In early 2020, PointsBet Sportsbook entered into an exclusive agreement with the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians to provide online sports betting and online casino operations via Northern Waters Casino Resort.
The tribe is the owner and operator of the facility in Michigan.
The Australian bookmaker provides online sports betting operations throughout the US. Sports betting products launched in January 2021, and the company’s first foray into US online casino operations launched that May.
Also, PointsBet and the tribe are in negotiations regarding the operation of a land-based sportsbook at Northern Waters. As a part of the agreement, PointsBet will pay various market access fees as well as a portion of the net gaming revenues to the tribe. PointsBet will be responsible for all licensing and regulatory costs.
The casino at Northern Waters Casino Resort
The 25,000-square-foot casino at Northern Waters Casino Resort is open 24 hours, although live table games run from 3 p.m. to midnight only.
It features more than 500 slots and video poker games, a handful of electronic and live table games, and bingo.
Furthermore, there’s a decent selection of slots with progressive jackpots, the most popular table games and bingo at least once a week.
The casino at Northern Waters also runs a variety of promotions, including:
- Young at Heart: On Tuesdays and Thursdays, patrons 55 years or older get $10 in free play and half-price off a single menu item.
- Earn and Get Buffet: Receive free homestyle comfort food from the buffet after earning 20 same-day points.
- Flirty Free Play Hot Seats: Ten winners receive $50 free play from 5-10 p.m. Fridays.
- Earn and Get Plush Giveaway: Win up to $100 in free play by earning just 50 same-day points on select days.
- Catch a Dream Kiosk Game: Win up to $100 in free play by earning 50 same-day points on Sundays.
- Pump and Play: Purchase at least eight gallons of gas and earn 9 points on your Superior Club card. Also receive $10 in free play.
- Celebrate Your Birthday: Come in during the month of your birthday and receive $10 in free play.
Northern Waters Casino Resort hosts 509 video and reel slots, including video poker and video keno, with denominations from 1 cent to $10.
The slots, video poker and electronic casino game lineup include:
- 339 penny slots
- 98 multi-denomination and multi-games
- 52 video poker variations
- Six virtual craps variations
- Six virtual roulette variations
- Five virtual blackjack variations
- Four $5 slots
- Four quarter slots
- Three nickel slots
- Three 2 cent slots
- Two $1 slots
The classic wide area and progressives slots at Northern Waters include:
- $1 Wheel of Fortune Mega Tower
- Birds of Pay
- Buffalo Gold
- Buffalo Grand
- Chun Jie Lion Dance
- Dragon Flies
- Dancing Foo
- Dragons Grand
- Dragon Link
- Hawaiian Fishing
- Lightning Link
- Lock it Link
- Mistress of Egypt
- Oceans of Beauty
- The Price is Right $1
- Sarab Grand
- Sizzling Phoenix
- Tiger Roars
- Virtual blackjack
- Wheel of Fortune 4D/ Cash Link
- Wild Americoins
- Wild Captain Coins
- Wild Fiesta Coins
- Wild Lepricoins
In addition to virtual blackjack, craps and roulette machines, Northern Waters offers the following selection of live table games from 3 p.m. to 12 a.m., seven days a week:
- Blackjack shoe: One table
- Blackjack pitch: One table
- Three-card poker: One table
- Six-deck blackjack limit $2-$100 (Sundays- Thursdays)
- Two-deck pitch limit $3-$100 (Sundays-Thursdays)
Northern Waters Casino Resort also runs bingo every Monday and select holidays featuring $15 packs, early bird and regular sessions.
The Superior Club is Northern Waters Casino’s loyalty program. The Superior Club card is free, and members begin earning rewards immediately.
You can qualify for cash and prize giveaways, and other promotions. Earn points by using the card and redeem the points for free casino play at slot machines on the main casino floor.
Every 100 points will buy you $1 in casino free play, up to $300 in free play per day. You can play with points on designated slot machines on the main casino floor.
Plus, you will get mail offers and invitations to special events.
On the day of sign up, new Superior Club members may also swipe at the kiosk to play the prize wheel game with a chance to win $100 in free play.
Northern Waters Casino Resort sportsbook
Online sportsbook operator PointsBet reached an agreement to provide both online sportsbook and online casino operations at Northern Waters Casino Resort.
PointsBet and the tribe are also in continued exclusive negotiations regarding the operation of a retail sportsbook at the Northern Waters Casino Resort to complement the online offerings.
The existing Northern Waters Sports Bar on the property may provide the perfect locale for the operation. It features 15 HDTVs for game viewing, a bar menu, craft, domestic, imported and seasonal beer offerings, top shelf to mid-tier spirits, a signature bloody mary and specialty wines. Plus, there’s an array of games featuring pool tables and darts.
All that’s missing is an odds board, betting windows, and self-service betting kiosks.
Northern Waters Casino Resort amenities
Dancing Eagles Hotel
Northern Waters is home to the luxurious 132-room Dancing Eagles Hotel. The hotel offers direct access to the casino.
Dancing Eagles suites have fireplaces and private whirlpools.
There’s also a heated indoor pool, sauna and whirlpool on-site. Also, the hotel is home to a gift shop, convenience mart, gas station and RV parking with electrical and water hookups.
Hotel stay and casino play packages are available.
Lac Vieux Desert Golf Course
Northern Waters is also home to the seasonal Lac Vieux Desert Golf Course.
The 18-hole, 200-acre Ottawa National Forest course is steps away from the casino.
Bluegrass fairways cut just above a half-inch play into tight greens and are surrounded by rough that require both skill and discipline.
A licensed clubhouse and pro shop are on-site.
Dining and entertainment
Dining options and entertainment abound at Northern Waters Casino Resort, including:
- Sugar Bush Restaurant: A north-woods themed restaurant featuring a variety of menus, buffets and nightly specials focused on local providers and regional purveyors.
- Northern Waters Sports Bar: Includes 15 state-of-the-art TVs, A food and drink menu, pool tables and darts. Plus, live entertainment and events weekly.
- Northern Waters Cafe: Fast, friendly service and a quick-service menu, including Starbucks coffee. Plus, grinders, sandwiches, salads, pizzas and soft-serve ice cream.
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Northern Waters Casino Resort history
Northern Waters Casino Resort launched as the Lac Vieux Desert Resort Casino in 1996.
In 2017, on the property’s 21st birthday, owner and operators the Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa gave it a facelift.
The tribe renovated the casino and hotel rooms, launched a new restaurant and a new sports bar and changed the name.
The casino was initially built with a classic Las Vegas theme, including bright neon reds and yellows. The rebuild has a more inviting and warmer feel, with earth tones and culturally relevant local accents from the woods surrounding the property.
In 2019, the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Indians paid in full the original $30 million loan it took out in 1995 to finance the construction of Lac Vieux Desert Northern Waters Casino Resort.
The Lac Vieux Desert Northern Waters Casino Resort now offers over 25,000 square feet of gaming space with more than 500 slot machines, table games and bingo.
There are 132-hotel rooms and suites, a dining room/buffet, a snack bar, an indoor pool and spa, and a sports bar. Plus, the Lac Vieux Desert Golf Course.
In January, Northern Waters inked a deal with PointsBet, which launched both online sports betting and online casino products in 2021. A retail sportsbook at the casino is in the works.