Scientific Games’ Selling Of Lottery, Sports Betting Pieces Will Affect Michigan Gambling Scene

Written By Matt Schoch on July 1, 2021 - Last Updated on June 30, 2021

A big name behind the scenes of the Michigan gambling industry is making a big change. Scientific Games, which services Michigan Lottery games and is partnered for sports betting with several Michigan operators, is planning to break its business apart.

The company announced Wednesday it will sell off the sports betting and lottery businesses to focus on its gaming sector.

Scientific Games helped Michigan Lottery to another record year

The move will affect the Michigan Lottery and the state’s sports betting industry, though the full impact at this point is unclear.

Scientific Games supplies the Michigan Lottery with its gem|Intelligence product. The entities both credited the product with lottery growth during the October announcement of the partnership’s extension.

The Michigan Lottery raised $1.179 billion for Michigan schools in 2020, good for a sixth straight record-setting year.

Scientific Games change could explain FireKeepers’ launch delay

Scientific Games and FireKeepers Casino announced a partnership in January 2020 for operations of the Battle Creek casino’s online casino and sports betting products.

Along with Soaring Eagle Casino in Mount Pleasant, FireKeepers is one of two casino operators that have yet to launch online products yet. Last June, FireKeepers became the state’s first tribal casino to launch a retail sportsbook and used Scientific Games technology.

Part of the delay for online launch could be related to the Scientific Games developments. PlayMichigan has reached out to FireKeepers Casino for an updated timeline of its online gambling product launches.

Overall MI impact unknown, but there will be ripples

In addition, Scientific Games also works on sports betting platforms with Michigan platforms FanDuel, Golden Nugget and WynnBET.

Whatever eventually happens with the Scientific Games sports betting sector will have a major impact on the evolving industry.

Major industry operators could be in the mix for the acquisition, including DraftKings, Flutter (FanDuel) and Entain (BetMGM). In addition, B2B companies such as Genius Sports, PlayTech and Sportradar could be in the mix, according to Legal Sports Report.

The impact is unknown and will come down the road. But there will be some ripples felt here in Michigan.

Photo by John Locher/AP File
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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 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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