Soaring Eagle Targeting Early 2022 Launch For ‘Eagle Casino & Sports’ With Partners Kambi, GAN

Written By Matt Schoch on November 8, 2021 - Last Updated on November 16, 2021
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Details are continuing to emerge about Soaring Eagle Casino’s sports betting and online casino plans, which have long been in the making and have had shifts over time.

An agreement announced Nov. 8 by Kambi suggests the final operator we are waiting on, the Saginaw Chippewa tribe in central Michigan, is moving its process forward.

So the mystery surrounding Soaring Eagle’s online gambling and sports betting products took another turn for the state’s largest tribal casino. Kambi announced it would integrate its sportsbook platform for on-property rollouts at Soaring Eagle in Mount Pleasant and Saganing Eagles Landing in Standish while launching an online sportsbook.

According to an executive from Soaring Eagle, this deal works in tandem with a previously announced agreement with GAN. That deal also included the Soaring Eagle online casino platform in Michigan, it was announced at the time.

The current estimated timeframe for retail sports betting at the two properties, along with the online sports betting and online casinos launches, is mid-January 2022. Spokesperson C.C. Griffus of Soaring Eagle relayed this timeline to PlayMichigan on Nov. 9.

Release: Soaring Eagle launching ‘Eagle Casino & Sports’ next year

Soaring Eagle put their intentions on paper on Nov. 12, announcing the launch of Eagle Casino & Sports, “optimistically targeting early 2022 for both online casino and sports betting.”

Leaning into the Eagles name ties in both properties, and Soaring Eagle will be looking to use its strong database of existing customers to fuel early betting.

It remains to be seen if the casino plans to market its online products on a wider scale. They’d need to commit to spending the necessary money to reach a larger scale and earn market share that has already largely been picked over by the industry’s most high-profile players.

Eagle Casino & Sports will be the state’s 15th online gambling operator.

The news release said that Kambi would be “the multi-channel sportsbook partner,” and that GAN “will provide a universal platform for the integration of online games and sportsbook.”

“Together,” it went on, “they will provide a great experience for players.”

Latest turn in Soaring Eagle Michigan sports betting saga

The process for Soaring Eagle has had a handful of stops and starts in Michigan.

Soaring Eagle announced more than a year ago that retail sports betting would be coming to its Ascend sports bar in mid-January 2021. That timeline came and went without its launch. The May announcement of the GAN partnership, with similar language to Monday’s announcement, followed.

The Saginaw Chippewa tribe is one of three in Michigan using its popular casino brand for its online products. The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians launched its Four Winds Casino products in February. The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi launched its FireKeepers Casino products in July.

Soaring Eagle has had a leadership shakeup recently, too. Former CEO Mike Bean has left for a similar post in Arizona. Melinda Coffin was recently promoted to Soaring Eagle’s top post.

Kambi bringing in its popular sports betting products

Kambi is a partner with Four Winds for its online products and likely will be with Soaring Eagle, too.

The Soaring Eagle deal includes the Kambi kiosk, Bring Your Own Device technology and the Bet Builder product.

“A key part of Kambi’s strategy has been to partner with market leaders and local heroes, and Saginaw Chippewa Gaming Enterprises certainly fulfills that criteria,” Kristian Nylén, Kambi Chief Executive Officer, said in a news release. “Through its popular Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort and Saganing Eagles Landing Casino & Hotel properties, Saginaw Chippewa Gaming Enterprises has established a formidable brand and a large customer database in Michigan. At Kambi, we know what it takes to create a leading sportsbook product, and we look forward to helping Saginaw Chippewa Gaming Enterprises deliver exciting sports betting experiences to its patrons.”

The company recently lost DraftKings Sportsbook as a partner. Michigan’s online sports betting leader migrated to its own platform.

Coffin added: “We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Kambi Group. Our loyal guests and Soaring Eagle team have been anxiously looking forward to sports betting at our casinos. We look forward to working with Kambi Group and providing a great experience for our guests.”

Kambi is already live with Michigan sportsbooks such as Barstool Sportsbook, BetRivers, Four Winds and TwinSpires.

Griffus, who is the advertising and public relations manager for Soaring Eagle, said the brand will try to differentiate itself in the market from other Kambi products by “possibly having incentives and rewards redeemable at the brick & mortar casinos.”

Photo by Soaring Eagle rendering/courtesy photo
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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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