As the year is coming to a close, and everyone is reminiscing about their #2022Faves, we at PlayMichigan also decided to take a look back.
Year 2 of online gambling in Michigan wasn’t nearly as newsworthy as Year 1, of course. But plenty of big things still happened.
We’re re-living the five biggest stories from the year, in terms of impact on the industry.
TwinSpires announces it’s closing Michigan online casino and sportsbook
Just barely a year into online gambling being legal in Michigan, the state had its first defector.
TwinSpires announced in late February that it would be closing its online sportsbook and online casino. It’s still accepting bets on horse racing, which it is most known for.
The official end date came on Sept. 6.
TwinSpires was partnered with Island Resort & Casino, which had more than six months to find a new online brand with SI (more on that later).
WSOP Michigan becomes state’s third online poker operator
Online poker in Michigan received a big shot in the arm in March when the World Series of Poker launched.
The world’s most recognized name in Poker gave Michigan online poker players a third option, joining PokerStars and BetMGM. At the time, it was thought that was a major step toward interstate poker becoming available.
That’s happening (we’ll get to it later), but not yet at WSOP. In fact, it may be the last of the three to offer shared liquidity in Michigan.
But WSOP Michigan gave players a chance to win coveted gold bracelets and rings, as well as earn a spot in the Main Event.
Michigan joins interstate poker compact
It was a long time coming for Michigan, but the state was finally accepted into the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement on April 6 of 2022.
The agreement opened the door for Michigan poker players to compete alongside players from Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey.
While the agreement took place last April, further requirements were needed from Michigan’s online poker platforms for interstate play to actually take place.
Over eight months later, PokerStars MI announced that it was finally waving the green flag on interstate play for Jan. 1. Starting Sunday, PokerStars will combine player pools across Michigan and New Jersey.
BetMGM Poker and World Series of Poker MI continue to make efforts to launch interstate play in the future.
Soaring Eagle launches online brand: Eagle Casino & Sports
By 2022, 14 of the Michigan online casino and Michigan online sportsbook skins had been occupied. The 15th — which belonged to Soaring Eagle Casino — was the lone holdout.
That ended in April, when Eagle Casino & Sports was launched. It quickly added a boatload of online casino games, putting it near the top of the list in that regard.
It has slowly gained ground in terms of monthly revenue, as well, crossing the $3 million mark for the first time in October.
SI Sportsbook goes live in Michigan
With TwinSpires closing its doors as an online operator in Michigan, that opened another door for a new sportsbook operator to step through.
That operator became SI Sportsbook MI in late August of this year.
888 Holdings’ VHL, Michigan LLC received approval from the MGCB. They partnered with the Hannahville Indian Community to become the new online sportsbook for Island Resort & Casino.
Currently, Sports Illustrated is only able to operate as an online sportsbook. They could seek approval for an online casino operation in the future.
Since launching, SI Sportsbook has seen online handle growth every month.