Turtle Creek Temporarily Closes William Hill Sportsbook Near Traverse City

Posted By Matt Schoch on April 12, 2021

The Onyx Sports Book By William Hill at Turtle Creek Casino near Traverse City has temporarily closed, the casino announced.

“Staffing shortages in critical areas” was the explanation given by Turtle Creek in the announcement, which said the casino has an “eye on reopening in May.”

Sports betting is still available at kiosks on the main floor at the Williamsburg casino. There are also sports betting kiosks at the Grand Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians tribe’s nearby sister casino of Leelanau Sands in Peshawbestown.

The tribe is partnered with William Hill, and the app is up and running for sports betting and casinos statewide.

Turtle Creek sportsbook closure could be for a few weeks

The sportsbook had announced last week that it would close each week Monday through Wednesday, then be open from 2-10 p.m. on Thursday through Sunday.

Then on Friday afternoon, a follow-up announcement detailed the temporary closure.

Turtle Creek also announced its casino hours are changing to 10 a.m.-midnight Sunday through Thursday, and from 10 a.m.-2 a.m. until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

An influx of visitors after Memorial Day is expected to kickstart summer tourism season in northern Michigan in a big way.

Turtle Creek is part of a handful of northwest Michigan casinos that could benefit from retail sportsbook traffic going forward. Odawa Casino in Petoskey and Little River in Manistee also opened sports betting lounges last year.

The sports calendar is at the beginning of a slower season, however. The NBA playoffs open next month and is one of the only major draws until football in the fall.

Turtle Creek opened its sportsbook in September

The Grand Traverse Bay Band tribe opened the sportsbook in September, along with the kiosks at Leelanau Sands.

The Turtle Creek book has more than 20 televisions, a full bar, free pool tables and an outdoor patio.

Former Detroit Pistons Bad Boy Rick Mahorn was in town for the grand opening.

The tribe announced the partnership with William Hill in February of 2020, one of the first disclosures after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed expanded gambling laws in December 2019.

The William Hill app launched right at the starting line of online sports betting and internet gaming in Michigan on Jan. 22.

In the first 38 days of sports betting in Michigan, $6.2 million was wagered through William Hill in January and February, ranking sixth out of the 12 operators. William Hill trailed FanDuel ($119.8 million), DraftKings ($101.0 million), BetMGM ($98.5 million), Barstool ($67.8 million) and PointsBet ($8.4 million).

It’s been slow going for the William Hill online casino, too. The operator generated $482,498 in gross receipts through February, ranking 10th out of 11 casinos.

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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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