In late February, TwinSpires announced it would be leaving both platforms to focus on its horse racing operations.
While a timeline for its exit wasn’t clear, the online operator is removing progressive jackpot games from Michigan on July 31.
It’s the first step of TwinSpires phasing itself out, and moves Michigan closer to a new online operator stepping in.
Island Resort & Casino has yet to announce a new partner to replace TwinSpires, but the wheels appear to be in motion.
What’s happening on July 31
Recently, TwinSpires sent an email out to users to let them know the following progressive jackpot games were being removed from Michigan on July 31:
- Divine Fortune
- Mercy of the Gods
- Imperial Riches
- Vegas Night Life
- Pork Knox
- Scarab Link
- Big Prize Bubble Gum Deluxe
- Crazy Money II
- Fate of the 8
- Heat Em Up Power Wheel
- Roller Wheel Jungle Roll
- Roller Wheel Money Roll
- Sky Dragons
If a progressive jackpot is hit prior to July 31, the game will be removed at that time.
Should the progressive jackpot not hit prior to July 31, TwinSpires will be refunding individual player contributions to progressive jackpots to their accounts.
TwinSpires still has its online sportsbook and casino operational in Michigan.
TwinSpires packing up
In late February of this year, TwinSpires announced its plans to exit online gambling in Michigan.
Already with a separate application for horse racing, TwinSpires will focus its attention there instead.
Rebranded from BetAmerica on Jan. 5, 2021, TwinSpires partnered with Island Resort & Casino as its online platform provider.
Since online sports betting and casinos launched in Michigan, TwinSpires hasn’t been one of major operators of note.
It ranks 10th in all-time sports betting handle at just over $26 million. For online casino revenue, TwinSpires sits 12th all-time in Michigan at $14.4 million.
Who will replace TwinSpires in Michigan?
Currently, all of Michigan’s casino operators are spoken for in terms of online partners.
The TwinSpires exit should have new companies jumping at the chance to break into Michigan’s thriving market.
When reaching out to Island Resort & Casino, operated by the Hannahville Indian Community, on a new partner, their response was, “No update yet!”
“Yet!” can be interpreted many ways, but likely indicates a new partner is in the works. It’s been four months since TwinSpires has announced its planned departure. That has given Island Resort & Casino a lot of time to hear from suitors.
We looked at 10 potential replacements in February. One of those remains a strong contender because of its partner. Another possibility, which was not listed before, has a strong Michigan connection.
The sportsbook of Sports Illustrated is already established in Colorado and Virginia and could be a viable option in Michigan.
SI has partnered with 888Sport, a well-known brand in European sports betting markets that is already legal in New Jersey.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board has not received an application from SI Sportsbook or issued a license for them to operate. However, 888 Atlantic Limited is a licensed supplier in Michigan.
Ocean Casino wasn’t part of our 10 potential suitors in February, as it doesn’t have a lot of traction around the country. It is operational in New Jersey in a partnership with its land-based casino in Atlantic City.
It also has a strong Michigan connection, as 50% of its ownership belongs to the Ilitch Organization. Yes, the same Ilitch family that’s so prominent in Detroit’s sports scene.
According to the MGCB, Ocean Casino has not applied for licensing in Michigan.