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GAN prepares for Michigan market entry


Gambling software provider GAN has stepped up preparations for entry to Michigan’s igaming market from 2021, in partnership with the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians and an anonymous casino client. 

The market access deal with the tribe, which operates five venues under the Kewadin Casinos brand, was first announced earlier this week. It will see GAN provide its technology platform and operational services to the Kewadin properties, and to an existing US casino operator client. 

The company in question has requested that it remain anonymous, pending certain regulatory approvals. 

With a population of 10 million people, comprising 3.1% of the total US population, Michigan’s igaming market is expected to generate $377m in gross operator revenue over the first 12 months post-launch, GAN noted, citing figures from Regulus Partners. This is expected to grow to $836m in by the fourth year of operation.

Bills to legalize online and land-based sports betting and igaming were signed into law by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in December 2019. Operators will be taxed at 8.4% of gross revenue for sports betting, while online casino will be taxed on a sliding scale, from 20% to 28% of revenue.

The state launched retail wagering in March, days before the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic disrupted sporting fixtures worldwide. At this time Penn National Gaming’s Greentown Casino launched a Kambi-powered sportsbook, followed by MGM Grand Detroit, supported by the GVC-MGM joint venture Roar Digital. MotorCity Casino, in partnership with FanDuel, went live a day later.

Regulations for online betting and casino are currently being drafted, with the aim to have them finalized by early 2021.

“Michigan has long represented an attractive market with both internet sports and internet casino gaming now regulated,” GAN chief commercial officer Jeff Berman commented. “Our technical expertise and ‘day one’ experience in multiple US internet gambling markets will enable the Sault Tribe to capture their share of the online opportunity and we thank them for their trust in forming this relationship with GAN and our major US casino operator client whose identity will be confirmed in due course. 

“We are incredibly excited to bring real money Internet gambling to Michigan, which remains at the core of our mission, strategy and purpose in the US.”

The supplier said that due to its anonymous client’s “substantial assets” it is expected to be a significant contributor to full-year revenue in 2021.

Allen Kerridge, chief executive of the Kewadin Gaming Authority that oversees the Sault Tribe’s casinos, said he was excited to take an “important step” with GAN and the casino partner to roll out sports betting, and eventually online gaming.

“We chose GAN and our mutual partner based on their market-leading technology and combined substantial experience serving gaming clients both online and offline,” Kerridge explained.