The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has approved 888 Holdings subsidiary VHL Michigan LLC as the new online sports betting provider for the Hannahville Indian Community.
Hannahville tribe initially entered into a platform agreement with Churchill Downs Incorporated’s (CDI) TwinSpires B2B sports betting business, but were forced to find a new supplier following CDI’s announcement that it would be re-orientating to provide a more focused horse-racing product.
The community operates the Island Resort and Casino in Harris, Michigan – with the tribe’s online site continuing to trade under the Sports Illustrated brand name.
MGCB executive director Henry Williams said: “The Hannahville tribe is the first operator in Michigan to change platform providers since internet gaming and sports betting began here in January 2021. The tribe has found another experienced partner, and I wish them continued success.”
Opening the market
Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan’s Governor, signed HB916, or the Lawful Sports Betting Act, into law in December 2019. This made licenses available to commercial casinos and federally recognized tribes.
Also signed during the same timeframe was similar legislation carving out provisions for online and mobile gaming, along with fantasy sports.
The state regulator initially approved 10 licensees to launch in Michigan on 22 January 2021.