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William Hill launches betting in MI with Grand Traverse Band


William Hill has launched sports betting operations in Michigan at Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel in the town of Williamsburg and at a satellite location at Leelanau Sands Casino.

The launch is in partnership with the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, who operate the casinos. William Hill and the Grand Traverse Band agreed the partnership in February.

“This is an exciting way to start the NFL season, and we know the Onyx Sports Book by William Hill will be the new game-day location for sports fans in Northern Michigan,”  Michael Schrader, chief executive of Grand Traverse Resort & Casinos, said. “We are excited to align with William Hill, the leading sports betting company in the US. They are the best in the business, and that’s always what we strive to give our guests. We have an excellent, trained staff to assist customers with getting their bets down.” 

“We want to provide the best destination for sports betting in the state, and with William Hill as our partner, that’s a bet we’re happy to take.”

The Onyx-branded sportsbook at Turtle Creek Casino – which includes two ticket windows and two kiosks as well as 20 televisions – took its first bet yesterday (23 September), from former Detroit Pistons basketball player Rick Mahorn (pictured). The Leelanau Sands location includes two betting kiosks.

William Hill vice president of strategy and business development Dan Shapiro added: “Today’s grand opening at Turtle Creek Casino officially marks the 13th state where William Hill now offers sports betting.

“This is just the beginning of our partnership with the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, with plans to launch mobile sports betting and iCasino gaming throughout Michigan as soon as permitted.

William Hill will also partner the casino for online betting igaming when they launch in the state. Yesterday, the Michigan Gaming Control Board held a public hearing on proposed rules for online betting and gaming and said it will make some proposed changes before submitting the final rules for review and certification.

“When Michigan regulations are permitted, we will be able to offer the best in online gaming and betting as well,” Schrader said. “This is truly a win-win for Northern Michigan.”  

Sports betting was legalised in Michigan in December 2019. All three of the state’s commercial casinos have launched betting products, as has the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi’s Firekeepers Casino, in partnership with Scientific Games.

A number of other operators have partnered tribal operators to secure market access. Rush Street Interactive has agreed a deal to launch betting in partnership with the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians’ Little River Casino Resort, while Golden Nugget will enter in partnership with the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, operator of Ojibwa Casino. 

DraftKings, meanwhile, will enter through a deal with the Bay Mills Indian Community’s Bay Mills Resort & Casino and PointsBet has partnered the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. Churchill Downs will launch its BetAmerica brand through its agreement with the Hannahville Indian Community.