The state of Michigan is going to receive one more sport betting operator in the state, making the competition that more crowded. It was announced by the Michigan Gaming Control Board that it had approved the operator 888 Holdings’ VHL, Michigan LLC to be the new platform provider for the Hannahville Indian Community. It will be their online sports betting website that began on Wednesday, September 7th beginning at 10 am EST. This all started when TwinSpires, who was the original provider to the platform, announced that they were going to step out of the online sportsbook business earlier this year.
With TwinSpires stepping aside, the Hannahville tribe was able to enter into an agreement with 888 Holdings. The Hannahville Indian tribe currently has their brick and mortar location at Island Resort and Casino that is located in Harris, Michigan. The online site will run under the Sports Illustrated branded name. This is crucial because 888 Holdings and the Hannahville Indian tribe made a request to the Michigan Gaming Control Board that they only have authorization for internet sports betting only.
Henry Williams, the Michigan Gaming Control Board executive director mentioned that the Hannahville tribe has become the first gambling operator to change their platform provider since online sports betting and online casino gambling became live in Michigan in January 2021. Williams also states that the Hannahville tribe is lucky to have found an experienced partner in 888 Holdings and wishes them continued success.
Online Casino Gambling On The Horizon?
Regulators in the state of Michigan believe that the Hannahville tribe will attempt to get approval for online casino gaming later on in the year. As TwinSpires will not be providing online sports betting or online casino gaming, there is a gap to look into for the tribe. 888 Holdings is known as a large player in both the online sportsbook world as well as the online casino gaming industry. In fact, 888 Holdings runs the World Series of Poker site online.
The Hannahville Indian tribe was part of the first ten licensees that were first authorized by the Michigan Gaming Control Board to be able to run both online sports betting and online casino gaming. The initial launch date for these ten licensees in Michigan was on January 22, 2021.
In the middle of April of this year, the state of Michigan welcomed the fifteenth operator in the state for both online sports betting and online casino gaming. This was approved by the Michigan Gaming Control Board and the licenses, by Michigan law, are to be limited to only the brick and mortar casinos in the city of Detroit as well as tribes that are recognized federally in the state of Michigan.
Michigan Online Gambling Performance
July was a bit of a slower month for online sportsbooks in the state of Michigan. In total, the Wolverine State’s online sportsbook operators made $206.1 million in the month of July. Compared to the month of June, the total handle fell 23.7%, which was a $270 million handle in June. However, online casino gaming saw increases from June to July which were up 4.2% month over month. The revenue for July was $126.6 million compared to the $121.5 million generated in June.
Michigan is currently one of the few states that offer both online sportsbook betting as well as online casino gaming. With the fact that the online casino gaming market is worth roughly $150 million per month, 888 Holdings may take back their original statement about just focusing on the online sports betting.