Tribal Casinos Offering More Options For Michigan Sports Bettors

Posted on August 28, 2020

Michigan sports betting is often associated with the major sports, but those aren’t the only betting options.

While the NFL, college football, MLB and NBA are among the top sports gambled on across the country, there are a lot of niche options available.

Tribal casinos around the state are able to offer varying betting options, including the likes of esports and international sporting events.

Tribal casinos provide more options for sports bettors

While Detroit’s three commercial casinos have to adhere to regulations set by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) for their retail sportsbooks, tribal casinos do not.

Tribal casinos are on sovereign lands, which keeps them from having to be subjected to MGCB regulations.

That only applies for in-person wagering, however.

Mobile sports betting in Michigan allows bets to be made anywhere in the state, thus, partnerships that tribal casinos make with online betting companies will fall under MGCB jurisdictions.

Currently, FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek, Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, and three Four Winds Casinos in southwest Michigan offer sports bets that Detroit casinos cannot.

Included in those betting options are:

  • International club soccer
  • Formula 1 & IndyCar racing
  • Tennis
  • Cricket
  • Darts
  • Australian rules football
  • Prop wagers for non-sporting events (NBA Draft)

For example, on Friday, Four Winds offered 47,939 different betting options. Greektown Casino-Hotel in Detroit offered just 4,592.

Detroit casinos limited by regulations

Michigan sports betting was a hot topic for years.

Once legalized, sports bettors were excited to get started in March, only to have the COVID-19 pandemic put a pause on the party.

Since reopening at the beginning of the month, Detroit’s three casinos have welcomed sports betting back to the city.

The three commercial casinos continue to work to expand their betting markets. Here’s what bettors can currently wager on at Detroit’s retail sportsbooks:

  • Boxing (IBF/WBA/WBC/WBO)
  • D1 college basketball
  • D1 FBS college football
  • Golf (PGA/LPGA/European Tour)
  • MLB
  • MLS
  • MMA (UFC/Bellator)
  • NASCAR
  • NBA
  • NFL
  • NHL
  • Olympic games

The Detroit sportsbooks are not currently offering wagers on non-sporting events or individual prop bets for the upcoming college football season.

Esports entering the Michigan sports betting mix

Esports have been increasing in popularity for years.

Now, one tribal sportsbook in Michigan is beginning to offer wagers on them.

Last week, Little River Casino Resort had Call of Duty and Overwatch markets posted on its Bet-Slip Builder system.

Fans built their bets from anywhere, but had to place the wagers at the casino sportsbook in Manistee.

Jonnie Sam, who manages Little River Sportsbook, told PlayMichigan:

“We do get some from time to time a younger crowd betting esports. A lot of the younger customer base know who each one of the esports players and teams are because they play those games. We are getting on average bigger bets than we were expecting. which has been a nice and pleasant surprise.”

Detroit sportsbooks don’t offer esports as of now. They await approval from the MGCB.

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