- By Native News Online Staff
HARRIS, Mich. — The Hannahville Indian Community in Michigan has chosen an iconic name in gaming and sports betting as its sportsbook and iGaming partner.
The approximately 900-member tribe will begin working with Louisville, Ky.-based Churchill Downs Inc. to operate a BetAmerica-branded retail sportsbook at its Island Resort & Casino in Harris, Mich., located in the south-central Upper Peninsula.
Known for its flagship Kentucky Derby horse racing event, Churchill Downs Inc. is a racing, online wagering and gaming company that operates the BetAmerica platform in several states. As well, the company also operates across eight states with brick-and-mortar casinos.
The sportsbook and iGaming deal with the Hannahville Indian Community marks the company’s entry into the Michigan market, which legalized sports betting in late 2019.
“The BetAmerica sportsbook will expand upon our already compelling number of entertainment options, and provides another great reason for people to come and visit us up here on Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula,” Kenneth Meshigaud, Tribal Chairperson of the Hannahville Indian Community, said in a statement.
The retail sportsbook will be open to in-person betting, and the company and tribe will expand into iGaming and online sports betting once the state finalizes its rules and licensing.
BetAmerica currently operates sportsbooks in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Mississippi.
“We are pleased to be able to offer sports fans throughout Michigan our innovative BetAmerica sportsbook and iGaming product,” Churchill Downs Chief Operating Officer Bill Mudd said in a statement.
The Hannahville tribe is the latest Michigan tribe to sign sportsbooks and iGaming partnerships with national or international operators. Other similar deals include:
- The Bay Mills Indian Community in the eastern Upper Peninsula, which inked a partnership with Boston-based DraftKings Inc. to operate the tribe’s sportsbook at the Bay Mills Resort & Casino in Brimley, Mich. and eventually expand into iGaming
- The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, which teamed with Las Vegas-based Scientific Games Corp. for sports betting and online gaming via its FireKeepers Casino near Battle Creek, Mich.
- The Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi, which signed an agreement with Parx Casino of Pennsylvania for retail sports betting and iGaming via its Gun Lake Casino in Bradley, Mich.
- The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, which is working with Chicago-based Rush Street Interactive LLC for a retail sportsbook and eventually iGaming via the tribe’s Little River Casino Resort near Manistee, Mich.
- The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, which launched a sportsbook and iGaming partnership for three Four Winds Casinos in Southwest Michigan along with Malta-based Kambi Group plc, an independent sportsbook partner with clients around the globe. The tribe’s casino in South Bend, Ind. does not offer the sportsbook.
- The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, which signed a long-term partnership with London-based William Hill PLC for its online sports betting and online casino gaming, as well as a retail William Hill Sports Book at Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel in Williamsburg, Mich., plus a satellite location at Leelanau Sands Casino in Peshawbestown, Mich.
- The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, which is collaborating with Toronto-based The Stars Group Inc. for online sports betting and gaming via the tribe’s Odawa Casino in Petoskey, Mich.
- The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, which partnered with London-based GAN plc for retail sportsbooks at the tribe’s five Kewadin Casinos, plus an eventual expansion into online sports betting and iGaming.
- The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, which is working with Las Vegas-based Golden Nugget for sports betting and iGaming via its Ojibwe Casinos, with locations in Marquette and Baraga in the Upper Peninsula.
- The Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, which plans to launch online and mobile sports wagering via its Northern Waters Casino Resort in Watersmeet, Mich. in partnership with Melbourne, Australia-based PointsBet Holdings Ltd.
Of Michigan’s 12 federally recognized tribes, only the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe has yet to announce a sport betting and iGaming partner, although it has built out an area at Soaring Eagle Casino Resort for a sportsbook, according to industry reports.
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