William Hill is a British bookmaker with a long-standing reputation as a top provider of sports betting services on an international level. The brand has branched out into the United States as the gambling industry has expanded. Known as William Hill US, the brand has operated in the states for some time and will soon be offering even more services thanks to a deal with the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. The operator will be providing sports betting and online casino gaming in the state of Michigan due to the deal.
The federally recognized Indian tribe and William Hill US will be working together in Michigan for online services as well as land based. The deal will allow the operator to have a branded retail facility for sports betting at the tribe’s casino located in Williamsburg.
The Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel will be home to a William Hill venue as well as a sportsbook operated by the brand at the Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge, both owned and operated by the tribe. At Turtle Creek, the venue will be turning the Onyx Sports Bar into a betting facility. This new spot as well as the one at Leelanau Sands should be open by the fall in time for the new football season.
Both operations are subject to regulatory approvals by regulators in the state. William Hill US is excited about their new partnership and look forward to bringing both retail and online services to the region
Prolonged Efforts for Sports Betting and Online Gaming
Michigan became one of the latest states to authorize sports betting and online gambling after a prolonged effort by lawmakers. In late 2018, legislation had made its way through the state House and Senate only to be shot down by the governor at the time. Representative Brandt Iden was at the helm of the legislation.
In 2019, Representative Iden brought back legislation and hoped he had a shot due to the induction of a new governor, Gretchen Whitmer. However, the two seemed to clash and there was a lot of back and forth as to how sports betting and online gambling needed to operate in the state.
For Whitmer, she felt that the online lottery would suffer due to the introduction of both sports betting and online casino games. She wanted to see a high tax rate to offset any losses. Finally, the governor and lawmakers were able to come to an understanding and a tiered tax system was born.
Whitmer signed the gambling legislation in late 2019 and efforts have been made this year to see services get started as quickly as possible.
The new deal between the tribe and William Hill US just puts the state one step closer to launching online casino games and sports betting. It will still be some time before services begin, but at least the process is moving forward and some services will be launching later on in the year.