William Hill US and Grand Traverse Resort & Casinos have opened their first sportsbook in Michigan at the Turtle Creek Casino. The Onyx Sports Book by William Hill – as well as a satellite location at the Leelanau Sands Casino – will be open seven days a week.
William Hill has a long-term partnership with the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (GTB). The two also plan to launch an online casino and online/mobile sportsbook in the state once they receive regulatory approval.
The Onyx Sports Book by William Hill celebrated its launch with a grand opening ceremony on September 23. National Indian Gaming Association chairman Ernest L. Stevens Jr. performed the ribbon-cutting honors. The Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel tweeted out a short video clip of the ribbon-cutting:
Destination for sports fans
Former Detroit Piston Rick Mahorn had the honor of placing the ceremonial first wager. Also present at the sportsbook opening included William Hill US VP of strategy and business development Dan Shapiro and GTB tribal vice-chairman Mark Wilson.
an exciting way to start the NFL season”
Shapiro noted that Michigan is the 13th state in which William Hill has launched a sportsbook. He went on to say: “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.”
The Onyx Sports Book by William Hill has two kiosks and two ticket windows, with 20 HD televisions, food service, complementary games, and an outdoor patio area. The satellite sportsbook at the Leelanau Sands Casino has two sports betting kiosks.
Grand Traverse Resort & Casinos CEO Michael Schrader spoke about the excitement of partnering with William Hill, “the leading sports betting company in the US.” The casino operator’s goal is to be the best destination for sports betting in Michigan.
Michigan’s gambling expansion
William Hill has been committed to expanding its presence across the US sports betting market. It entered its partnership agreement with the GTB in February 2020 after Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation in December 2019 to legalize sports betting in the state.
Regulators inched closer to a launch date for online gambling in a Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) public hearing on Wednesday. The MGCB is aiming to finish the rule-making process for the online space in November.
The next step is for the MGCB to review public comments and complete certain changes over the next few days. It will then submit the set of rules to the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules and the Legislative Service Bureau for final review and certification.
It is hoped that rules can be submitted to the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) in October.