FanDuel Secures Michigan Sports Betting Access Through MotorCity Casino

Posted on March 5, 2020 - Last Updated on March 11, 2020

FanDuel has secured market access for Michigan sports betting via a deal with MotorCity Casino in Detroit, the operator has confirmed.

The deal covers a FanDuel-branded retail sportsbook on-property, as well as an online sportsbook and gaming products when regulations permit.

The two-story sportsbook at MotorCity Casino will feature six betting windows, 67 high-definition televisions, one ticker, a VIP area, and 54 self-service IGT PlaySports betting kiosks.

Who is MotorCity Casino?

MotorCity is owned by Marian Ilitch, who also owns the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings. The partners confirmed they would still accept bets on those teams, with MotorCity Casino revenue not explicitly not tied to the outcome of any particular baseball or hockey game.

“Detroit is an incredible sports town – the ‘City of Champions’,” said Matt King, CEO of FanDuel Group.

As we look to expand our national footprint and bring America’s top sportsbook to more customers across the country, this was a perfect fit. It has everything we look for – from the industry leading casino operation to the proud and passionate Midwest fanbase.

Retail sports betting in Michigan is expected to be live before March Madness. However, online betting and casino will likely have to wait until 2021 as regulations are drawn up.

Michigan sports betting partners running out

The FanDuel Sportsbook agreement takes the final Detroit commercial casino off the table as licensing partners for rival operators.

MGM Resorts operates one of the other two properties, meaning its joint venture with GVC — Roar Digital — should have access. Meanwhile, Penn National acquired Greektown Casino-Hotel in Detroit last year.

It means FanDuel’s closest rival in the US sports betting market, DraftKings, will need to partner with one of the remaining Native American tribes in MI.

William Hill, PointsBet and Fox Bet have already announced MI access deals of their own with various tribes.

Michigan an attractive online gambling market

FanDuel declined to comment on the deal when approached by LSR. It will no doubt expect to lead the market in Michigan, as it has in states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania

The operator has a 44% market share in markets where it is live. When asked about its early success in a recent investor call, FanDuel CEO Matt King pointed to the proprietary technology and pricing provided by parent company Flutter Entertainment.

With Michigan offering multiple online gambling verticals with friendly tax rates and a population of nearly 10 million, the market could prove to be a profitable one for the DFS brand.

Legislators gave the green light to MI sports betting, as well as online gaming, near the end of the 2019 session. That approval came after a bill in late 2018 passed the chambers but was vetoed by outgoing Gov. Rick Snyder.

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Brad Allen

Brad has been covering the online gambling industry in Europe and the US for more than four years, most recently as the news editor at EGR Global.

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