With 210,000 feet of gaming space, Soaring Eagle is Michigan's largest retail casino, yet the last online brand to launch

Will Michigan’s Final Online Gambling Operator Launch In Time For Super Bowl?

Michigan’s final online gambling brand may finally hit the market about a year after the Wolverine State launched legal online casino and sports betting. The owner and operator of the state’s largest retail casino, Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort, is moving forward on its plans. That means it may be able to launch online gambling in time for the Super Bowl.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) still needs to approve plans from the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. The tribe runs Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Mount Pleasant and Saganing Eagles Landing Casino and Hotel.

PlayMichigan received the following information from Soaring Eagle spokeswoman C.C. Griffus on Nov. 9:

“The current estimated timeframe for retail sports betting at the two properties, along with the online sports betting and online casinos launches, is mid-January 2022.”

Other Michigan online casino operators were faster to secure MGCB approval. Most were live on the first day of the state market, Jan. 22 this year. The remainder, save Soaring Eagle, had launched by July. In October, Michigan’s online casinos and poker rooms generated nearly $110 million in gross gaming revenue.

Since the start, BetMGM‘s has been the dominant force in the online casino and poker vertical. As the 15th online gambling entity in the state, Saginaw Chippewa Gaming Enterprises (SCGE) – the tribal operator – may be playing catch up with its online casino games.

Soaring Eagle online casino plans

Back in May, Irvine, Calif.-based iGaming provider GAN Limited announced its partnership with Soaring Eagle.

GAN planned to help Soaring Eagle develop its iGaming and sports betting apps, as well as pull data from its retail casino loyalty program to cross-market online gambling to its Access Club members.

The GAN announcement said:

“Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort is the largest casino in the State of Michigan, with an expansive 210,000 square-foot casino facility that offers thousands of slot machines and the widest variety of floor games available in the Midwest. It also possesses an extremely [sizable] database of patrons, who the parties anticipate converting into active online players via GAN’s patented iBridge loyalty platform.”

Even BetMGM wouldn’t dispute Soaring Eagle’s “largest casino” claim when it comes to retail gambling. Its 3-million-square-foot MGM Grand Detroit has 100,000 square feet dedicated to gaming, less than half of what Soaring Eagle boasts.

Soaring Eagle retail and online sportsbook plans

Malta-headquartered sports betting tech and services provider Kambi Group is working with SCGE on its retail and online sportsbooks, the supplier said in a Nov. 8 press release. Kambi will introduce “Kambi kiosk, Bring Your Own Device technology and [the] market-leading Bet Builder product” to Michiganders via Soaring Eagle.

SCGE CEO Melinda Coffin said in the announcement:

“We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Kambi Group. Our loyal guests and Soaring Eagle team have been anxiously looking forward to sports betting at our casinos. We look forward to working with Kambi Group and providing a great experience for our guests.”

UPDATE: On Wednesday, MGCB Communications Specialist Mary Kay Bean told Online Poker Report:

“They can launch sports betting at their brick-and-mortar casino whenever they are ready, as the MGCB does not regulate onsite tribal gaming. This type of gaming falls under federal law and is regulated by the tribe or tribal gaming commission.”

- Heather Fletcher is the lead writer with OnlinePokerReport. She's a career journalist, with bylines in The New York Times, Adweek and other publications. Reach her at [email protected]
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