Rush Street Interactive has partnered with Little River Casino to bring online sports wagering to Michigan after opening their sports betting market earlier this year. The Little River Casino Resort in Michigan has launched a deal in partnership with RSI, or Rush Street Interactive, to offer in-person and online sports betting. The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians is in charge of the casino that opened in 1999.

Rush Street Interactive is a gaming company that focuses on developing and operating money and “social gaming online products.” They were among the first sportsbooks to launch in New Jersey.

The announcement of the partnership comes after DraftKing made a deal with Bay Mills Resort & Casino. This secured the online betting platform a place in Michigan’s sports wagering market.

What Are the Specifics of the Deal?

Rush Street Interactive’s deal with the Michigan casino solidifies RSI as the service provider for an on-site sportsbook at the Little River Casino Resort. Because of coronavirus, the casino has been closed for several months and is not expected to open until later this year. The deal also addressed online sports wagering, assuming the state regulates online sports betting in the coming months.

The duo’s agreement would allow the commencement of a co-branded online sports betting and online casino product. Michigan sports betting participants are already able to sign-up for notifications on the BetRivers website in order to receive a message when online betting goes live in the state.

In May, the MGCB, or the Michigan Gaming Control Board set about the undertaking of managing online gaming supplier license applications. Andrew Gentile, the general manager of Little River Casino Resort said in a statement that Rush Street Interactive’s notoriety in the business was a big part of why they chose to partner with them. Rush Street Interactive has deals for in-casino sportsbooks in Pennsylvania, New York, and Illinois.

Gentile emphasized how Michigan was hoping not to reinvent the wheel when it comes to sports wagering. Rush Street Interactive has proven to be successful in establishing land-based sportsbooks and hope to use similar strategies.

Richard Schwartz, Rush Street Interactive’s president, said he hopes to bring more business to Little Rivers Casino Resort. Schwartz believes this is a good partnership considering their home-base in Chicago is not far and will only be a benefit to both parties considering the growth in popularity of sports wagering.

Michigan’s New & Growing Sports Betting Market

Sports betting, both retail and online, was finally legalized in Michigan in December of 2019 after being in discussion since 2015. The first sportsbook in Michigan began taking bets in March of this year, at the peak of the COVID-19 uproar.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer had approved HB 916, which enacted the Lawful Sports Betting Act into law. Gov. Whitmer also approved bill HB 4308, which legalized fantasy sports contests in Michigan.

The Lawful Internet Gaming Act was also signed into law and entitled HB 4311. This allows mobile and online casino gambling in the state and allows the Michigan Gaming Control Board to issue licenses for online wagering.

Although in-person sports betting launched at the beginning of March, online and mobile sports betting has not gone live just yet. It is evident Michigan’s sports betting market has a long way to go, but ultimately until the market is regulated and pandemic regulations ease up, online sports wagering seems to be the route to go.