Online gambling

Soaring Eagle will open sports betting on April 4, online play coming soon

Shutterstock/Juanju Tugores

April 4 is a date that has received extensive coverage in gaming media.

Here has online poker report, you may have seen it in the context of the upcoming launch of online gaming in Ontario. If you are a sports bettor, this is an important date because it marks the last game of the march madness NCAA basketball tournament.

There’s at least one other thing going on that day, though. It is the opening of Ascent Sportsbook at Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. The casino is owned and operated by the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe.

“Ascend Sportsbook is the place to be,” said Kristina Griffus, Director of iGaming and Sports Betting Operations at Soaring Eagle. “It’s a great place to watch a game and it really has all the elements that make a great sportsbook. It’s an energetic game day atmosphere, lots of TVs and you can’t beat the food and the drinks.

When it opens, Ascent will be Michiganders’ 13th option for retail sports betting. Maybe more interesting for RPO readers, this also signals the imminent arrival of the other product mentioned in Griffus’ job description: iGaming.

Eagle Casino & Sports is coming later this spring

The sportsbook announcement mentions that the Tribal Casino’s mobile product will arrive “later this spring.”

He also makes mention of the trademark, revealing that Soaring Eagle will be trademarking the first half of its name online. The mobile product will simply Eagle Casino & Sports.

Soaring Eagle is the largest retail casino in the state, which makes it surprising that it took so long to launch its product online. This may in part be due to his decision to do without a brand partner. Eight of the state’s twelve tribal casinos have chosen to partner with national brands like Gold nugget and DraftKings. Only Guardians of the fire, four winds, gun lake and soaring eagle go with own brand products.

On the other hand, none of these other own-brand apps took so long to launch. Four Winds joined the market just weeks after opening. FireKeepers arrived in July last year, followed by Play Gun Lake in August.

Why did Soaring Eagle wait so long?

The market has now been active for over a year, so the wait for Soaring Eagle has been long. What’s even more confusing is that it has had the technology to launch since May last year, when it signed a deal with the white label provider. GANG.

It may have simply bided its time to launch properly, rather than launching quickly. The opening of the market has been accompanied by an enormous amount of promotional expenditure by the big operators, who are now seeking to control themselves. Avoiding that rush can mean Soaring Eagle’s own marketing efforts yield more bang for the buck, even if it’s late for the game.

GAN has an online poker product, but we don’t expect Soaring Eagle to use it. The company powers other US online casinos, including WynnBet in Michigan, but no one has shown interest in using their product to try to compete with companies like PokerStars and WSOP.

And what about the Hannahville license?

After Play Gun Lake launched last summer, it was assumed that Soaring Eagle would be the last operator in the market. This may no longer be the case.

Michigan’s online gaming laws limit the number of licenses to 15, and Soaring Eagle will indeed be the 15th to throw. However, last month, TwinSpires announced that it would end its online sports betting and iGaming business.

At the time, a representative of the Michigan Gaming Control Commission confirmed at RPO that this means that the license will be available for another brand:

In Michigan, platform licenses can be acquired or changed ownership, and operators can sign contracts with another platform.

TwinSpires has partnered with Hannahville Indian Community and Island resort casino. For now, its online casino and sportsbook are still operational, but it is expected to end in the next few months. We probably won’t know which Island businesses go to until TwinSpires turns off the lights for good, but Bally Casino is a likely possibility.

Add to that the fact that Rush Street Interactive acquired Roll it once in poker and could bring this product to the State (in addition to its Bet Rivers product), and it no longer seems likely that Eagle Casino & Sports will be the last new online gambling brand Michigan sees.