Kambi Group PLC last week announced it had secured a deal to enter the Michigan sports betting market, thanks to an agreement with a tribal nation based in the state.
The Malta-based sports betting technology company landed a deal to provide services to the Four Winds Casinos, which are run by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. According to Kambi, tribal leaders selected the company through a competitive bidding process.
The terms were not revealed.
The Pokagon run three Four Winds casinos in New Buffalo, Dowagiac, and Hartford, all located in Michigan’s southwest corner. The 125,000-square-foot casino at the New Buffalo resort serves as its flagship property.
Kambi will manage the sportsbooks at the tribe’s three Michigan casinos. That will include the installation of self-serve kiosks and the use of its “Bring-Your-Own-Device” bet-builder technology. That will enable bettors to create their wagers on their mobile phone and implement a QR code that can be processed as the sportsbook.
We are excited to partner with Kambi to bring sports betting to Four Winds Casinos and take the gaming experience we offer guests to the next level,” said a statement from Frank Kennedy, senior vice president of gaming operations for Four Winds Casinos. “We look forward to announcing the details of the sports betting options we will offer at our Michigan locations in the near future.”
The agreement includes mobile sports betting, which the tribe will launch statewide at some point after the retail sportsbooks open.
The deal with the Pokagon Band is the third agreement Kambi has reached with a tribal outfit in less than 18 months. Last year, the company announced deals with Mohegan Gaming, as well as Seneca Gaming Corp.
Kambi began serving Seneca bettors at the tribe’s western New York casinos in December. The deal with Mohegan for the tribe’s flagship casino resort in Connecticut will start there when lawmakers approve sports betting in the state.
“Kambi has established itself as the trusted partner to Tribal casino gaming enterprises that wish to leverage the strength of their brand to truly capitalize on the sports betting opportunity, and we are excited to be supporting Four Winds as they look to fulfill their online and on-property ambitions,” said a statement from Kristian Nylen, Kambi’s CEO.
The deal with Pokagon Gaming also gives Kambi an entryway into Indiana, the company confirmed. Four Winds currently operates a casino on tribal land in South Bend.
However, while Indiana allows sports betting, Four Winds does not have a tribal compact with the state that would allow it to offer Class III gaming. That would open the door for a sportsbook the casino has sought.
Negotiations with state leaders have been ongoing. But the earliest any compact would be approved is next year, since it also requires ratification by the legislature.