888 Holdings Launches Sports Illustrated Casino After License Approval

Jessica Aletor
By:
Jessica Aletor
09/02/2023/
News
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Highlights

  • In September 2022, TwinSpires ceased to operate in Michigan after a poor revenue stint in the state.
  • The TwinSpires Sportsbook was immediately replaced by the launch of Sports Illustrated Sportsbook MI.
  • Five months later, the MGCB has now approved the license for a Sports Illustrated casino to finally replace all TwinSpires operations.

The Hannahville Indian Community was in a partnership with TwinSpires to operate their sportsbooks and casino licenses. However, the agreement ended on September 6, 2022, ending both the sportsbook and online casino services. The only gambling services that were left active were the horseracing website and mobile app.

On February 7, 2023, the Michigan Gaming Control Board announced that it has granted a license to Hannahville Community to launch an online casino platform. This brings the number of online casinos in the state back to 15. Here’s a detailed overview of how it all played out.

Sports Illustrated Replaces TwinSpires’ Casino and Sportsbook

At the time of shutting down, as regards all-time handle, the TwinSpires’ Sportsbook was tenth among the 15 licensed Michigan Sportsbooks. The TwinSpires’ casino was 13th in revenue among other Michigan online casinos. This poor revenue run meant a partnership between Hannahville and TwinSpires was financially unsustainable, leading to the brand ceasing all operations.

The Sports Illustrated Sportsbook launched in early September to fill the void created by TwinSpires’ ceasing their gambling operations. However, the Hannahville Indian Community license did not have an online casino operating on it for the past five months. On the 7th of February, the community was finally granted a license to launch a corresponding Sports Illustrated Casino in the state.

This wide gap between the launch of the sportsbook and the launch of the online casino was due to the new partnership deal agreed by the Hannahville Indian Community. The Community partnered with 888 Holdings to become their sportsbook operator, but the company did not have a license to run an online casino in Michigan.

As the SI Casino has been launched in Michigan now, the Sports Illustrated sportsbook and casino have fully taken the place of TwinSpires in Michigan.

888 Holdings approved for Hannahville Indian Community

The casino was launched as Sports Illustrated Casino because it is a partnership between Sports Illustrated Magazine and 888 Holdings. Sports Illustrated already has the Sportsbook Illustrated Sportsbook running in Michigan, but with the inclusion of the casino, it now holds both Hannahville Indian Community licenses operating the Island Resort and Casino.

While we have not had enough time to see how the Sports Illustrated Casino will perform, the operator's sportsbook has been gaining great numbers in Michigan. The SI Sportsbook Michigan was launched in September 2022, and it was able to keep improving its online handle month after month from when it was launched.

In December 2022, the sportsbook was able to outperform the numbers that TwinSpires had pooled since the end of 2021. Aside from operating in Michigan, the SI Sportsbook is also licensed to operate in Colorado and Virginia. However, among these states, it is only in Michigan that the company’s online casino services are also active.

The previous casino operators working with Hannahville, TwinSpires, were able to have their total revenue at $22.5 million before ending their gambling operations in Michigan.

What to Expect from the New SI Casino in Michigan

Coming in, SI casino has a lot of offers for Michigan gamblers. While the Casino might be new to the region, 888 has been around since as far back as 1997, operating under a different name and running its own brand casino at the time.

This long presence of 888 in the gambling space means it has a lot of experience with online casinos and has also developed strong relationships with game suppliers in the country. This is why we expect a lot from the casino.

SI Casino presently offers over 300 different slots, along with table games, live dealer games, and exclusive titles. Just as with other casinos, these games are spread over a wide variety to ensure that the customers get to choose from a wide variety of options.

In terms of bonuses, the casino offers a 100% first deposit bonus for new players with a limit of $1,000 and $10 bet credits on the brand’s Michigan sportsbook. This welcome bonus comes with a 10x wagering requirement that has to be activated within 90 days.

In addition, the casino offers daily jackpots, a Game of the Week bonus, and a Spin to Win promo offer to players registered with them.

The site is fully active for use, but punters can also use the Sports Illustrated Casino MI app to gamble. The app is available on the App Store and Google Play for iOS and Android devices, respectively.

Jessica is a news contributor to Gamble Online Michigan. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics but has over three years of experience working in the hospitality and gambling industry. Despite her core finance and investment banking background, she has been a casino feature writer for N1 Interactive Limited and multiple gambling affiliate sites. Her work has been featured on the bet365 blog, casino.zone and Max Force Racing. She spends her time between Michigan and California, staying up-to-date on the latest industry developments