TwinSpires to Pull Out of Michigan Online Gaming Market Next Week

TwinSpires, the Churchill Downs branded online gaming platform, will end its sports betting and iGaming operations in Michigan next week.

A “Welcome to Michigan” sign greets motorists as they enter the state’s Upper Peninsula on US Highway 45. Churchill Downs has announced its TwinSpires online sportsbook and iGaming platforms will stop taking bets on Sept. 6. It appears SI Sportsbook will be replacing TwinSpires as the online gaming partner for the Hannahville Indian Community. (Image: spiritofamerica/Adobe Stock Images)

According to the TwinSpires’ FAQ section, it will stop taking sports and casino bets on Sept. 6. The site will remain online for a month to allow players to withdraw their funds.

Any accountholder with funds still tied to the site after Oct. 6 will have a check sent to their current address on file.

In late February, the Louisville-based company announced they would be pulling out of the online sports betting and iGaming business for at least the time being. CEO Bill Carstanjen told investment analysts that the company did not see a “secure path” to profitability in the online gaming realm, considering how some companies in the business were spending significant amounts of money to acquire customers and market share.

Churchill Downs has already ended its online sportsbooks in Colorado, Indiana, New Jersey, and Tennessee. After Michigan, the only remaining sites left in operation are Arizona and Pennsylvania.

The company got its start in sports betting in 2019 and initially launched that operation under the BetAmerica brand. That was the name of a horse racing advanced deposit wagering (ADW) site it had purchased two years later.

The pullout in online sports betting and iGaming will not impact TwinSpires racing operations.

Michigan Market Share

Last year, the company announced it would consolidate all online gaming under its better-known TwinSpires brand. TwinSpires has long been a leading racing ADW platform, but it failed to generate much buzz on the sports betting end – even after landing legendary NFL quarterback Brett Favre as an ambassador.

TwinSpires’ Michigan performance illustrated the struggle. According to data from the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), the state’s licensed sportsbooks reported a combined handle of $2.53 billion. TwinSpires, which partnered with the Hannahville Indian Community, accounted for just $6.6 million – the third lowest of any operator in the state.

On the online casino side, the licensed operators have reported $883.6 million in gross receipts this year. The $5.3 million for TwinSpires was the second lowest of any operator.

The MGCB still shows TwinSpires as the “associated platform provider” for the Hannahville Indian Community, which operates the Island Resort and Casino in Harris, which is located on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, roughly 90 miles north of Green Bay, WI. However, there are some indications that the tribe has found its next partner.

SI Sportsbook to Take Over? reported Monday that the SI Sportsbook, which is powered by 888 Holdings platform, would take over as the partner.

A check of the SI Sportsbook site Tuesday showed Michigan as an option – currently, the SI Sportsbook is only licensed in Colorado and Virginia. When the Michigan page opens, it shows the Island casino logo in the upper left corner of the page.

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