The Stars Group, parent company of the online poker giant, PokerStars, announced the signing of a strategic partnership that will take it into Michigan’s fledgling online gambling market, despite the fact that the group already has a deal in place that could give it access to the market.
PokerStars will partner with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Gaming Authority to provide real money online casino games, sports betting and poker in the state as soon as the market goes live. Some of The Stars Group’s best brands will be available to Michigan residents, including FOX Bet for their sports betting needs, and PokerStars for online poker.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of Fox Bet, Robin Chhabra, the group was excited to announce the agreement with the Odawa tribe, which further strengthens The Stars Group’s market access as it continues to build its business in the emerging US online betting and gaming market.
Also commenting was representative of the tribal council, Fred Harrington Jr, who said: “The Tribe’s partnership with The Stars Group extends beyond our reservation and places the thrill of world class sports betting and online gaming under every finger-tip sliding across a touch screen in the State of Michigan.:
This is not The Stars Group’s first deal that could bring it into Michigan’s market. The group has already signed a strategic 20-year deal with Penn National Gaming, which will allow it to provide online gambling services in all nine states where the land-based casino company operates gambling facilities; one of them being Michigan.
A complexity in the deal signed with Penn National Gaming, pertaining to multiple skins or brands, has the potential to leave The Stars Group out of Michigan’s market through this partnership. This is why the company opted to strike another deal with the tribal group as a means of getting a foot in the state’s new online gambling market.