HomeMichigan Sports Betting NewsSI Sportsbook and Casino to Close in Michigan

SI Sportsbook and Casino to Close in Michigan

In a surprising turn of events, SI Sportsbook and SI Casino have announced their decision to cease operations in Michigan.

Image: Sports Illustrated

This move, which comes amidst a rapidly evolving landscape in the Michigan sports betting and gaming industries, has sparked speculation and concern among local bettors and casino enthusiasts. The decision to discontinue services in Michigan marks a significant shift in strategy for the newly expanded sportsbook and casino brand, leaving many wondering about the underlying reasons behind this abrupt exit.

With the sports betting market experiencing substantial growth and competition, the departure of SI Sportsbook MI and SI Casino raises questions about the challenges and pressures faced by operators in this dynamic environment. As Michigan’s market continues to evolve and mature, stakeholders eagerly await further insights into the implications of this development and its impact on the state’s broader gambling industry.

The Brief History of SI Sportsbook and Casino in Michigan

Since their grand openings in Michigan, SI Sportsbook and SI Casino have been integral parts of the state’s burgeoning iGaming scene. In September 2022, amidst much anticipation, both platforms debuted, offering Michiganders a comprehensive betting and gaming experience. Their arrival was met with enthusiasm, as sports fans and casino regulars flocked to explore the range of offerings between the latest sportsbook and casino in the state.

Part of robust sports betting and gaming markets in the United States, SI’s exit out of Michigan wasn’t about performance, at least not directly. SI’s parent company, Evoke, announced back in March that they would cease all direct business-to-consumer dealings. For the time being, both the SI sportsbook and SI casino will remain in operation in Michigan until at least Fall 2024, as Evoke plans to make its withdrawal from the state in Q4 of the fiscal year.

Closures a Result of Upheaval Within the Sports Illustrated Brand

Evoke hasn’t just closed the SI sportsbook and casino in Michigan, it severed ties with the Sports Illustrated brand entirely, buying out of its contract with SI’s controlling group, Authentic Brands Group, for $50 million. Sports fans across the country were devastated, as it appeared for a moment that Sports Illustrated, a once-dominant figure in sports news and entertainment, would be shut down permanently.

All the readers that still have their favorite covers sealed and displayed were surely elated when it was announced that SI would resume publication following the acquisition of their licensing rights by Minute Media. Sports Illustrated will now be controlled by a conglomerate that also runs popular publications like FanSided and The Player’s Tribune. With SI being dissolved out of the sports betting and gaming industries leading to its acquisition by a major media power, it might be a sign that the brand will return to what it does best: covering sports.

While there’s no telling for certain how the SI brand affected its casino in Michigan or its sportsbooks in Colorado and Virginia, it might be for the best that Sports Illustrated returns to being a media and news outlet and remain distanced from the gambling side of sports. Having a major name involved in both sports betting and coverage could lead to unintended corruption from the overlap in the eyes of gambling dissenters.