Your Source For Michigan Gaming News

Since 1997, the Michigan Gaming website has been a comprehensive resource regarding gaming in the state of Michigan. This site is an RMC Ventures, LLC publication, with contributions by the original creators of the site, Attorney David Waddell and Gaming Analyst Robert Russell, and additional contributions by Attorney J.J. Burchman.

Mr. Waddell,  Mr. Russell and Mr. Burchman are also associated with Regulatory Management Counselors, P.C., which proactively assists clients in managing regulatory issues in an effort to maximize company profits and avoid legal problems.

Volume 25, Issue 31

November 15, 2019

Printable Version



While the state of Michigan continues to debate whether sports wagering will be authorized many other states have begun to see the benefits via increased tax revenue by adding the retail and mobile sports wagering offerings. Late last week, the Indiana Gaming Commission released the October 2019 gross gaming revenues. The introduction of sports wagering continues to provide additional total revenue growth to the overall gaming market.  In the month of October, Indiana accepted roughly $91.7 million in mobile and retail sports wagers, with more than half of the betting coming from Indiana’s three approved mobile sportsbooks (DraftKings, FanDuel and Rush Street Mobile). This reflects a 160% increase from the handle of $35.2 million received in September.

The mobile wagering market in Indiana opened on October 3, 2019, when the three operators were approved.  DraftKings led the way with $39.3 million in mobile wagering, with Rush Street generating $6.2 million and FanDuel generating $2.3 million. While the Indiana Gaming Commission’s next scheduled meeting is December 16, it does not anticipate any additional sports wagering operators to have applications completed for approval at that meeting.  The Indiana Gaming Commission typically has four meetings per year, so it will likely be early spring 2020 before additional mobile sports operators come before the Commission for approval. Matt Bell, President and CEO of the Casino Association of Indiana, noted: “The inception of mobile sports wagering has been extremely well received by Hoosiers.  We’ve long believed that a mobile sports wagering opportunity that is legal, regulated and transparent will be well-received.  The industry will continue to market sports wagering responsibly and actively to move consumers from illegal, black market sports wagering operators to Indiana’s legal and transparent marketplace that benefits the casino properties and the state and allows Hoosiers the opportunity to legally bet on their favorite sports teams.”

New Jersey also released October sports wagering revenue information, setting another record with $487 million in sports bets, with sports wagering revenue totaling $46.4 million.  October’s numbers improved on the previous record set in September, when the state took in $445 million in bets and casinos totaled $37.9 million in sports wagering revenue. October’s sports wagering revenue constituted 7% of total gaming revenue. The Meadowlands track, which partners with FanDuel and PointsBet for its sports books, continues to dominate the New Jersey market, pulling in sports wagering revenue of nearly $25 million in October, with Resorts Digital, which partners with DraftKings for its mobile sports wagering book, netting $10.5 million. 

In Ohio, state legislators are planning on trying to pass legislation permitting sports wagering (SB 111 and HB 194) by 2020.  Part of the current debate surrounds whether the Ohio Casino Control Commission or the Ohio Lottery would be the regulator.  The tax rate is also a source of disagreement, with SB 111 proposing a 6.25% rate and HB 194 proposing a 10% tax rate.  Regardless of the disagreement, legislators appear to agree that unlike some states that have legalized sports betting, prohibiting wagering on collegiate sports will not be part of the bills. 



Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel General Manager Johnny Barrientoz received the Chairman’s Leadership Award from the National Indian Gaming Association (“NIGA”) during last month’s Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas.

NIGA Chairman Ernest L. Stevens, Jr. presented Barrientoz with the Award, stating, “The Indian gaming industry has seen such phenomenal strides throughout the years. Today, we are the experts, and Johnny Barrientoz is one of the truest examples of that. His path from an entry-level position to General Manager of one of the greatest tribal gaming properties in Indian country should be showcased.”

Barrientoz is a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, and began working in the casino as a Slot Attendant in 2005. He quickly advanced to Slot Department Supervisor, Slot Department Manager, and Director of Slots for Leelanau Sands and Turtle Creek casinos. He received his certification in Gaming Management from the University of Nevada, and was then promoted to General Manager of Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel in January 2019. As General Manager, Barrientoz oversees 485 employees, a 56,000 square-foot gaming floor, three restaurants, six bars, and a 131-room hotel.

After being presented with the award, Barrientoz said, “I am sincerely grateful and humbled to receive such a coveted award, especially from someone I have always respected and admired.”

Michael Schrader, CEO for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians Economic Development Corporation, added, “Johnny is the ideal example of a leader. He is hard working, dedicated, and a true professional in all he does. His innate modesty and altruistic manner are apparent upon first impression, and have served him well at the helm of our largest casino. He addresses and knows every employee by name, and our guests find him approachable and trustworthy.”



Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort is hosting a job fair on Tuesday, November 19 from 2 PM to 8 PM. The hiring event will feature on-site interviews and same-day job offers, with pre-employment costs waived for anyone offered a position at the job fair.

Interested applicants should bring their applications, two forms of ID, and an updated resume with them. The job fair will be held in the Ballrooms at 6800 Soaring Eagle Boulevard in Mount Pleasant.

Available positions include hosts and hostesses, waitstaff, line servers, guest relations representatives, call center agents, housekeepers, and front desk agents. For a full list of current positions available and for job descriptions, interested applicants should call the Employment Center at (989) 775-5600.



Upcoming Events

Michigan Gaming Control Board Public Meeting

January 14, 2020 - 9:30 AM

Casino Job Board

Official Publications


RMC Legal

Visit our other website below: