Detroit Casinos See Potential in Sports Betting

The busiest part of Las Vegas casinos on Sunday afternoon aren’t the slots, craps, roulette or blackjack. It is the sportsbook, where people bet on pro football games.

At any given casino, hundreds of gamblers watch the games on dozens of giant LED screens, casino officials said. The auditorium at Westgate Casino is so large it passes out maps for the best viewing spots for a particular game.

If gambling supporters have their way, such a passionate pursuit could come to Detroit within two years, gaming experts said.

The issue could be controversial because some Detroit casinos are owned by people with ties to sports teams, and it’s not clear if that would affect sports betting.

MotorCity Casino is operated by Marian Ilitch, whose family owns the Tigers baseball and Red Wings hockey teams. Greektown Casino is owned by Dan Gilbert, who also owns the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Gambling supporters were buoyed by a U.S. Supreme Court hearing last week that discussed a federal law that prohibits sports gambling outside Nevada. During oral arguments, most of the justices seemed wary of the ban.

The court could issue a decision by June.

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By Francis X Donnelly

The Detroit News, Dec 11, 2017


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