Another online gambling partnership has come to light in the Wolverine State, following the Michigan Gaming Control Board’s licensing approval of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and its partner Pala Interactive.
“We welcome the addition of Four Winds Casinos and Pala Interactive to Michigan’s growing online gaming and sports wagering market,” Richard Kalm, MGCB’s executive director, said in a statement. “Their participation will generate revenue to support education, economic development and the Pokagon Band’s tribal community.”
The addition of Pokagon-Pala brings the number of online operators up to 12:
- Bay Mills Indian Community, DraftKings
- Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, William Hill
- Greektown Casino, Barstool Sportsbook & Casino
- Hannahville Indian Community, TwinSpires
- Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Golden Nugget Online Gaming LLC
- Lac Vieux Desert Tribe, PointsBet (sports betting-only)
- Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Rush Street Interactive MI, LLC
- Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, PokerStars and FoxBet
- MGM Grand Detroit, MetMGM LLC
- MotorCity Casino, FanDuel
- Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, Pala Interactive
- Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, WynnBet
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Pala’s Appeal to Tribal Casino Operators
The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians operate three casinos in Michigan, all under the Four Winds brand. The casinos are located in Dowagiac, Hartford, and New Buffalo.
Pala Interactive is a California-based company that is part of the Pala Band of Mission Indians. The tribe operates the Pala Casino Spa Resort in California.
The company’s foray into online gambling stems from California’s attempts to legalize online poker during the previous decade. The company has exported its proprietary online gambling software into several US states, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana (through Unibet), and now Michigan.
Pala Interactive’s tribal roots have likely helped it form partnerships in some of these states. In addition to the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians in Michigan, one of its Pennsylvania partners is Wind Creek Bethlehem, operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
New Jersey was Pala’s debut in the online gambling space, and while it’s struggled to gain market share, it’s becoming quite apparent that Pala’s motive to launch in the New Jersey market was to showcase its platform to prospective partners. In that respect, the company’s New Jersey lunch has been an overwhelming success.