More than a few eyebrows were raised last December when the Emagine Theater in Royal Oak, Michigan, announced it was opening a sports betting lounge. It didn’t have a Michigan sports betting license, but it was creating a space for patrons to place mobile sports wagers.
The concept has apparently proven to be a good one for Emagine, which has theaters throughout the Midwest, as the Royal Oak lounge now has a sports betting partner. And it’s one of the biggest sportsbooks operating in Michigan.
The Caesars Sportsbook Lounge Powered by Emagine “is a full Vegas-style experience at Emagine Royal Oak with free admission,” according to a social media post by the theater. It also said it will have “massive screens, a cinema sound system, heated leather recliners and seat-side service for preferred food and drink options.”
High-speed WIFI is also available for those who want to access online sports betting accounts. There is no admission charge to the sports lounge and it can be accessed during “normal theater operating hours on a first-come, first-served basis,” according to the theater’s website.
'An Exciting Environment'
“We are excited about this partnership with Emagine Entertainment and applaud their ingenuity in creating a sports lounge in a movie theatre,” Caesars Digital Co-President Eric Hession said in a news release last week according to published reports. “This concept should provide an exciting environment for people to enjoy a televised sporting event and for us to connect with new customers while also rewarding our existing loyal customer base.”
This is also a model that could be used in legal sports betting states, possibly in more Emagine Theaters by the end of the year. Emagine Entertainment, based in Troy, Michigan, owns and operates 28 theaters in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin, according to its website.
“Partnering with Caesars is a major milestone in our ongoing commitment to being the most innovative theater chain in the country” Anthony LaVerde, CEO of Emagine Entertainment, said in the company’s social media post.
Michigan Sports Betting Thriving
The decision to not only open a sports betting lounge at one of its theaters in Michigan and now partnering with a major sportsbook is a good decision by Emagine, especially with the thriving Michigan gambling market.
Michigan has mobile and retail sports betting, along with Michigan online casinos.
In March, the monthly sports betting handle in Michigan was $480 million, with about $452 million coming from online betting. The state also saw about $880,000 in paid taxes from sportsbook operators.
There are 15 online sportsbooks along with retail sportsbooks at the three Detroit casinos and other tribal casinos in the state.