Casino Windsor opens "sportsbook" (Canadian Lottery style)


Super Moderator
Casino Windsor is first in area to offer wagers on events

Joel J. Smith / The Detroit News

WINDSOR -- Casino Windsor will begin offering sports betting next Friday -- marking the first time Metro Detroiters will have access to live sports wagering.

Looking to tap the sports and gambling passions of its American neighbors, the riverfront casino is opening a multimillion-dollar, 170-seat sports lounge, where gamblers can wager on pro football, basketball, hockey and baseball games, as well as college football and basketball.

"This is a wonderful, new amenity for us," Holly Ward, Casino Windsor spokeswoman, told The Detroit News on Thursday. "It's going to be a great place for people to watch sporting events while wagering on the games."

Gaming experts expect the Legends Sports Lounge, which took seven months to build, will be a major draw.

"This will be super attractive," said Jacob L. Miklojcik, president of Michigan Consultants, a gaming expert. "This is dynamite for Windsor Casino. I think that live betting during football and basketball seasons will be tremendous."

While this is a first for Windsor, sports betting is available at casinos in other regions of Canada. Casino Niagara in Niagara Falls, Ontario, recently opened a $10 million sports betting lounge.

While gambling on sports is illegal in most U.S. states, many Midwesterners travel to Las Vegas to wager on sports. And like any major U.S. city, Detroit has its share of illegal sports gambling through local bookmakers.

Sports wagering totaled $1.88 billion in Nevada in 2004, said Michael Pollock, publisher of the Gaming Industry Observer.

"In the U.S., outside of Nevada, the industry doesn't really exist," Pollock said. "It certainly draws people to Nevada. Essentially, it's a chance for Casino Windsor to reach a new market. It might be able to carve out a niche for itself by reaching many of the sports fans in the whole Detroit area."

Casino Windsor's new lounge includes 36 video display terminals that will feature sporting events. It will offer a stadium-style menu featuring hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken wings.

Gamblers can choose between a variety of betting options. They can make traditional wagers on which team will cover the point spread. They can also bet on the "over/under," in which gamblers wager that the combined points scored by both teams will be above or below a certain number.

And like in Vegas, gamblers can bet on more specific outcomes, such as total number of yards gained in a football game or the number of three-point shots made in a basketball match-up. The casino will have its own odds makers.

Don Pister, manager of public relations for the Ontario Lottery Gaming Corp. that owns Casino Windsor, said gamblers will be required to place three bets at a time.

Casino Windsor will reveal more details -- including the betting limit -- next Friday when it opens.

"The idea is to attract Americans across the border to Casino Windsor," Pister said. "Casinos are a competitive business. It is one more thing we can do to make Casino Windsor as attractive as we can."

Casino Windsor, which is in the midst of a major expansion, is locked in a fierce competition with Detroit's three casinos, which are not permitted to offer sports betting.

The Detroit casinos, however, have attracted thousands of gamblers from Windsor since Ontario banned smoking on May 30.

Some critics have said that sports gambling shouldn't be allowed in areas where big-time sports are played, because it invites problems.

However, Tom Lewand, the Lions' chief operating officer, said Windsor's entry into sports gambling isn't a major concern for the team.

"Obviously, Las Vegas has sports books, and that's in our country," Lewand said before Thursday night's Lions-Bills game at Ford Field. "While the geographic proximity is closer, the international borders are such that we can't control what Canada does. With the proliferation of online gaming, I'm not sure we should be in any position to have any undue concern. Obviously, we're not proponents of sports books in any way, shape or fashion."

Folks from Michigan and the upper Midwest have a reputation for being passionate about their sports -- and they place the bets to back it up, said Jay Kornegay, manager of the Las Vegas Hilton sports book. "You can always tell whenever we have teams playing from that region."

The Casino Windsor betting lounge will be open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, Sunday and holidays

Joe C

New member
Thanks for the post. I'm a dealer there and have been laid off due to renovations and such. The only thing I'm not sure about is the 3 bet minimum. Since I haven't been to a sports book in Vegas yet, I'm not sure if this is how it's done there as well. Either way, there's huge action in sports betting in Michigan, and this will no doubt boost the casino, though I'm not sure how if will effect table games, which is my concern. The beauty of it for us, is that Detroit can never offer sports betting because they have pro teams there.


Active member
Great, so they are going to set up a "Proline" Sportsbook? What a joke that is, and not how it's done in Vegas


Active member
All it basically will be is a sports lounge. When the casinos in Winnipeg expanded they opened a lounge area where you could watch the games (similar to a book) but still only sports lotteries available which is that way by law. In Canada one can only play the sports lotteries which are basically a government scam as it is very difficult to win three games consistently. If one could win three on a consistent basis the Vegas books as well as the internet books would be broke. It's tough enough to win one on a consistent basis never mind trying to win three game parlays all the time.

Joe C...In Vegas you can play one at a time the same as you can online. You also have many parlay and teaser options BUT still the best way to go is one at a time and that option is not going to ever be available thru the government lotteries as long as people keep playing sport select the way it is set up now.


Super Moderator
Yeah, it's basically a nice lounge where you can play the sports lottery.

Joe, as LVL says, Vegas sportsbooks are what you're used to when betting with your online account (basically), you can play single wagers, etc.

I can't see this being much of a pull from the Detroit area - and don't see it affecting table games at all. It might be very busy, and do good drink and food sales, but it'll be a place where people that were ging to go to the casino anyway, will wander over to spend a little time watching sports.

Joe C

New member
cover said:
Great, so they are going to set up a "Proline" Sportsbook? What a joke that is, and not how it's done in Vegas
If it's a pro-line sports book, then it's really a joke. If they are making it where you have to make at least 3 bets and not to have them all on the same ticket like pro-line, that's a different story altogether.

Joe C

New member
I just called Casino Niagara's sports book, it's a glorified pro-line. If this is what Windsor's selling to the American customers, it'll never work. Everybody I know in the Michigan area has a BM who takes their action. When they find out that they have to pick three games on a single ticket to win, they will laugh, and consider it a ripoff. The difference between this and pro-line you can bet at the store is, a) you can bet more much money, (store supposedly gives you a $100 a day max). b) you can cash your ticket 1 hour after the game, big fricken deal. I hope I'm wrong, but from all accounts, they are following Niagara's lead. They just want to rob people, but only on a higher scale.


Active member me all excited for nothing after reading that it was a glorifed proline lounge!!

Joe C

New member
tackydrsrca said: me all excited for nothing after reading that it was a glorifed proline lounge!!
Hi tack, how's it going? Herein lies the problem, this quote,

Don Pister, manager of public relations for the Ontario Lottery Gaming Corp. that owns Casino Windsor, said gamblers will be required to place three bets at a time."

To the person off the street, it leads you to believe that you must place at least three bets, which given over the course of a day, most likely would fly, but if Mr. Pister was incorrect, or quoted wrong, the casino Windsor "sportsbook" will be a laughing stock amongst Americans who know better.


New member
I don't understand why they would not want to just open a regular book?

if the 3 bet mininum is correctly stated in the previous posts, then this will not be a draw at all, maybe for a few months until everyone goes over and sees what they have to play or word of mouth.

However, if it is or becomes like a regular book, it will be a gold mine IMO.
People are already talking about it in the middle of the state, too bad it will be a glorified proline.

looks like my book won't suffer.