Niyo: Trio of brick-and-mortar sportsbooks begins ‘new era’ of betting in Detroit

Detroit — After a long wait in a line that snaked around a corner, hemmed in by velvet ropes and crowd-control stanchions inside the MGM Grand Detroit casino, and after a much longer wait that Daron Beasley estimates has lasted nearly half his life, the 50-year-old Detroiter had no trouble summing up his feelings Wednesday afternoon.

“Oh, man, it’s a relief,” he said, smiling broadly, after becoming one of the very first Michigan residents to take part in legalized sports betting in the state.

In his hand, Beasley held a pair of betting slips from his initial wagers on Wednesday’s college basketball action: a $10 parlay and $16 round-robin bet that’d be worth nearly $350 if he cashed both.

Hours later, with the sports world seemingly shutting down in response to the coronavirus pandemic, all bets were off — figuratively speaking — about just where the action will come from for eager gamblers here.

But in his mind, Beasley felt as if he’d already hit the jackpot, emptying an online gambling account he’d used for more than a decade — through the Panama-based BetOnline — and planning to be a daily customer now at the trio of sportsbooks open for business in downtown Detroit. MGM Grand and Greektown casinos began taking sports bets Wednesday, while the MotorCity Casino will follow suit Thursday morning with a sportsbook operated by FanDuel.

“Once I win, I can get my money right then and there,…

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