Wisconsin Casino Opens Up 17 Sports Betting Kiosks

Dan Favale
By , Updated on: Feb 22, 2023 07:00 PM
Wisconsin Casino Opens Up 17 Sports Betting Kiosks

As the expansion of sports betting in Wisconsin continues, one casino is attempting to expedite access for their customers. The Potawatomi Casino Hotel, one of the Wisconsin casinos with a sports betting license, has announced that it will launch 17 sports betting kiosks to help streamline the acceptance of wagers.

This news came just before the Super Bowl, largely in response to a busy round of NFL playoff betting throughout the state. And the move is a smart one for the Potawatomi Casino Hotel.

Access to wagering throughout the Dairy Land is considered limited. The state did not legalize online sports betting as part of last year's rollout. That means residents must place their wagers in-person, at a Wisconsin casino. However, not all of the casinos were set up with a permanent sportsbook. In Potawatomi's case, they have a permanent sportsbook under construction. It just isn't slated to be ready for a while. 

Granted, this doesn't massively change the complexion of Wisconsin sports betting. But it does highlight the interest in gambling from residents. And if there's a demand for sports betting kiosks, could that interest lead lawmakers to reconsider the future of Wisconsin online sports betting?

Why This Wisconsin Casino is Adding 17 Sports Betting Kiosks

Potawatomi's decision to unveil sports betting kiosks was simple: They needed a way to accept as many wagers as possible until their physical sportsbook location was finished being built. Here's J.R. Duren from PlayUSA with the details:

"The casino will launch construction on its permanent sportsbook in the coming weeks. The new book will replace the casino’s Northern Lights Theater and Fire Pit Sports Bar & Grill. And even though the Wisconsin casino plans to finish construction in the fall, it’s come up with a temporary solution. The property has debuted 17 sports betting kiosks at two locations in the casino:

  • One group near the old Fire Pit sports bar
  • One near the second-story catwalk

"The kiosks are open 24 hours a day. An added perk: There are 20-minute temporary parking spots for sports bettors. This gives customers time to park, go to a kiosk, and place a bet."

Dedicated parking spots are key to this model. As already noted, online sports betting in Wisconsin currently isn't legal. With that said, Wisconsinites can still find highly reviewed online sportsbooks that will let them set up and service an account. If Wisconsin casinos are going to compete with them, they need to simplify the betting process as much as possible. Ensuring that customers don't have to wait around for shuttles or search for random parking spaces helps improve the experience.

It isn't yet clear whether the casino will keep the kiosks once their permanent sportsbooks are open for business. But given how much legal sports betting in the United States takes place online, it would be wise for Potawatomi to keep them around. Lines can form at physical sportsbooks; do-it-yourself kiosks usually help speed up the transaction process.

When Will the Potawatomi Casino be Done with Their Permanent Sportsbook?

This is a question without a definitive answer. After all, the Potawatomi Casino is planning to build quite a large sportsbook—one that's 120,000 square feet, in fact.

To date, the casino has only said it plans to wrap the $100 million renovation in the first half of this year. But construction on the sportsbook didn't begin until February. That's why many expect it to open sometime in the fall, more toward the second half of 2023.

Still, we can and should expect the sportsbook to open by September. That's when fans will be in the market for betting odds on the 2023 NFL season, which will kick off—you guessed it—in September. Just as the state of Wisconsin planned the sports betting launch around the football schedule, we should expect the Potawatomi Casino to try doing the same—barring any setbacks, of course.

Will Betting Kiosks in the Potawatomi Wisconsin Casino Lead to Talks About Legal Online Sports Betting?

The demand for sports betting kiosks in Wisconsin is nothing if not proof of how much gamblers value the remote wagering experience. Dealing with cashiers—real people—has its own value, but remote betting is typically far quicker. Though Wisconsin opted against the legalization of online sports betting, these kiosks will be a window into that industry.

We expect Wisconsin officials to monitor how much money these kiosks generate. If the numbers significantly inflate the revenue garnered from foot traffic in previous months, the state might be open to reviewing the current gaming compact, which grants exclusivity to local tribes in the form of on-site wagering. 

With this in mind, any changes won't be imminent—or even particularly likely. Wisconsin tribes were generally against online sports betting, because they didn't want conglomerates based outside the state inching in on their market share. Perhaps the additional revenue the Potawatomi Casino churns out will serve as proof that tribes and online services can exist in harmony. But even if that's the case, Wisconsin won't broach the issue until their 2024 legislative sessions. That means the earliest online sports betting could arrive in Wisconsin is sometime around 2026.

For now, Wisconsinites should just be happy they have the ability to bet on sports at all. Progress in the online sports betting sector is inevitable. It'll just take more time.

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can find one that will work for all of your betting needs:

Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan Favale leverages over 12 years of sports journalism expertise in his role as New York staff writer. He provides in-depth analysis across the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, tennis, NASCAR, college basketball, and sports betting. Dan co-hosts the popular Hardwood Knocks NBA podc...

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