Michigan Tribe to Have Free Online Casino


There is a move on the part of many Native American tribes to resist the move toward legalizing online gambling because it is seen as a threat to their profits, in the present and the future. But there are also some forward-thinking tribes who embrace the possibilities that online gambling could wind up affording them. One of those tribes is the Saginaw Chippewa tribe in Michigan, which owns and operates the highly successful Soaring Eagle Casino, which is located in Mount Pleasant.

Soaring Eagle is close to introducing a free online casino that is designed as a creative adjunct to its existing land-based casino operation. A partnership has been announced between the casino and Aristocrat Technologies, the company that provides the platform for Soaring Eagle's electronic gaming devices. According to the news release that was issued by the company, this will be the largest online site ever created for a Native American partner. Many forms of gaming will be made available, including blackjack, roulette, craps, keno, video poker, hi-lo solitaire, and a variety of slot games, including Aristocrat's offerings such as Big Red, Miss Kitty, Queen of the Nile, 50 Lions and Sun and Moon.

Obviously, the online site will be free to play at, but will be used for other purposes. One of them is to examine customer playing habits, and certainly Soaring Eagle is curious to see how many of its customers will gravitate toward playing online. One of the intentions is, of course, to use data to improve the overall customer experience, but the aim down the road is to have something ready for the time when real money online gambling is legislated, so that they will have the infrastructure in place to make an easy conversion.

Aristocrat is based in Australia, and develops games for online and mobile use, as well as a casino management system called Oasis 360. The company's nLive Link technology will power the online casino. Aristocrat is very successful, bringing in a net profit of close to $150 million over the last two years, and is currently positioning itself to be a leader in online casino technology and mobile game technology, in the event of widespread legalization in the U.S.