Northern Waters Casino Resort in Michigan
Northern Waters Casino Resort is a tribal casino located in Watersmeet, Michigan, in the state’s Upper Peninsula region. The property is owned and operated by the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. Originally known as the Lac Vieux Desert Resort Casino when it opened in 1996, the rebranding to the new name came in 2017.
This casino features more than 25,000 square feet of gambling space where you’ll find more than 500 slot machines and video poker games. The casino has partnered with Australian company PointsBet to deliver a live sportsbook and range of online gambling options. Entertainment at the casino takes place in the sports bar. Attractions include a full 18-hole golf course next to the casino, set among the natural beauty of the Ottawa National Forest. You can stay at the Dancing Eagles Hotel and enjoy three different dining options in addition to in-room service.
This page features all of the information you’ll need to make the most of a visit to the Northern Waters Casino. You’ll find full details covering casino gambling, sports betting and the rewards and promotions available below.
History of the Northern Waters Casino Resort
Northern Waters Casino first opened its doors in 1996. It was originally launched as the Lac Vieux Desert Resort Casino. The initial theme was the classic Las Vegas look — with neon lights ensuring that this casino couldn’t be missed. Twenty-one years after the launch, the casino was rebranded. The casino and the hotel rooms were renovated, and a new restaurant and sports bar were launched. Alongside this new look came a new name — the Northern Waters Casino Resort.
This rebrand saw a change of design for the casino. The Vegas-style lighting disappeared, replaced by a warmer and more inviting feel, all based on the forest surrounding the property.
In January of 2020, Northern Waters signed a deal with Australian bookmaker PointsBet. The company will provide sports betting and online casino games for use within Michigan — and is in negotiations to provide retail sports betting at the casino.
Slots at Northern Waters
In total you will find more than 500 video and reel slots at Northern Waters, including video poker and video keno. Denominations range from just 1 penny per line through to $10. There are 339 penny slot machines on site and 98 games with multi-denominations. There are four games with a set stake of $5 per line.
Some of the most popular slots in the Northern Waters Casino are those where you can win wide-area and in-house progressive jackpots. Here’s a list of the popular games in this category:
- The Price Is Right $1
- Hawaiian Fishing
- Mistress of Egypt
- Scarab Grand
- Chun Jie Lion Dance
- Dancing Foo
- Wheel of Fortune 4D
- WOF Cash Link
- Lock It Link
- Dragon Link
- $1 Wheel of Fortune Mega Tower
- Buffalo Grand
- Dragons Grand
- Lightning Link
- Wild Lepri’coins
- Oceans of Beauty
- Tiger Roars
- Birds of Pay
- Dragon Flies
- Buffalo Gold
- Virtual Blackjack
- Wild Captain Coins
- Wild Fiesta Coins
- Wild Ameri’coins
- Sizzling Phoenix
Table games are limited compared to the bigger casinos like the Detroit resorts or FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek. They can be enjoyed daily between 4 p.m. and 12 a.m. at the casino. Only three games are available:
- Blackjack shoe (with six decks)
- Blackjack pitch (with two decks)
- Three card poker
The table limits for blackjack shoe range from $2 to $200 throughout the week, with the minimum stake raised to $5 on the weekends. The blackjack pitch tables have a stake range of between $3 and $200 throughout the week, with the minimum stake again raised to $5 on Friday and Saturday. Players of three card poker can enjoy stakes of between $3 and $25.
The final casino option is bingo, which is available every Monday. Both early bird and regular sessions take place.
The Northern Waters Casino has signed a partnership with PointsBet, with negotiations taking place to supply a retail sportsbook on the site. The sports bar, with 15 state-of-the-art televisions, would seem to be the perfect location for the sports betting to take place. Patrons of the casino can enjoy the food, craft beers and the pool tables and dart boards in the bar while watching the games.
The sports bar is open from 10 a.m. until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. on all other days.
Online gambling options
The deal with PointsBet will encompass all of the online gambling operations for the Northern Waters Casino. The company, based in Australia, provides online sports betting operations across much of the US and brings its experience to the Michigan marketplace.
To enjoy online sports betting in Michigan via the Northern Waters Casino you’ll need be 21 or older. You can enjoy the online operations only if you’re within the state borders — if you take a trip out of the state, you won’t be able to access the online gambling.
PointsBet provides a unique way to bet on major sports. This is similar to betting the spread or totals, only you win or lose one unit for every point or goal that your team wins by.
Northern Waters Casino loyalty rewards and promotions
The loyalty program at the Northern Waters Casino and Resort is called the Superior Club. After signing up, you will earn reward points every time you play. Once you’ve earned 100 points, you can convert those points into a $1 free casino play. Players can earn up to $300 in rewards every single day.
Once part of the Superior Club, players can take full advantage of all of the promotions the casino offers. Here’s a rundown of some of the current rewards:
- Young at Heart: Players 55 or older can earn 10 same-day points, receive a $10 free play and enjoy 50% off one item on the menu at any food venue.
- Pump and Play: If you purchase at least eight gallons of gas, you can earn nine points on your Superior Club card and receive a $10 free play.
- New Players Win up to $100: New players who sign up at the casino can enjoy a spin of the new member prize wheel game. This Wheel of Fortune-style game sees players awarded a prize of between $15 and $100 in free plays.
- Birthday Free Play: Head to the casino on your birthday and you can enjoy a $10 free play.
- Freedom Rewards: A promotion that sees veterans receive 25% off at the Sugar Bush Restaurant, Northern Waters Cafe, Dancing Eagles Hotel and Lac Vieux Desert Golf Course.
Other seasonal promotions include opportunities to win luxury items such as cars, while you can also enter drawings to win big prizes simply by playing.
Dancing Eagles Resort Hotel
The Dancing Eagles Resort is the hotel attached to the casino. There are 132 rooms — and you can book a suite featuring a soothing private whirlpool. Amenities include a heated pool, a sauna, gift shop, snack bar and banquet/convention facilities.
The hotel also features a convenience mart, a gas station, and a great rate for RV parking with electrical and water hookups.
There are three main dining options at the casino:
- Sugar Bush Restaurant: This restaurant has a Northwoods theme, with a warmth and a glow from the fireplace. With quality ingredients from local providers, expect the highest standards. Sugar Bush offers scratch-made soups and salads, traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner choices, and its own personal touch to your favorite meals.
- Northern Waters Café: Enjoy a wide mix of food including 100% beef Johnsonville hot dogs, Johnsonville bratwursts, classic nachos, nachos supreme and personal pizza. Grab a Starbucks coffee and enjoy fresh bakery items. Shakes, malts, flurries and sundaes are available for those with a sweet tooth.
- NW Sports Bar: Enjoy craft smash burgers, wraps, sandwiches, flatbreads and perfect platters for you to share in the sports bar. The bar features some of the region’s favorite craft, domestic, imported and seasonal beer offerings.
The focus of entertainment at Northern Waters takes place in the sports bar. This usually comes in the form of live music, with both local and national acts appearing. Occasionally large sporting events like the UFC can attract a crowd. Alongside the casino is the 18-hole Lac Vieux Desert Golf Course. The course is challenging — and plays out over 200 acres of the Ottawa National Forest.
How does the Northern Waters Casino compare?
While not the largest casino in Michigan, the Northern Waters Casino in Watersmeet is a popular destination. Slot players will enjoy the latest games, along with plenty of classics from the biggest slot producers. A long list of slots with progressive jackpots (some of them for life-changing amounts) is available on the Northern Waters Casino website.
Table games are limited to peak times, with only blackjack and three card poker available. Low minimums during the week make these games accessible to everyone. You will also find a weekly bingo session — held every Monday. The rewards available at the Superior Club are varied and ensure both new players and existing customers are well rewarded. With an 18-hole golf course, three eateries, a hotel and the entertainment options, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at the Northern Waters Casino.
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