An Overview of Gambling in Michigan

Michigan is up there with New Jersey and Nevada in terms of being progressive towards online gambling. Having legalized virtually all forms of betting by passing a bill in 2019, online poker, online casinos, and online sportsbooks began onboarding customers from January 2021 onwards. The rollout has been successful so far, which comes as no surprise considering the sheer quality of the various apps and websites that have opened their doors to the bettors of Michigan.

Today, we’re going to detail every aspect of online gambling in Michigan. Whether you’re a sports betting enthusiast, avid poker player or just someone that enjoys taking a shot at winning big in the casino, Michigan’s online betting services are catered for all.

As we mentioned, Michigan opened the floodgates for online gambling a few years ago through the passing of a bill named House Bill 4311. Known as the Lawful Internet Gaming Act, its signing was a momentous occasion for everyone involved in the world of gambling in Michigan, as it unlocked previously shut avenues.

It took around two years for the first online casinos and sportsbooks to take on customers, though. On January 22nd, 2021, online casinos in Michigan opened simultaneously. As part of the bill signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, land-based casinos were eligible to apply for online casino licenses too. Along with that came sports betting - both online and at retail venues - as well as poker rooms.

What Types of Gambling Activities Are Legal in Michigan?

The good news for anyone living in Michigan is that you’ve got the entire world of online gambling available at your doorstep. By making the Lawful Internet Gaming Act law, the Governor ensured that nobody in the state would be left out of the fun.

Thankfully, everyone’s interests are prioritized by Michigan lawmakers. Although it took some time to get everything right by putting the correct framework in place, the Great Lakes State is exactly where it needs to be now. Below, you’ll find all the forms of gambling currently legal and ready for play in Michigan:

  • Sports betting 
  • Online & retail casino
  • Poker
  • Horse racing
  • Bingo
  • Lottery

As you can see, they’ve got it all covered. From top to bottom, Michigan is a state for all types of bettors. Whether you’re new on the scene or an experienced player that’s seen it all, Michigan is an incredibly inclusive state when it comes to betting.

Gambling Laws in Michigan

As expected, lawmakers were hard at work for well over a year as they sought to finalize the necessary paperwork that would make online gambling legal in Michigan. Despite signing the all-important bill in 2019, it was 13 months before MI residents were able to place bets from mobile devices and desktops - but it was well worth the wait.

Now, the state’s online gambling industry is in full flow. Users can visit their favorite online betting platforms any time they like to wager on sports action, try their hand at poker, or head to the virtual blackjack table.

This doesn’t come without at least a few restrictions and important rules, however. Most laws created are present to protect players from harm, while others are there to ensure the fairness of games and stop players from partaking in illegal activities at online casinos.

What are Michigan’s Gambling Laws?

In Michigan, gambling is specifically defined as “accepting money or a valuable thing contingent upon the result of a game, race, contest, or happening of an uncertain event.” The forms of gambling not allowed in the state are as follows:

  • Gambling in stocks, produce, bonds, or grain
  • Pool selling
  • Registering bets

Punishments for breaking the code of conduct in Michigan vary and sentencing strongly depends on the defendant’s previous criminal record. Most of the time, gambling offenses are punishable by no more than one year in prison and/or a $1,000 fine. Of course, the greater the offense, the harsher the sentencing.

However, users need not participate in illegal gambling practices as there are so many ways to win legally. The state law “permits the use of internet, including through mobile application, to place, receive, and otherwise knowingly transmit a sports bet or wager.” Essentially, this translates to users being allowed to wager using downloadable mobile apps and sites on the internet without facing penalties, as it’s perfectly legal to do so. This simply isn’t the case in some other states.

Legal Betting Activities in Michigan

Online betting in MI is made easy thanks to the many laws that allow for all kinds of gambling. Notable types of gambling in Michigan can be found below:

  • Internet sports betting
  • Online casino betting
  • Bingo
  • Recreational card playing at senior citizen housing facilities 
  • League bowling alleys sub $1,000

We must stress that the legal gambling age for sports betting is limited to bettors aged at least 21 years old, although this varies amongst tribal-owned casinos. All betting facilities licensed by the MGCB (Michigan Gaming Control Board) are only allowed to onboard customers aged 21 and over.

Who Are The MGCB? 

The Michigan Gaming Control Board is made up of the people working behind the scenes to make sure that gambling in the state is secure, safe, regulated, and fair for all. Founded following a statewide vote in 1996, the organization operates solely to oversee MI’s gambling industry.

The board is made up of five members and an executive director, all of whom are dedicated to pushing the state of gambling in Michigan forward. These members are each appointed by the Governor of Michigan, then approved by the Senate.

Operating on a large scale, the MGCB regulates all the states’ commercial casinos, horse racing, charitable gaming, as well as auditing tribal casinos’ Class III revenues. While the MGCB does not hold any authority over tribal casinos, they are instead regulated by a commission known as the National Indian Gaming Commission.

What does the MGCB actually do?

While the Michigan Gaming Control Board takes on a difficult task in trying to regulate all the betting activities in the state, their job is actually simple on a base level. Should an online or land-based casino fail to meet the high standards set out by the MGCB, the board has the right to revoke the gambling license handed to them. Backed by the State Police, Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, and the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, there is plenty of support for the work carried out by the board.

The result of this is the online casino or sportsbook will lose its legal status and its reputation will plunder. To continue operating, the service must prove itself again. As applying for and obtaining a gambling license doesn’t come cheap, only reputable, determined, and profitable platforms are capable of maintaining one.

We should mention that the MGCB does not regulate or oversee gambling activities relating to the state lottery and charitable gaming. Rather, these are both regulated by the Michigan Lottery.

The Difference Between Legal & Illegal Operators 

The temptation of joining an offshore, illegal operator is always there as an online bettor. For one, they can occasionally be easier to access compared to regulated entities. This is because they don’t require, or feel obliged to ensure, that players are all of the legal gambling age. Moreover, offshore operators don’t care whether or not the customer is exactly who they say they are.

On the contrary, domestic operators are forced by regulators to develop ways to check the legitimacy of all the information provided by customers. In doing this, platforms can ensure the validity of customers’ data and in turn, protect minors and those suffering from problem gambling.

Therefore, we’ll always recommend that players stick with legal, domestic operators that have clear messaging regarding their licenses, regulatory oversight, and how they protect their customers. By sticking with your local, legal online casinos and sportsbooks, you are:

  • Protecting your information
  • Playing at a legal site
  • Boosting revenue for education and more

On top of that, the games published at domestic and legal sites are tested rigorously. Doing so promotes fairness and equality of opportunity for each bettor that indulges in betting activities on the website, while also improving the overall quality of games since they’re not developed just for profit, but entertainment too.

Types of Gambling in Michigan - Laws & Operators

Michigan caters to bettors of various interests and for that reason, it’s one of our favorite states to recommend to intrigued players. There are, of course, some laws in place to prevent illegal activity. In turn, this does mean Michigan isn’t quite a free-for-all, but rather, it’s more of a safe haven for gambling fun.

Below you’ll find an overview of each of the best gambling categories in Michigan.

Sports Betting in Michigan

Having taken their first bets on January 22nd, 2021, sportsbooks in Michigan have only grown in stature since. Revenue has been through the roof, with each of the original eight establishments boasting millions of dollars in profit within days. Considering the sheer number of sports available for bettors in Michigan, we’re not particularly shocked at the wide demand during these early days.

Some sports that you can bet on in Michigan today include:

  • NFL
  • NHL
  • Soccer
  • MLB
  • Golf
  • MMA

Unlike many other states that offer sports betting, wagering on college events is legal in MI. This is great news for anyone invested in popular amateur, collegiate-level sporting event contests. However, there are restrictions in place regarding high-school-level sports betting - as is the case in every other state with legal sports gambling. Some platforms that offer sports wagering are DraftKings, FanDuel Sportsbook, and William Hill.

There are few aspects of the sports industry that bettors aren’t allowed to bet on in Michigan, so the only other thing we should mention is that sports betting is expected to bring in around $20million in revenue in the form of tax. This money will be used to invest in the community in ways that will benefit everyone. 

Online Casino in Michigan

Much like its sports betting counterpart, the online casino industry has been booming since its inception in Michigan not too long ago. Having burst onto the scene in January 2021, online casinos have expanded in numbers with thirteen in total now available for users to create accounts with.

Notably, the likes of Golden Nugget Casino, BetMGM, FanDuel, and Stars Casino have started taking on customers from the Great Lakes State. These are household names in the online casino gaming business, with plenty of customers enjoying everything they can offer right now.

To create an account with any of the best online casino sites in MI, users must be at least 21 years old. Moreover, all players are required to be a resident in the state at the time of setting up their account. Apart from these few restrictions and rules, there’s very little stopping bettors from wagering the way they want to in Michigan. This is thanks to the freedom provided by the Lawful Internet Gaming Act, signed a couple of years ago.

Players at online casinos in Michigan are free to indulge in any of their best-loved genres and titles, including:

  • Blackjack
  • Live Casino games
  • Poker
  • Roulette
  • Slots

Poker in Michigan

There’s not very much to be said about poker in Michigan other than the fact that it’s entirely legal. Following the signing of the Lawful Internet Gaming Act, most popular forms of gambling in the US were permitted in the state by law, and poker was no exception.

Nowadays, bettors are able to visit their local licensed casino and check out the many poker rooms available or try their hand at online poker by signing up with PokerStars or BetMGM - the only two currently operational online poker rooms within Michigan. At the time of writing, BetMGM is the top-dog when it comes to revenue despite setting up shop two months after PokerStars MI.

Unfortunately for anyone seeking to play against players in other states, Michigan is yet to put pen to paper on the MSIGA. If MI does join the MSIGA, users will be able to compete in cash games and tournaments against people from New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware.

Lottery in Michigan

Anyone interested in participating in the state lottery can do so by visiting the Michigan Lottery website or by downloading the mobile app, available for iOS and Android. Here, users are greeted with various exciting games like instant scratch cards, draws, jackpots, and the different types of lotteries, too.

At the MI Lottery app and site, users can purchase tickets for the Mega Millions jackpot, Powerball, and Lotto 47 - the latter of which is the state lottery itself. All of this makes Michigan one of the most open states in terms of allowing users to buy lottery tickets and access lotto games, as many other areas in the US restrict users from doing so. It’s also important to remember that the minimum age limit for lottery games is just 18 in Michigan.

Bingo in Michigan

A fun game to play with friends or family, bingo has enjoyed something of a comeback in Michigan recently. Dissimilar to quite a number of other states in the country, bingo isn’t totally outlawed in MI, and nonprofit organizations can obtain licenses allowing them to offer bingo services.

To begin operating bingo games, charitable organizations must acquire a Michigan charitable gaming license. Instead of just offering one version of this license, there are three different types. Although it may seem confusing, it actually helps bingo halls and nonprofit organizations to better identify with what they are trying to provide.

Here are the three types of bingo licenses available in Michigan:

  • Large Bingo License: Licensee can hold one bingo event each week and prizes are limited to just over $1,000. Progressive jackpot games are allowed.
  • Special Bingo License: The licensee is permitted to provide up to seven bingo events in a row, while prizes are limited to $1,100 for every game and $3,300 per session. Progressive jackpots cannot be operated under this license.
  • Small Bingo License: For smaller games. Licensees can hold one bingo event per week with prizes up to $25 per game and $300 for every session. Like the Special Bingo license, progressive jackpot games are prohibited.

Bingo can also be a big part of the lives of those living in care homes, and in this instance, there’s no requirement for a license. Bingo events may be held by groups, homes, and clubs for those aged 60 and above without needing to obtain a license. The difference here is that the game is solely for fun and nobody makes any money from it.

Horse Racing in Michigan

To wager on the biggest sports events from Michigan, bettors can venture to a racetrack or visit one of the online betting sites that offer such services. Unsurprisingly, TVG dominates the horse racing betting scene in MI, just as it does virtually everywhere else it’s available.

For those looking to find an atmospheric experience with other people by checking out a live racetrack, there’s only really one place to visit. Northville Downs is the sole remaining racetrack present in Michigan, with each of the other tracks all shutting down as the sport’s popularity waned over the years.

To add salt to the wounds of horse racing enthusiasts, Northville Downs has been forced to find a new home as the track was recently purchased by a company specializing in developing houses - so you can probably see what their plans are for the track. Considering horse racing was the first-ever form of legalized gambling in Michigan in 1933, the current state of affairs is somewhat sad.

Nevertheless, horse racing remains available online for punters in MI, so be sure to visit any of the available betting sites and apps to remain updated with the latest horse racing action. 

Legal Online Sportsbooks in Michigan

Finding the right sportsbook for all your betting needs can be tough, but there’s no need to worry. In this section, we’ve outlined all the important information regarding Michigan’s online sportsbooks so you can decide whether or not they’re for you.

Whether you’re into soccer or MMA, basketball or baseball, MI’s various sportsbooks are open to users of all interests. As a result, we can happily recommend you check out any one of the following licensed, legal online sports betting sites in Michigan.

DraftKings Sportsbook MI

Partnered with the Bay Mills Indian Community, DraftKings boasts a wide variety of sports betting options. With the sportsbook, users have the choice between NFL, NHL, MLB, and much more. On top of that, there are multiple offers on display throughout the years - for both new and existing customers alike.

The downloadable mobile app adds a whole new layer of immersion for customers, and with so many ways to pay, pretty much everyone can get in on the fun. What’s more is that DraftKings offers a live betting feature, bringing users closer to the action they know and love.

William Hill Sportsbook MI

You’ll find promotions that are updated on a weekly basis at William Hill. In doing so, the site keeps users on their toes and ensures that there’s never a dull moment while playing on the platform. Being one of Michigan’s most popular sports betting websites, there’s a lot of pressure on William Hill to perform, and that they do.

An app for iOS and Android devices lets users bet on the go, while the desktop site is jam-packed with cool features such as the ability to place all kinds of bets like parlays, teasers, and moneylines, while also putting forward the opportunity to deposit instantly across a whole host of payment methods.

BetMGM Sportsbook MI

Much like the two sportsbooks already mentioned, BetMGM has some thrilling promotions all year round. Although they may not be updated as consistently compared to the others we’ve spoken about so far, but the rewards are just as good.

Payment methods include the likes of:

  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • Mastercard
  • Visa

This means that users aren’t left out in the cold if their method of payment fails at a different betting site. With BetMGM, there are plenty of ways to pay and as a result, more than enough ways to withdraw your winnings.

BetMGM also has an in-play live betting feature, letting users wager on their preferred outcomes during a particular sports event. If this isn’t your sort of thing, not to worry. BetMGM supports all the standard betting types too, like parlays and moneylines.

FanDuel Sportsbook MI

FanDuel was established in 2018 and made its way to Michigan in 2021, having already made a name for itself in the US. With many sports on show at the site, like darts, soccer, NFL, amongst others, we weren’t surprised to hear that the online sportsbook was doing well for itself following its opening in Michigan.

Bettors can use PayPal, eCheck, PayNearMe, and credit/debit cards to process deposits on the platform. In doing so, users have an easy, accessible way to start betting on the site. To add to that, there’s also a downloadable mobile app for iOS and Android devices that provides the same coverage and features found on the desktop version, just on a smaller screen.

Partnered with MotorCity Casino, the online sportsbook officially set up its business in the state of Michigan on February 22nd, 2021.

Golden Nugget Sportsbook MI

There are more than enough reasons to sign up with Golden Nugget. Right off the bat, we noticed that the site offers a wide range of promotions, a slick mobile app, decent betting odds, and much more. To begin playing at the site, simply deposit using any of the following:

  • PayNearMe
  • PayPal
  • Mastercard
  • E-Check
  • Visa

One of the most popular bonuses at the site is the Reload Bonus. With this boost, users are rewarded for depositing again after the initial deposit. Golden Nugget provides a fantastic offer in this department, and it can be incredibly handy if you’re a newbie to the world of sports betting.

Some sports found at Golden Nugget are soccer, NHL, NFL, MLB, MMA, NASCAR, and Hockey. There are also betting options available for other sports, including a live betting feature for a large variety of action.

WynnBet Sportsbook MI

WynnBet is a household name in the world of not just sports betting, but gambling as an industry. Now, the entity has made a home for itself in MI, allowing bettors from the state to wager on their favorite sports events. Notable sports that WynnBet provides odds for are the following:

  • WNBA
  • NFL
  • NBA
  • Soccer (EPL, MLS)
  • UFC
  • Golf (PGA)

To get started, users at WynnBet will need to deposit funds into their account wallets. This can be done via Visa, Mastercard, Play+ Card, and PayPal. All deposit options can be used to withdraw funds, which isn’t something available everywhere. If you run into any issues, be sure to contact the friendly customer support that’s available most of the year.

PointsBet Sportsbook MI

A betting company native to Australia, PointsBet has enjoyed major success since arriving on the scene. By partnering with the Northern Waters Casino the platform was able to commit to creating an impressive website in Michigan, and here users will stumble into many different exciting opportunities to win big at the touch of a button.

Creating an account is easy and can be done in a matter of minutes as long as you’ve got all the necessary information nearby. Not just that, but there are plenty of popular payment methods that can be used to process deposits and withdrawals on the site and app. As a whole, PointsBet is a solid choice when it comes to online sports betting in MI.

FoxBet Sportsbook MI

By operating under the license obtained by TSG (The Stars Group), FoxBet is owned by professional people that know exactly how to make a fun, rewarding betting site. To start off, the site allows for a wide range of the most-used payment methods, including:

  • Neteller
  • Skrill
  • E-check
  • Visa
  • Bank Transfer

Regarding the types of wagers bettors are allowed to make, there are simply too many to name. Customers may select between Soccer, NFL, NHL, NFL, and many more. In total, there are almost 15 sports markets open for action as we speak. 

Legal Online Casinos in MI

Here, you’ll find all the available online casinos currently operating in Michigan. If they’re legal, licensed, and provide a solid experience for customers, we’ll have a small section written on them below. Without waiting any longer, let’s dive into the most important elements of each online casino open for business in MI.

Golden Nugget Casino MI

Arguably best known for a wide range of thrilling online casino games, Golden Nugget is one of our personal favorites in Michigan’s online casino industry. By forming an alliance with Ojibwa Casino, Golden Nugget’s latest branch in the US has been a successful one, with customers arriving in huge numbers consistently. To begin playing at Golden Nugget, it’s important to have one of their permitted payment methods at your disposal:

  • Visa/Mastercard
  • E-check
  • Bank Transfer
  • E-wallet
  • PayNearMe
  • Prepaid Card

In using any one of these payment methods at the site, you’ll be free to enjoy everything Golden Nugget can offer. This includes a vast array of slots, live casino games, video poker iterations, and much more. With almost 1000 games in its library, there’s certainly no shortage in terms of games available at Golde Nugget.

FanDuel Online Casino MI

You’d be forgiven for thinking FanDuel is just a sportsbook or DFS site as that’s where most bettors invest their money on the platform, however, the online casino on offer is more than capable of holding its own against the very best.

At FanDuel’s online casino in Michigan, users will encounter various versions of the greatest slot games around, live casino fun, blackjack, roulette, and even baccarat. In all, FanDuel totals more than 300 online casino games - a mighty feat for a site predominantly known for other ventures.

To pay, users can utilize Mastercard, prepaid cards, E-wallets, and more. To make withdrawing smooth and time-efficient, we recommend that users deposit using the card/banking method they plan on taking money out of their account wallets with.

So, if you’re a fiend for video poker, love banking-made-easy, and want to try out some of the top online casino games in Michigan, visit FanDuel today.

BetMGM Online Casino MI

Now open to bettors in Michigan, BetMGM is arguable the most popular online betting site in the US as a whole. With loads of welcome offers constantly being updated, truckloads of games to choose from, and many payment methods making the site incredibly accessible for all there’s little stopping rookies from enjoying BetMGM.

The downloadable app works on iOS and Android devices, while desktop users may use the platform via their browser. There are well over 400 games in total, ranging from video poker releases, slots, table games, and many other genres. On top of that, BetMGM’s selection when it comes to Live Casino fun is extensive. In turn, users are free to indulge in live action from the comfort of their homes in an atmospheric virtual setting.

DraftKings Online Casino MI

By merging their online casino and sportsbook, DraftKings creates a unique way for online bettors to enjoy their favorite ways to wager. At the online casino site, users will be greeted with open arms by a handy welcome offer, while payment methods are found in excess. Subsequently, it’s easy to get started on DraftKings, and utilizing the special offers available is simple.

Some of the payment methods found on the site include:

  • Gift Cards
  • Mastercard
  • Visa
  • Online bank transfer
  • PayPal

The games have been put together by a team of experts, with the likes of IGT, Evolution Gaming, Games Lab, and others all on the website. Titles are added every month, giving a new look feel to the online casino consistently.

WynnBet Online Casino MI

After arriving in Michigan in January 2021, WynnBet has garnered interest from all corners of the state. By signing a lengthy deal with GAN, the big-name casino & resort had pressure heaped on top of it upon the grand opening. The site has more than met the high expectations, though, with bags of cash being won all the time by customers.

Quite simply, the selection of games at WynnBet is sensational. On the site, users will discover loads of enthralling releases along with a variety of genres, such as:

  • Blackjack
  • Roulette
  • Slots
  • Table games
  • Poker
  • Baccarat

Available payment methods on the site include Visa and Mastercard, as well as prepaid cards and Global Pay options.

Stars Online Casino MI

That’s right, Stars isn’t just all about poker! The site also has a collective bunch of exciting casino games that can be accessed by taking a short trip to the online casino section of their website. It shouldn’t be hard to find if you’re already a member of one of the Stars poker rooms, and it’s definitely worth checking out.

Below is a list of some notable types of games found at the Stars Casino:

  • Card Games
  • Table Games
  • Slots
  • Video Poker

In all, the site is packed with almost 200 slot games and several games across the other genres. The popular slot, Starburst, is found at Stars online casino, and some other favorites can be found at the site too. The best part about all this is that it’s so easy to get started due to the vast array of payment methods, like e-check, e-wallets, and more.

BetRivers Online Casino MI

Existing customers at BetRivers online casino will already be well aware of the tremendous welcome offers on show at the site, along with some intriguing promotions open to registered users. The app, as expected, is found on the Google Play Store and iOS App Store, where users of both hardware can download it free of charge.

The app has pretty much every feature you’ll come across on the site itself. The difference is you can now wager on the move - whether that’s at work, at home, or with friends and anything in between. Deposits are possible via these methods:

  • E-check
  • Play+ Card
  • In-Person at BetRivers Casino
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Wire Transfer
  • PayNearMe

With around 200 games and hundreds of slots, there are plenty of reasons to sign up with BetRivers MI online casino. If you’re into blackjack, roulette, video poker, or baccarat, you’ll find something to enjoy here.

FAQs

Can you gamble online in Michigan?

Yes! Gambling online in Michigan is entirely legal and incredibly fun.

What is the best online gambling site in Michigan?

This is all down to personal preference. We’d be inclined to say that any of the sites we’ve mentioned can be considered the best gambling sites in Michigan as they’re licensed, legal, and fair.

What is the legal gambling age in Michigan?

To play the lottery in MI, users must be at least 18 years old. When playing at tribal casinos in Michigan, you’ll find that the legal age varies from 18-21. In general, gambling in MI is limited to those aged 21 and over, though.

What is Michigan’s tax on gambling winnings?

All gambling winnings earned in Michigan are subject to a federal withholding tax of 24%, while the state of Michigan applies a blanket rate of 4.25% on all income.

Do I need to be a resident to bet in Michigan?

To bet in Michigan you must simply be within the states’ borders, not a resident. This allows visitors to gamble if they wish, which is great!

Can I gamble online from outside of Michigan?

No. Gambling online when not based from within MI’s state borders is illegal. To alleviate this problem users are required to download geolocation technology on their devices while playing.

Robert Miller

Robert Miller

Robert is responsible for all content on BettingGuide US. Robert previously worked as a poker dealer during his college years at MIT where he studied Computational Science and Engineering. With a great interest in gambling, Robert likes to go in-depth when writing so that you can make a wiser choice when choosing an operator.

Last updated: 10/18/2021