Michigan Legal Gambling Age Guide For Online & In Person
How old do you have to be to legally gamble in Michigan? The short answer is: it depends. That’s why it’s important to understand the Michigan legal gambling age requirements.
The Michigan online gambling age requirement is 21, but at several land-based tribal casinos, it is 18.
This comprehensive guide will explain how old you need to be to gamble in Michigan.
Gambling age in Michigan
The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) sets the regulations for the legal gambling age in Michigan in most cases. But there are exceptions.
If a gaming operator is commercially owned and is licensed with the MGCB, it must adhere to the 21+ age requirement. In addition, any federally recognized tribal nation that enters a partnership with a commercial sports betting or casino operator is also required to limit to 21 and over. That’s because the MGCB regulates those licenses.
These online betting platforms are available for consumers in Michigan aged 21+:
Examples are the BetRivers Michigan Casino app, the Caesars Palace MI Online Casino app, and the FanDuel Sportsbook MI and DraftKings Sportsbook Michigan betting apps.
Michigan casinos where gambling is allowed for 18+
The gambling age at these Michigan land-based casinos located on tribal-owned lands is 18 and up because they operate under federal agreements established many decades before Michigan laws:
- Bay Mills Casino, Brimley MI
- Island Resort Casino, Harris MI
- Kewadin Casinos, Christmas, Hessel, Manistique, Sault Ste. Marie and St. Ignace MI
- Leelanau Sands Casino, Peshawbestown MI
- Little River Casino Resort, Manistee MI
- Northern Waters Casino Resort, Watersmeet MI
- Ojibwa Casinos, Baraga and Marquette MI
- Saganing Eagles Landing Casino, Standish MI
- Soaring Eagle Casino Resort, Mount Pleasant MI
- Turtle Creek Casino, Williamsburg MI
These four Michigan casinos require patrons to be 21 and up to wager or enter gaming areas:
- FireKeepers Casino, Battle Creek MI
- Four Winds Casinos, Dowagiac, Hartford and New Buffalo MI
- Gun Lake Casino, Wayland MI
- Odawa Casino, Mackinaw City MI
That’s because those venues have relationships with commercial casino operators to handle gaming or part of their gaming operations.
Michigan casino with 19+ age requirement
Finally, Odawa Casino, located in Petoskey, requires patrons to be 19 years of age to place a bet. That facility is owned and operated by Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, which has a policy to require 19+ at that casino. Under federal law, tribal nations that operate gaming at their casino can set their age requirements, as long as it is not lower than 18.
Michigan land-based casinos with 21+ requirement
Casinos in Michigan may operate under different age limits.
The gambling age at Detroit-area casinos is 21. Those three casinos are MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino, and Hollywood Casino at Greektown. That’s because those casinos are regulated by rules set up by the MGCB.
Michigan Tribal Casinos gambling age: It’s complicated
The issue of sovereignty of tribes is closely tied to their ability to establish individual age limits that apply to casinos on their lands. But, those rules may seem contradictory.
In one case, consumers of a younger age can wager at a casino location but are not permitted to bet with casino apps online.
Students at Central Michigan University can visit and gamble at Soaring Eagle Casino Resort in Mount Pleasant when they are as young as 18. However, that same student cannot activate an online casino account. Of course, they could also not create an online sportsbook account in Michigan either. You must be 21 to create and wager with an online casino or sports betting app in the Great Lakes State.
Why the discrepancy?
It can be confusing to understand which age you have to be in Michigan to legally gamble. As we’ve outlined above, that may be 18, 19, or 21 years of age.
Why the discrepancy? It’s mostly due to the sovereignty of Michigan’s many tribal nations and their independence from the Michigan Gaming Control Board. Because the nations are sovereign, they are not governed by many state laws on their lands. That means the regulations on those lands are established through federal agreements, which are governed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Commercial operators, such as PENN Entertainment, Caesars, BetMGM, or DraftKings, fall under the auspices of state laws. Those companies must apply for an operator’s license associated with the activity they seek, whether it be online casino, sportsbook, poker, or operating a sportsbook in a casino. Those businesses are vetted and must pay a license fee to the State of Michigan. They are required to file reports with the MGCB, adhere to Responsible Gambling laws, and much more. Through this regulatory process, the MGCB can protect consumers in Michigan.
Michigan responsible gambling resources
If you want to bet safely, Michigan is the right place for you. The state takes Responsible Gambling seriously.
The information below can help you find everything you want to know about Michigan Responsible Gambling Resources:
- The Michigan Association on Problem Gambling’s helpline is 1-800-270-7117
- Michigan offers consumers the option to request a permanent ban from Detroit casinos by calling 1-888-223-3044 or filling out an online application.
- The can help you immediately if you or someone you love has a gambling addiction problem. Call to be connected to a counselor, or to access free resources.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board has an extensive list of responsible gambling resources on its website.