A Beginner’s Guide To Sports Betting Apps In Michigan

Written By Derek Helling on January 22, 2021

Legal sports betting apps are up and running in Michigan. While this initial wave will likely be followed by many more options, the first bunch of Michigan online sports betting sites represents some of the most popular online sportsbooks across the country.

While you can access some of these sportsbooks on desktop computers via their websites, mobile apps represent the best platform for convenience and functionality. Essentially, the sportsbook goes everywhere you are. Just follow these easy steps and you’ll be browsing the Michigan online sports betting markets in no time.

1. Pick your app: best Michigan sports betting apps 2021

Several online sportsbooks have mobile apps for use in the Great Lakes State. These include:

Unless you are loyal to one brand, you can register for multiple books in Michigan. This is a good idea if you plan on line shopping or like to hunt for the best value.

2. Choose your welcome bonus

Now comes the fun part. It’s time to take advantage of the best welcome offers in the industry. Sportsbooks usually give their biggest bonuses to first-time users and depositors. Below are a few of the best free bets and bonuses available in Michigan so far:

As long as you click the links above, you will have access to the welcome bonus mentioned. Keep that in mind when you make your first deposit.

3. Download, register, and log in

Once you’ve selected a sportsbook (or sportsbooks) you want to try, it’s time to download the app and register for an account. Most apps in Michigan have both an iOS and Android version available. Desktop versions are also available.

At this point, if you are registering via a desktop browser, you will be asked to download and install geolocation software. This is required in order for the sportsbook to verify that you are inside the state when you bet. If you are downloading the app on a phone or tablet, be sure to allow the sportsbook to use your location in the device settings.

After the app installs, the next step is to register. If you’ve played daily fantasy sports games on DraftKings and/or FanDuel, you can use the same credentials for the sportsbook. If the sportsbook needs any further information to verify your eligibility for sports betting, the app will advise you.

If you’re new to the book you’re signing up for, you’ll need to provide a few pieces of ID. This is not only for tax purposes, but so the sportsbook and you are both in compliance with all appropriate laws and regulations in Michigan. This data includes:

  • Date of birth
  • Email address
  • Last four digits of your Social Security Number
  • Legal name
  • Mailing address

Note that if you’re on a gambling self-exclusion list in MI or under 21 years of age, Michigan sportsbooks won’t accept your registration. You don’t have to live in MI to register for these books, however. You can sign up from anywhere.

4. Deposit and bet

You have your apps and bonuses ready to go, and you’ve signed up for an account. Now it’s time to deposit. Most Michigan sportsbook apps accept a variety of payment forms. Those may include:

  • ACH payments from a checking or savings account
  • Credit/debit cards
  • eChecks
  • PayPal

If you want to use cash, you have a few options, too. You can make a deposit by visiting retail sportsbooks connected to the online brands. For example, if you want to deposit on BetMGM Michigan, you can visit the MGM Grand Detroit casino cage. To take full advantage of its new customer match bonus of 100% up to $500, your first deposit might be $500. BetMGM would gift you with another $500.

Remember to watch your email and PlayMichigan for details on one-time promotions. Most often, they take the form of deposit matches and/or free bets.

After you’ve made your deposit and taken advantage of the promos, you’re ready to bet. If you’re not a Michigander, this is when you’ll need to visit the state. Michigan online gambling law says you have to be within the state’s borders when you place your wager.

What sports can I bet on in Michigan?

Legal online sportsbooks in Michigan offer a wide array of options. From the more popular pro sports leagues (NFL Championship Sunday, anyone?) to more obscure events around the world, the menu is quite varied. Additionally, there are many ways to bet each event. Here’s a shortlist of sports you can bet on in Michigan:

  • College basketball/football
  • MLB
  • NBA
  • NFL
  • NHL
  • PGA Tour
  • UEFA Champions League
  • WTA

In truth, making a list of events you can’t bet on would be easier. Here’s what is off the board at all sportsbooks in Michigan (online or on-site):

  • Any event or sport where the majority of participants are 18 or younger.
  • High school sports and athletics.

As long as the event fits regulatory and statutory parameters, it’s usually available. How many different markets you can find is somewhat up to each operator, however. Essentially, just because they can doesn’t mean they do.

Do I have to pay taxes on my sports betting winnings?

That depends on how much you win. The IRS considers all gambling winnings over $600 in a tax year as taxable income. The state of Michigan has the same standard. Remember, that’s a cumulative threshold throughout the year.

So, for example, if you win $200 in February while betting on the Super Bowl, then another $200 in March on an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game, then another $200 on the NBA Finals in July, that puts you at over $600 for the year.

Online sportsbooks typically withhold up to 25% for taxes from your winnings automatically. They also give you an annual statement of your activity each year to make this process easy.

Using Michigan sports betting apps is very simple once you understand how they work. Now that they’re available in MI, it’s time to get familiar with them. Just remember to always bet with your head, not over it.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Chicago, IL. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law. Recently, he has written about the expanded gambling industry in Michigan, including online sports betting, online casinos, and the cornerstone land-based casino market.

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