Sports betting is legal in Michigan.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a package of gambling expansion bills legalizing online casinos, online poker, and Michigan sports betting. Only existing Michigan casinos, including the three Detroit commercial and 23 tribal casinos across the state, have been or will be able to apply for a sports betting license.
Retail betting made its debut in Michigan in March 2020 and has been steadily expanding since that point. The online rollout has taken time as final details are being hammered out, but the official launch is expected November 2020.
A number of top sports betting apps have signed on for launch with a land-based partner, and anticipation is high on what they’ll bring to the table. This page will provide you with everything you need to know about online sports betting in Michigan, including bonus offers, how to download the apps, which betting sites are expected to launch, and more.
UPDATED: Oct. 28, 2020
Michigan and Michigan State are battling Saturday in Ann Arbor with the Wolverines coming in as heavy favorites.
Off the field, we are in a bit of a holding pattern until after next week’s elections. After that, expect updates fast and furiously. The Michigan Gaming Control Board is requesting the legislature move along the rules process and licensing continues. Online sports betting launch could come in November. The latest updates are here.
With four major professional sports teams and two Big Ten college sports programs, Michigan should be fertile ground for online sports betting.
The big question is when the latest retail sportsbook will launch and how long it will be before the first online betting apps follow suit. Here are our best-educated guesses on when each casino and online sportsbook partner are expected to go live:
|Brand||Partner||Projected Online Launch||Retail Launch|
|BetMGM Sportsbook||MGM Grand Detroit||November 2020||Opened March 11, 2020|
|BetRivers Sportsbook||Little River Band of the Ottawa Indians||When permitted||Opened July 17, 2020|
|DraftKings Sportsbook||Bay Mills Indian Community||Late 2020||Expected soon|
|FanDuel Sportsbook||MotorCity Casino||Late 2020||Opened March 12, 2020|
|FOX Bet Sportsbook||Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians||Late 2020||Opened Sept, 24 2020|
|PointsBet Sportsbook||Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians||Early 2021||Expected soon|
|William Hill Sportsbook||Grand Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians||When permitted||Opened Sept. 18, 2020|
|Barstool Sportsbook||Greektown Casino||Late 2020||Opened March 11, 2020 (temporary)|
|BetAmerica Sportsbook||Hannahville Indian Community||Late 2020||Opened Sept. 10, 2020|
|Golden Nugget Sports||Keweenaw Bay Indian Community||Early 2021||Expected in early 2021|
|Parx Casino||Gun Lake Tribe||Late 2020||Opened Oct. 3, 2020|
|TBD/FireKeepers Casino||Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Indians||Late 2020||Opened June 22, 2020|
|TBD/Four Winds Casino||Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians||Late 2020||Opened July 13, 2020|
|TBD/Soaring Eagle Casino||Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe||Late 2020||Expected soon|
|Wynn Sportsbook||Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians||Late 2020||Expected soon|
Michigan sports bettors will be able to place their bets online with several of the industry’s leading operators. Here’s the current list of who will be open for business soon.
DraftKings has emerged as a sports betting leader in all states entered to date. We expect the same story to come to pass here in Michigan. The platform is among the best in the industry and chock full of features. Among the biggest highlights is a live betting feature that makes staying on top of the action a snap. The odds and lines are competitive and in line with the overall market, and the company always seems to have some enticing proportional offerings going on.
The deal with Bay Mills Resort & Casino calls for a retail sportsbook bearing the DraftKings name. It’s expected to open sometime in the latter part of 2020.
FanDuel is another entity that has raced to the top of the charts in the legal states it has entered to date. The company appears poised to do the same thing here in Michigan. The online and mobile sportsbook gets high marks both for its aesthetic appeal and overall usability. FanDuel has become a popular destination due to its wealth of features. Among the top attractions is its single-game parlay offerings. FanDuel is also a big fan of offering up some extra bang for the buck with enticing promos, odds boosts, and featured bets.
The FanDuel retail sportsbook at MotorCity opened to much fanfare in March 2020. The two-story venue features dozens of HDTVs, a dedicated sports ticker, and a VIP area.
BetMGM wants to be a major player in online sports betting in Michigan. The company is off to a fantastic start. If you like a wide range of markets to bet on, then you’ll love BetMGM. All of the major sports are well represented, and you’ll find plenty of niche offerings as well. The platform isn’t quite as flashy as its competitors, but BetMGM does a really solid job with odds and lines. The company’s retail outlet will help it make some headway here in Michigan
The BetMGM Sports Lounge opened for business in March 2020. You’ll find 60 HDTVs and a full-service bar, as well as betting windows or self-service kiosks to place your bets.
BetRivers isn’t exactly known on a national scale, but that’s slowly starting to change. The company has expanded into a number of states to rave reviews. The sports betting site is easy to use while still being filled with features. Everything you need is at your fingertips, and there’s a lot to explore. One of the top highlights is the iRush Rewards program where you can earn points just for placing bets. BetRivers is in line to make some noise here in Michigan.
The River Rock Sportsbook & Grill first opened its doors in July 2020. You can dine in style and wager on the games at the same time without missing a beat.
Fox Sports and Flutter Entertainment (previously The Stars Group) have teamed up for a rather intriguing partnership. Fox Bet has garnered a lot of attention due to its ongoing promotional offerings, but there’s a lot more to see. The platform is actually really solid and offers plenty for bettors of all types. If you’re new to betting, you’ll find it easy to understand. For the experienced folks, there’s a good chance you’ll be pleased with the competitive odds and lines.
Odawa Casino Resort took the wraps off of a sportsbook lounge in September 2020. There’s betting window service every day, as well as 24/7 access to self-serve kiosks. There’s also betting kiosks at the satellite location in Mackinaw City.
PointsBet made its US debut in 2019. The company has been continually expanding since that time. The launch of PointsBet in Michigan is right around the corner. The company is geared towards the sports bettor, and that shows in its competitive odds and promo offerings such as no juice bets and odds boosts. If you’re looking for a spot that makes it easy to get started while offering up everything you need to get down to business, then PointsBet is a great place to check out.
A retail sportsbook is expected to open at the property in the latter part of 2020.
Golden Nugget is best known for its casino properties in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. The company is also a big player in online casino gaming. It hopes to have the same story develop in sports betting. Golden Nugget has a pretty solid web and mobile platform, so there is a lot to like from a usability standpoint. The company has a lot of ground to make up in order to gain on market leaders, so it’ll be interesting to see how that translates into promotional offerings here in Michigan.
A retail sportsbook is expected to open at the property in the early part of 2021.
One of the biggest sports betting names from across the pond has been making some solid headway here in the US. William Hill offers up a solid online and mobile platform that features a great selection of betting markets, all of the bet types you need, and lines that are in line with the market. The ongoing promo selections aren’t quite as stellar as what you’ll find elsewhere, but William Hill is a trusted brand name that knows what it’s doing with sports betting.
The Onyx Sportsbook by William Hill cut the ribbon in September 2020. Visitors will find HDTVs throughout, a full-service bar, and an outdoor patio.
A lot is expected from Barstool Sportsbook. The popular media company has hooked up with Penn National to enter the sports betting space. The first Barstool app launched in Pennsylvania. Early returns have been very promising, but we’ll have to see if a massive social media presence translates into ongoing users. Barstool and Penn have a number of states on the to-do list with Michigan at the top of the charts. We’ll keep a watchful eye on this new kid on the block in the future.
A temporary sportsbook opened up at Greektown Casino in March 2020. Construction on the permanent book bearing the Barstool name is in progress. It is tentatively scheduled to open in late November 2020.
Fans of horse racing and online casino gaming have likely heard the name BetAmerica. The company also offers up sports betting to complete the trifecta. Overall, the platform is good and offers up what you would expect from a sportsbook. However, those who like a little more glitz may be disappointed. BetAmerica could also do a better job with promotional and bonus offerings, so we’ll patiently wait and see if they have anything special in store for Michigan.
A retail BetAmerica Sportsbook opened for business in September 2020. There are a bar and grill on-site and both window and kiosk service to place your bets.
Parx is a big name in the Pennsylvania market which has designs on expanding to more locales. The company has linked arms with a tribal casino here in Michigan to help do so. The retail outlet recently opened its doors, while the online launch is expected to happen before the end of the year. Based on the web and mobile offering in PA, Parx should be a solid spot, but we’ll wait and see if it does anything special on the promotional front in the new market.
The Stage 131 Sportsbook opened in Oct. 2020. There’s food and drink service available, as well as plenty of TVs and both kiosk and window service for wagering.
Online and mobile sports betting is poised to be a huge part of the Michigan sports betting market. In New Jersey, more than 80% of sports betting is now conducted using mobile devices, and there’s no reason why the same thing won’t ultimately happen in Michigan.
Like other states where sports betting has been legalized, retail sportsbooks came first to Michigan. The licensing process for online and mobile wagering will take a little longer and is undoubtedly more complicated than retail.
Retail sportsbooks are really more of an extension of what casinos already offer. Launching a mobile sports betting app requires platform certification and board approval for processes such as geofencing and age verification. Ultimately, online and mobile sports betting will go live in Michigan, and it will be available statewide to anyone 21 and older.
Outside of being able to bet from anywhere with internet access, one of the big differences between betting at a retail sportsbook versus a mobile sports betting app is the need to set up an account. Michigan mobile sports betting apps will make signing up for an account an easy process, however. The apps will require just a minimal amount of standard information, including your name, address, date of birth, email, and the last few digits of your Social Security number. This is to ensure you are at least 21 years of age.
Fortunately, signing up to a sports betting site in Michigan can be done from wherever you have access to the internet.
You’ll also need to get some money on the app to bet with. However, Michigan betting apps will make this an easy process as well by accepting everything from credit and debit cards to online third-party payment processors such as PayPal and cash through various retail locations around the state.
The fastest-growing segment of the US sports betting industry is in-play betting. These are bets on a game made after the match has started.
They rely on timely, accurate data that is only available to regulated legal sports betting providers. This means that illegal offshore sports betting sites cannot offer any competition to the legal in-game betting of regulated operators. If you currently bet at an offshore site, in-game betting is a great reason to change, as soon as Michigan gets legal sports betting up and running.
Live betting provides much more fan engagement than old-fashioned sports betting. Bettors can wager on a whole range of events from what the score will be at the next break in play, to who will score the next touchdown.
Most standard betting options such as point spreads, totals, and moneylines are available as in-game betting options. Plus, there is a range of betting markets specific to in-game betting.
You can bet on the result of the next at-bat in pro baseball, who will score a certain number of points first in the Detroit Lions game, and a wide variety of other sport-specific things via odds that change throughout the game.
However, in-game odds and prop bets for college sports are not allowed at this time. Team-based props are OK, but the MGCB has yet to approve live betting on college sports.
Before placing a bet on a Michigan online sports betting app, you will need to fund your account. This will be a safe and simple process with legal online sports betting operators who will undoubtedly ensure there are many ways to deposit and withdraw funds.
Methods in use in other states include:
Generally, the way you make a deposit will be the same way you can make a withdrawal from Michigan sports betting apps. Although not all deposit methods can be used to withdraw your winnings. If that’s the case, the app will find an alternative that may include a check in the mail.
In most cases, withdrawals can be made instantly, as simple and easy financial transactions and security for your money are hallmarks of legal and regulated gaming across the US.
Michigan law states “sports betting includes, but is not limited to, single-game bets, teaser bets, parlays, over-under, moneyline, pools, exchange betting, in-game betting, in-play bets, proposition bets, and straight bets.”
That means Michigan sportsboks will take the following types of bets:
The sports betting bill gives regulatory powers to a new sports betting division of the MGCB. The law text itself doesn’t specify a list of sports so the final decision on whether you can bet on any particular game will be up to the MGCB.
Some jurisdictions do specify the sports, so Michigan is off to a good start. The MGCB is likely to impose some restrictions although these will probably have to do with college sports involving local teams.
The tribal casino sportsbooks currently are offering more sports and markets to bet on than Detroit casinos. For Detroit, here’s a list of what sports are available for you to bet on:
Nevertheless, there will be more than enough opportunities to bet on the top US sports. And there are many ways to place your bets.
The days of sports betting operating in the shadows are in the past. The industry continues to go mainstream as additional states come online with legal and regulated betting.
On a national scale, betting used to only be referred to with a wink and nod on sports-related programming. Today, it’s commonplace to hear chatter about what the oddsmakers have to say and what teams need to do to cover the spread. Commercials are everywhere during the game, but attempts to draw attention to operators don’t stop there. The floodgates have opened on sports betting-related partnerships with teams, and it’s happening right here on a local level.
Back in July, PointsBet and the Detroit Tigers joined forces for a deal that was the first of its kind for MLB. The multi-year deal calls for PointsBet to receive exposure via the team’s TV and online presence, and there will also be integration on the app front and in the stadium at Comerica Park.
In September, the Detroit Lions chose BetMGM as its official sports betting partner. That translates into in-stadium, digital, and TV promotions for the sports betting company, as well as an MGM Grand Detroit Tunnel Club at Ford Field. This is another multi-year deal which should produce dividends for both sides.
As of now, the Detroit Pistons and Detroit Red Wings have yet to ink official deals with sports betting companies, but it wouldn’t be stunning to see it happen soon.
The University of Colorado recently joined forces with sports betting, so it’ll be interesting to see if that starts a new wave on the college front. If so, there’s plenty of possibilities via Michigan, Michigan State, and other smaller programs across the state.
There are nine retail sportsbooks opened in Michigan. Three are at the state’s commercial casinos, all in Detroit. Another is at FireKeepers Casino, a tribal property in Battle Creek that opened the state’s first tribal casino sportsbook in June.
Three Four Winds Casinos opened sportsbooks in July with Little River Casino Resort in Manistee opening its River Rock Sportsbook & Grill later the same week. In September of 2020, Island Resort & Casino in Harris opened the first Upper Peninsula sportsbook.
The licensed casinos have sports betting licenses to operate retail sportsbooks and will be able to apply or online and mobile sportsbooks licenses later. They can also legally partner with a sports betting operator to provide sports betting services.
Each casino operator, however, may only launch one sports betting brand, whether it’s a partner’s brand or its own. They also can link up with an online poker and online casino brand.
The three Detroit casinos are:
The Greektown Casino is operated by Penn National Gaming. Penn owns casinos in several states, including its home state of Pennsylvania, where it is already in the sports betting business.
Penn’s primary sports betting partner at its Hollywood Casino at Penn National Racecourse in PA is William Hill. Penn National Gaming also calls DraftKings, PointsBet and FOX Bet partners in other states.
Greektown opened its temporary sportsbook on March 11, 2020, and plans to build its permanent one, branded by Barstool Sports, in the middle of the casino floor. During the nearly five months of closure during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, construction began on the permanent sportsbook.
Penn National plans to launch the Barstool Sportsbook app in September 2020, launching first in Pennsylvania. Michigan’s online gambling operations will launch later.
Sports betting supplier Kambi is the technology partner for Greektown. Kambi’s Bet Builder function allows players to make bets from home, though the bets have to be placed at the physical sportsbook using a QR code obtained on the website.
MGM Grand Detroit unveiled its BetMGM Sportsbook on March 11, 2020, the first day it was permitted statewide.
MGM is one of the biggest names in the US casino business, and, in particular, Las Vegas. The company calls the UK’s GVC its online gambling partner in the US. The pair’s joint venture, Roar Digital, operates using the BetMGM brands around the country, with sports betting operations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
MGM Grand Detroit rebranded Moneyline Sports Lounge as BetMGM Sports Lounge for the launch.
After nearly five months of closure because of the coronavirus, MGM Grand Detroit reopened on Aug. 7, 2020.
MotorCity Casino unveiled its FanDuel Sportsbook on March 12, 2020, one day after its Detroit competitors unveiled their sportsbooks.
Detroit Lions legend Barry Sanders was on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and made the first bets.
Because of the partnership with FanDuel, the casino avoided conflict of interest challenges from its owner, Little Caesars Pizza billionaire Marian Ilitch. Ilitch owns the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers.
After nearly five months of COVID-19 closure, the casino reopened on Aug. 5, 2020. The FanDuel Sportsbook reopened two days later.
Many of Michigan’s 23 tribal casinos are putting together plans to launch their own retail sportsbooks with one already live.
Several tribes already have sports betting listed under the Class III games they are already permitted to offer in compacts with the state. These tribes don’t require approval from the Michigan Gaming Control Board to launch retail sportsbooks on tribal land and could be ready to launch at any time.
Six retail sportsbooks at tribal casinos have opened, with others estimating a summer or fall of 2020 launch.
FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek opened Dacey’s Sportsbook on June 22, 2020, the state’s first for a tribe.
Four Winds followed in July with sportsbooks at their three southwest Michigan locations, including a ceremonial first bet from Chicago Bears legend Steve McMichael.
Later that week, Little River opened its book in conjunction with BetRivers and Rush Street Interactive.
On Sept. 10, Island Resort & Casino launched its BetAmerica Sportsbook on the first day of the 2020 NFL season.
Even those that don’t have sports betting listed as a Class III game can ask Whitmer to amend their compacts. The Michigan Lawful Sports Betting Act includes language giving the governor 60 days from the day the law came into effect to do that.
Tribes that want to launch online and mobile sportsbooks available to gamblers statewide will need to apply for a traditional Michigan sports betting license. These operations will be subject to the same 8.4% sports betting tax and licensing fees as other license holders.
Detroit’s casinos have to pay an additional city tax of 1.25% on sports betting revenue.
The percentage the state will get from any tribe launching retail sports betting as a Class III game depends on the tribe’s individual compact with the state.
The state has compacts with 12 Michigan-based tribes covering all 23 tribal casinos. However, only seven of the compacts include language in which the tribes agree to pay between 2% and 12% of gaming revenue to the state. All 12 compacts include language with Michigan tribal casinos agreeing to pay 2% of revenue from gaming to local governments.
Here’s a list of tribes and tribal casinos that have publicly expressed an interest in Michigan sports betting to date:
(Bay Mills Casino and Kings Club Casino, Brimley)
Announced a partnership with DraftKings Sportsbook as the tribe’s mobile sports betting operator. The Boston company also plans to open a retail sportsbook at Bay Mills Resort & Casino in Brimley. Supported Michigan sports betting legislation.
(Leelanau Sands Casino, Peshawbestown, and Turtle Creek Casino, Williamsburg)
The tribe has partnered with William Hill to operate its online sportsbooks. The Onyx Sports Book by William Hill retail sportsbook at Turtle Creek opened Sept. 18, 2020, as well as a satellite location at Leelanau Sands. Former Bad Boy Rick Mahorn of the Pistons was on hand for the grand opening ceremony on Sept. 23.
(Island Resort and Casino, Harris)
Opened the BetAmerica Sportsbook on Sept. 10, 2020, the first retail book in the Upper Peninsula. The tribe and the Churchill Downs brand also announced a partnership for online sports betting and online casino.
(Ojibwa Casinos in Baraga and Marquette)
Plans to open a sportsbook. The tribe has a partnership with Golden Nugget Online Gaming for its online casino and sportsbook offerings.
(Northern Waters Casino in Watersmeet)
Entered into an agreement with Australian-based US sportsbook operator PointsBet to run its statewide online and mobile sports wagering and gaming operation in exchange for market access fees and a portion of net gaming revenues. In negotiations with PointsBet to build a retail sportsbook. Supported Michigan sports betting legislation.
(Little River Casino in Manistee)
Opened a sportsbook called River Rock Sportsbook & Grill in July 2020. The casino also formed a partnership with Rush Street Interactive in June. The deal allows online access for RSI brand BetRivers to enter the Michigan market and arranges for RSI to operate the retail sportsbook.
(Odawa Casino Resorts in Petoskey, Mackinaw City)
Inked a deal with The Stars Group, which runs the FOX Bet sportsbook in the US in partnership with broadcast giant FOX Sports, giving it first-skin market access for all online gambling verticals in Michigan, including sports betting. The flagship Odawa Casino location in Petoskey opened Victories Sports & Entertainment for sports betting on Sept. 24, 2020. The Mackinaw City location opened betting terminals on Oct. 2, 2020.
Though FOX Bet and FanDuel are now both under the Flutter umbrella, the company plans to operate both brands for sports betting.
(Gun Lake Casino in Wayland)
Announced a partnership with Parx Casino in Pennsylvania, owned by Greenwood Racing Inc., for its sportsbook operations and online gaming site. Starting Oct. 3, 2020, sports bets can be placed at the new betting counter inside Stage 131 bar or at self-serve kiosks located throughout Gun Lake Casino. Supported Michigan sports betting legislation.
(FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek)
FireKeepers Casino launched the state’s first tribal retail book, opening Dacey’s Sportsbook on June 22, 2020. The casino plans to brand its online casino and sports betting app as the FireKeepers name with Scientific Games serving as its technology partner. The tribe also was pitched by Churchill Downs (BetAmerica), DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, Rush Street Interactive and William Hill. Supported Michigan sports betting legislation.
(Four Winds Casinos in Dowagiac, Hartford and New Buffalo)
Opened sportsbooks at each Michigan casino in July 2020. The tribe also operates at Four Winds Casino in South Bend, IN. Sports betting is permitted in Indiana but its not up and running at Four Winds because a change needs to be made with the tribe’s compact with the state.
(Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, Mount Pleasant, and Saganing Eagles Landing & Hotel, Standish)
Soaring Eagle sports bar Ascend will have 10 betting kiosks installed. There also will be kiosks at the Soaring Eagle Slot Palace across the street from Soaring Eagle in Mount Pleasant. At Saganing Eagles Landing in Standish, the Creekside Lounge will become a sportsbook. The tribe has not yet announced a partner for the venture. Supported Michigan sports betting legislation.
(Kewadin Casinos in Christmas, Hessel, Manistique, Sault Ste. Marie and St. Ignace)
Plans to open sportsbooks, partnering with GAN for retail sports betting and online casinos, along with Wynn Resorts. Wynn Sports and Wynn Online Casino should launch when online gambling comes live. There are no sportsbooks yet at the five Kewadin location in the Upper Peninsula.
Regular players at any of the Michigan casinos will know all about the casino VIP schemes. These offer benefits based on how much players play. For high stakes and regular players the benefits can be very valuable ranging from free parking through to free rooms and meals.
The online operators shortly to arrive in Michigan do very much the same sort of thing. They work quite simply. When you bet you earn points proportional to the amount you bet and your status in the VIP scheme.
Points can then be exchanged in an online store for benefits including merchandise, extra bonuses or free bets. Free bets are just as they say; the online operator gives you a free bet on a game. If you win, you keep the winnings, if you lose, no money comes out of your account.
Over time, these can add up to a lot of money, so don’t ignore them even if you are a recreational bettor wagering at small stakes. Given the close relationship between the online operators and the casinos merging the two schemes is a win-win.
At the MGM Grand Detroit customers join the M Life rewards scheme. When the casino launches online sports betting under the playMGM brand, sports bettors will have their own VIP scheme that connects directly with the existing M Life scheme.
In New Jersey the online and live casino schemes are almost completely integrated. MGM VIP points can be redeemed for:
“Express Comps at any MGM Resorts destination nationwide and use them to book your next hotel room, enjoy our fine dining restaurants or see a show at our entertainment venues. Bonus dollars or for more cash to use on blackjack or online poker tournaments. Accessories, electronics and other online store items.”
Michigan will be slightly different given there is no online poker, but the principles will be the same. Michigan players accustomed to playing at the Caesars resort across the border in Canada will be members of the Caesars Total Rewards scheme. These benefits are not interchangeable in Michigan since Caesars doesn’t operate a Michigan casino.
It is possible that Caesars might get involved in the future if it partners with a tribal casino and launches its own online sports betting.
Daily fantasy sports operators must apply for a license with the state. These operators can be entities outside the Michigan casino business, including daily fantasy sports market leaders DraftKings and FanDuel.
Whitmer signed the Michigan Lawful Sports Betting Act in December 2019, making Michigan the ninth US state to approve legalized sports betting that year. When the state’s first sportsbooks went live, Michigan officially became the 20th US state to have legalized and regulated sports betting.
Here’s a look at some of the key measures contained in the Michigan Lawful Sports Betting Act:
It took some time for sports betting legislation to be hammered out here in Michigan. While the final result of legal sports betting being available in the state is simple to understand, all of the moving pieces that make up the law are far from easy to grasp. Here’s a handy cheat sheet to use for taking a deep dive into the laws behind Michigan sports betting.
Michigan has had horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering since the 1930s, and the Michigan State Lottery since the 1970s.
Casino gaming came to Michigan in 1993 when the first tribal casino was opened by the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe in Mt. Pleasant.
The original compact between the tribe and the state saw the tribe hand over 2% of all gaming revenue.
There are now 23 tribal casinos across Michigan. Each operates under one of 12 tribal-state gaming compacts asking the tribes to pay 2% of revenue to local municipalities. Seven of the compacts include language in which the tribes agree to pay between 2% and 12% of gaming revenue to the state.
In November 1996, Michigan voters approved a proposal authorizing the launch of three licensed commercial casinos in Detroit.
The Michigan Gaming Control & Revenue Act was signed into law in 1997 authorizing the opening of the three Detroit commercial casinos. The Greektown, MGM and Motor City casinos are now open, and each is governed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
Sports betting was not initially mentioned in any tribal-state gaming compacts or The Michigan Gaming Control & Revenue Act.
Eventually, several compacts and the law were amended allowing commercial casinos and several tribal casinos to launch Class III games including sports wagering pending a change in federal law. Class III games are subject to a 22% tax in Michigan.
That change in the law came on May 14, 2018, when the US Supreme Court declared a federal ban on sports betting unconstitutional.
Rather than just launch sportsbooks as Class III games and pay the 22% tax, the three Detroit commercial casinos lobbied the state to pass a new sports betting law with a lower tax rate. Several tribal casinos joined the lobbying effort.
The Legislature passed a bill legalizing and regulating online gambling and sports betting in late 2018. However, then-Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed the bill.
In December 2019, Michigan lawmakers legalized sports betting by passing the Michigan Lawful Sports Betting Act. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the bill into law days later, and legal sports betting is now expected to launch in Michigan in early 2020.
Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr., a key figure in bringing legal sports betting to the state, said that the goal was to have legal sports betting in place ahead of the 2020 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
The lawmakers and regulators held up their end of bargain, although the COVID-19 pandemic canceled March Madness.
The COVID-19 pandemic closed all of Michigan’s casinos in March 2020. Throughout the summer, Michigan’s tribal casinos reopened. In August 2020, after nearly five months of closure, Detroit’s casinos reopened and resumed sports betting operations.
Definitely not. However, you do need to be 21 or older and inside state lines at the time you make the bet.
Michigan mobile sports betting apps will employ geolocation technology to make sure that’s the case. Plus, they’ll take the last four digits of your social security number when you sign up for an account to verify your age and identity.
Michigan’s potential as a sports betting market is enormous. In fact, Michigan could rival the largest legal sports betting markets in the country once it matures, attracting billions of dollars in bets and generating millions in tax revenue every year.
Michigan is the second-largest state in terms of population to have legalized online sports betting, behind only Pennsylvania.
As a result, the Michigan sports betting market is actually capable of generating as much as $7 billion to $8 billion in sports bets annually and $500 million in gross operator revenue.
The tax rate is business-friendly, and the licensing fees are competitive. As a result, sports betting could generate as much as $40 million in taxes for the state annually.
Gambling in Michigan is regulated by the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
That means you can take any problems you might have with a licensed Michigan sports betting operator right to the MGCB.
The MGCB Main Office is at 3062 W. Grand Blvd., Suite L-700 in Detroit. Office hours are Monday thru Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The board can be reached by phone at 313-456-4100.
Yes, you do. Sports betting winnings are considered taxable income.
Betting odds are largely the same across all jurisdiction where sports betting is legal — so far! Legal sports betting outside of Nevada is in its infancy. Operators are still in hyper competitive mode as they seek to establish market share.
As the market matures and operators learn the characteristics of their home markets better, then odds might begin to differ among states. Partly this will be due to the additional costs of operating in high-tax states like Pennsylvania. On the other hand, operators will learn to provide lower odds for promotions on games that are particularly popular in Michigan.
Fortunately, the current bill has reasonable license fees and taxes, so Michigan sports bettors should get access to odds as good as anywhere in the country.
Odds that are too far out of whack with the broader market will simply drive customers back to illegal offshore sites. The casinos have no incentive to offer poor odds in Michigan.
Michigan gambling laws only apply inside the borders of Michigan. If you have an account with an online sports betting operator in New Jersey, you can’t use that account to play in Michigan, and vice versa.
The second you step across the state border you will find that you may no longer place sports bets online. This is because the operators use sophisticated geo-location technology that knows exactly where you are. Of course any bets placed before you cross the border remain valid.
The big name operators are introducing methods to make it easy to sign up for accounts in different states. If you do have a New Jersey or Pennsylvania online account, then if your operator launches in Michigan, you will probably find it even easier to open your new account.
The almost instantaneous availability of sports betting data enables legal sports betting operators to offer much that was previously impossible. One great innovation is the ability to cash out bets early.
Since sportsbooks can calculate the expected value of you bet minute by minute, they can offer to let you take your winnings or cut your losses before the final outcome is known
Of course you don’t get all your winnings. And you can’t avoid all your losses. When you cash out a bet early, there is still a possibility of the result changing. The operator calculates a fair payout based on the odds and you are free to accept or reject the offer.
The law doesn’t mention these types of bets, but there is no reason for the regulator to forbid the facility. They are very popular in other sports betting states.
Gambling in Michigan is regulated by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB).
If you have any problems with legal sports betting at a Michigan licensed casino or online operator you can contact the MGCB for advice and assistance.
Michigan Gaming Control Board
3062 West Grand Boulevard, Suite L-700, Detroit, MI 48202-6062
Phone: 313-456-4100 Fax: 313-456-4200
Office Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.