Michigan Online Sports Betting

Latest news, launch dates and online sports betting in Michigan

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.

Sports betting updates

UPDATED: Oct. 28, 2020

Michigan and Michigan State are battling Saturday in Ann Arbor with the Wolverines coming in as heavy favorites.

And don’t look now, but your Detroit Lions are .500, made a big trade for some defensive reinforcements, and are looking at a big stretch of games ahead. Indianapolis is next on Sunday at Ford Field.

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.

Get Ready Michigan!

When will online sports betting go live in Michigan?

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:

BrandPartnerProjected Online LaunchRetail Launch
BetMGM SportsbookMGM Grand DetroitNovember 2020Opened March 11, 2020
BetRivers SportsbookLittle River Band of the Ottawa IndiansWhen permittedOpened July 17, 2020
DraftKings SportsbookBay Mills Indian CommunityLate 2020Expected soon
FanDuel SportsbookMotorCity CasinoLate 2020Opened March 12, 2020
FOX Bet SportsbookLittle Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa IndiansLate 2020Opened Sept, 24 2020
PointsBet SportsbookLac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa IndiansEarly 2021Expected soon
William Hill SportsbookGrand Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa and Chippewa IndiansWhen permittedOpened Sept. 18, 2020
Barstool SportsbookGreektown CasinoLate 2020Opened March 11, 2020 (temporary)
BetAmerica SportsbookHannahville Indian CommunityLate 2020Opened Sept. 10, 2020
Golden Nugget SportsKeweenaw Bay Indian CommunityEarly 2021Expected in early 2021
Parx CasinoGun Lake TribeLate 2020Opened Oct. 3, 2020
TBD/FireKeepers CasinoNottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi IndiansLate 2020Opened June 22, 2020
TBD/Four Winds CasinoPokagon Band of Potawatomi IndiansLate 2020Opened July 13, 2020
TBD/Soaring Eagle CasinoSaginaw Chippewa Indian TribeLate 2020Expected soon
Wynn SportsbookSault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa IndiansLate 2020Expected soon
SportsBetting.comUnknownUnknownUnknown

Expected launch dates for sports betting apps in Michigan

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 Sportsbook / Bay Mills Indian Community

Draftkings Sportsbook

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.

  • Retail License: Bay Mills Resort & Casino
  • Address: 11386 West Lakeshore Drive, Brimley, MI 49715
  • App Launch Date: Late 2020
  • Bonus Offer: $1,025 in total: $25 free bet, deposit bonus up to $500, risk-free bet up to $500
  • Review: DraftKings Michigan

FanDuel Sportsbook / MotorCity Casino

Fanduel sportsbook in Michigan

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.

  • Retail License: MotorCity Casino
  • Address: 2901 Grand River Ave, Detroit, MI 48201
  • App Launch Date: Late 2020
  • Bonus Offer: Risk-free bet up to $1,000
  • Review: FanDuel Michigan

BetMGM Sportsbook / MGM Grand Detroit

Bet MGM Sportsbook App

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.

  • Retail License: MGM Grand Detroit
  • Address: 1777 3rd Ave, Detroit, MI 48226
  • App Launch Date: November 2020
  • Bonus Offer: 100% deposit bonus up to $500
  • Review: BetMGM Michigan

BetRivers Sportsbook / Little River Band of the Ottawa Indians

betrivers sportsbook michigan

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.

  • Retail License: Little River Casino Resort
  • Address: 2700 Orchard Highway, Manistee, Michigan 49660
  • App Launch Date: To be determined
  • Bonus Offer: 100% deposit bonus up to $250
  • Review: BetRivers Michigan

Fox Bet Sportsbook / Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians

FoxBet Sportsbook in Michigan

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.

  • Retail License: Odawa Casino Resort
  • Address: 1760 Lears Rd, Petoskey, Michigan 49770
  • App Launch Date: Late 2020
  • Bonus Offer: Risk-free bet up to $500
  • Review: Fox Bet Sportsbook

PointsBet Sportsbook / Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians

Pointsbet logo Michigan

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.

  • Retail License: Northern Waters Casino Resort
  • Address: N5384 US-45, Watersmeet, MI 49969
  • App Launch Date: Late 2020
  • Bonus Offer: $100 bonus with $50 deposit
  • Review: PointsBet Sportsbook

Golden Nugget Sportsbook / Keweenaw Bay Indian Community

Golden Nugget Sportsbook AppGolden 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.

  • Retail License: Ojibwa Casino
  • Address: 105 Acre Trail, Marquette, Michigan, 49855
  • App Launch Date: Early 2021
  • Bonus Offer: To be determined
  • Review: Golden Nugget Michigan

William Hill Sportsbook / Grand Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians

William Hill Sportsbook Michigan

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.

  • Retail License: Turtle Creek Casino
  • Address: 7741 M-72 East, Williamsburg, MI 49690
  • App Launch Date: To be determined
  • Bonus Offer: To be determined
  • Review: William Hill Michigan

Barstool Sportsbook / Greektown Casino

Barstool Michigan

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.

  • Retail License: Greektown Casino
  • Address: 555 E Lafayette St, Detroit, MI 48226
  • App Launch Date: Late 2020
  • Bonus Offer: To be determined
  • Review: Barstool Sports

BetAmerica Sportsbook / Hannahville Indian Community

BetAmerica Sportsbook Michigan

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.

  • Retail License: Island Resort & Casino
  • Address: W399 U.S 2 & 41, Harris, Michigan 49845
  • App Launch Date: Late 2020
  • Bonus Offer: To be determined

Parx Casino Sportsbook / Gun Lake Tribe

Parx Sportsbook in Michigan

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.

  • Retail License: Gun Lake Casino
  • Address: 2872 Mission Dr., Shelbyville, MI 49344
  • App Launch Date: Late 2020
  • Bonus Offer: To be determined

How sports betting apps in Michigan will work

Mobile sports betting options in MichiganOnline 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.

In-game wagering and live betting

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 spreadstotals, 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.

How to deposit and cash out in Michigan

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:

  • Debit and credit cards: Visa and Mastercard and even American Express and Discover are accepted at most operators.
  • Prepaid cards: Casinos and other payment providers offer prepaid cards that Michigan sports betting apps may accept.
  • Bank transfers: Common bank transfers such as e-checks (ACH transfers), wire transfers, and bill payments may be accepted by most apps offering online sports betting in Michigan.
  • Third-party payment processors: Third-party payment processors such as PayPalSkrill, and NETELLER may offer an alternative for depositing with Michigan sports betting apps.
  • Cash: Cash should be accepted at by a Michigan online sports betting site through the cage at affiliated casinos or third-party providers such as 7-Eleven PayNearMe.

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.

What types of sports bets can I make in Michigan?

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:

  • Moneyline: Moneyline bets are the easiest bets and the most familiar to the general public. When you place a moneyline bet, you are betting on which team will win. For example, you see that the moneyline odds on an NFL game are quoted at -150 for team A and +120 for team B. The minus sign means you have to bet that amount to win $100. So in this case you have to bet $150 to win $100. The plus sign means you could win that amount with a bet of $100. In this game, you would win $120 on a bet of $100.
  • Single-game bets: A single-game bet is made on one sports event or game. The bet can be on the points spread or who the winner will be, but it remains a bet restricted to one match.
  • Teaser bets: A teaser bet allows the bettor to combine bets on two different games. The normal format enables the bettor to adjust the point spreads for each of the games. Of course, this results in better chances of winning, so the operator adjusts the odds accordingly.
  • Parlays: Parlay bets tie several bets together so that the bettor only wins if every prediction is correct. If you bet on five matches as a parlay bet, then you have to pick the winners for all five to win your bet. Even if you predict the first four correctly and only lose the last leg of your parlay, you lose the whole bet. Parlay bets offer the chance to win a large sum for a small initial wager. They are enormous fun and extremely popular, but the big payouts come because the chance of winning is small.
  • Over-under: Over-under bets are also known as totals bets. In an over-under bet you predict the total score of both teams added together. The sportsbook quotes a line where it expects the total score to be, and the bettor takes either the over or the under.
  • Straight bets: A straight bet is a type of wager in which you bet on a single game that carries either a point spread, a total or a moneyline. To win a straight bet, you must bet on the team that covers the spread or if the two teams cover the over or under.
  • Proposition bets: Proposition bets, or prop bets, allow bettors to bet on possible events in a game. The events may be specific to the game or to an individual player in the game. Online operators present a series of prop bets based on what they think will most interest their customers. A typical prop bet may be that a specific player will hit a home run or score a goal during a game. Bettors can also wager on things like what the points spread will be at the end of each quarter or what the total score might be at halftime.

What sports can I bet on in Michigan?

Detroit SportsbooksThe 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:

  • Boxing (IBF/WBA/WBC/WBO)
  • Division 1 NCAA men’s and women’s college basketball
  • Division 1 NCAA Football – FBS only
  • Major League Baseball
  • Asian baseball (Nippon Professional League in Japan and KBO League in South Korea)
  • Major League Soccer
  • Mixed Martial Arts (UFC and Bellator)
  • NASCAR
  • National Basketball Association
  • National Football League
  • National Hockey League
  • PGA/LPGA/European Tour golf
  • European soccer (English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Italy Serie A, German Bundesliga, Europa, UEFA Champions League)
  • Association of Tennis Players men’s tennis events and Women’s Tennis Association women’s events
  • Winter and Summer Olympic Games

Nevertheless, there will be more than enough opportunities to bet on the top US sports. And there are many ways to place your bets.

Which Michigan teams have sponsorship deals in place with sportsbooks?

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.

Detroit Tigers and PointsBet deal

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.

Detroit Lions and BetMGM deal

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.

Where can I bet on sports in-person?

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:

Greektown Casino Hotel

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

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 Hotel

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.

Sports betting at tribal casinos

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.

Michigan tribal casino sportsbooks

Here’s a list of tribes and tribal casinos that have publicly expressed an interest in Michigan sports betting to date:

Bay Mills Indian Community

(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.

Grand Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians

(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.

Hannahville Indian Community

(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.

Keweenaw Bay Indian Community

(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.

The Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians

(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.

The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians

(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.

The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians

(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.

Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians

(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.

Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi

(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.

Pokagon Band of Pottawatomi Indians

(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.

Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe

(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.

Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians

(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.

Can I use my casino VIP scheme online?

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.

M Life Rewards from MGM is a great example

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.

FanDuel, DraftKings among daily fantasy sports sites

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.

  • The licenses come with a $10,000 initial fee and a $5,000 annual renewal cost attached.
  • Fantasy sports revenue will also be taxed at a rate of 8.4%.
  • Home-operated fantasy leagues with 15 participants for less than $10,000 can still operate privately without a license.

Michigan sports betting laws and tax rates

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.

The Michigan Department of the Treasury estimates the launch of sports betting, regulated fantasy contests, online casinos and online poker will bring $19 million in new tax revenue to the state.

Here’s a look at some of the key measures contained in the Michigan Lawful Sports Betting Act:

  • The law allows for online and mobile sports betting across the state as well as the launch of retail sportsbooks at Michigan’s commercial and tribal casinos.
  • Sports betting license fees include a $50,000 initial application fee, $100,000 license fee and $50,000 annual renewal fee.
  • Sports betting operators must pay a tax of 8.4% on adjusted gross sports betting receipts.
  • Money given to customers for free-play promotions can be deducted from gross receipts before taxes.
  • Detroit commercial casinos must pay an additional 1.25% city tax on adjusted gross sports betting receipts.
  • Operators can partner with outside entities to provide sports betting services, but are limited to using only one internet sports betting platform.
  • Fantasy sports contests have also been legalized. Fantasy sports revenue will also be taxed at 8.4%.
  • Fantasy sports licenses are open to companies outside the Michigan casino industry, including US market leaders DraftKings and FanDuel. Licenses come with a $10,000 initial fee and a $5,000 annual renewal cost attached.

Additional reading

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.

  • PASPA: Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. In short, this was the roadblock to legal sports betting outside of Las Vegas.
  • Michigan School Aid Fund: Revenue form online gaming and sports betting will help to support it.
  • Lawful Internet Gambling Act: This is a bill that authorized the Michigan Gaming Control Board to issue licenses for online and mobile gaming.
  • The Lawful Sports Betting Act: This is one of the bills which gave a green light to sports betting in Michigan.
  • Fantasy Contests Consumer Protection Act: A bill that spelled out the legality and regulation of fantasy sports in the state.
  • Michigan Sports Betting Regulations: The Michigan Gaming Control Board is the overseeing body for sports betting in the state.
  • Responsible / Problem Gambling: This is a real problem that can impact folks from all walks of life. The state has compiled an excellent list of resources for those who might need or know of someone that could use help.

History of sports betting in Michigan

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.

Timeline of important Michigan sports betting dates

  • 1933: The Racing Act of 1933 was passed regulating pari-mutuel horse racing, which still exists.
  • January 1984: Keweenaw Bay Indian tribe member Fred Dakota challenges the state’s right to regulate Indian gaming. Dakota opens a single blackjack table casino, The Pines, in his two-car garage in Zeba.
  • July 4, 1984: The Bay Mills Indian Band opens the first tribal-sanctioned casino in the state on tribal land in Brimley. Kings Club Casino is the first tribally owned casino in the US.
  • 1993: The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe becomes the first tribe to sign a compact with the state. The tribe agrees to hand over 2% of winnings from the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mount Pleasant.
  • November 1996: Michigan voters approve Proposal E, which authorizes the construction of three licensed casinos in Detroit.
  • July 29, 1999: MGM Grand Detroit opens.
  • Dec. 14, 1999: MotorCity Casino opens becoming Detroit’s second commercial casino operation.
  • Nov. 10, 2000: Greektown Casino-Hotel opens its doors in Detroit, becoming Detroit’s third commercial casino.
  • May 14, 2018: The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Murphy v. NCAA, striking down a 26-year-old federal statute called the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which banned states from authorizing sports gambling.
  • June 14, 2018: Sports gambling launches in New Jersey.
  • December 2018: The Michigan Legislature passes a bill legalizing online gambling. However, outgoing-Gov. Rick Snyder vetoes it.
  • December 2019: Michigan lawmakers pass a package of bills legalizing online gambling, sports betting, fantasy sports and online poker.
  • Dec. 20, 2019: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signs the bills into law, inviting existing tribal and commercial casinos to apply for sports betting and online gambling licenses.
  • March 11, 2020: The first retail sportsbooks launched in the city of Detroit, as Greektown Casino-Hotel and MGM Grand Detroit launched. MotorCity Casino launched the FanDuel Sportsbook the next day.
  • June 22, 2020: FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek opens the state’s first tribal casino sportsbook called Dacey’s Sportsbook, in partnership with Scientific Games.
  • July 13, 2020: Four Winds Casino opened sportsbooks in its three tribal casinos in New Buffalo, Dowagiac and Hartford.
  • July 17, 2020: Little River Casino in Manistee opened a sportsbook, the first in northern Michigan.
  • Sept. 10, 2020: Island Resort & Casino opened the BetAmerica Sportsbook, the first sportsbook in the Upper Peninsula.
  • Sept. 18, 2020: Turtle Creek opened Onyx Sports Book by William Hill, a retail sportsbook in Williamsburg, near Traverse City. There’s also a satellite location at Leelanau Sands in Peshawbestown.
  • Later 2020: Michigan will launch online and mobile sportsbooks, online casinos and online poker sites.

FAQ

Do I have to live in Michigan to bet on sports online?

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.

How big will the sports betting market be in Michigan?

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.

Who regulates Michigan sports gambling?

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.

Do I have to report winnings on my taxes?

Yes, you do. Sports betting winnings are considered taxable income.

Will Michigan sports betting odds be competitive?

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.

Can I use my online account outside of 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.

Will Michigan sportsbooks allow bets to be cashed out early?

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.

Who do I contact if I have a complaint?

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.

Main Office:

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.

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