Michigan Sports Betting

Updated on March 9, 2020

Sports betting is now legal in Michigan.

In December 2019, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a package of gambling expansion bills into law. In addition to legalizing online casinos and online poker, these bills legalized sports betting and fantasy sports contests in Michigan.

Only existing Michigan casinos, including the three Detroit commercial casinos and 23 tribal casinos across the state, have been or will be able to procure Michigan sports betting licenses.

These licenses will come with a $50,000 application fee, a $100,000 license fee and a $50,000 annual renewal cost attached.

Licensees will be responsible for paying an 8.4% tax on sports betting revenue. Detroit casinos will have to pay an additional 3.25% to the city.

The licenses entitle holders to offer sports betting at casinos and online. However, operators are limited to using one internet sports betting platform.

The new law also makes it legal to host fantasy sports contests in Michigan.

Operators must apply for a license with the state. However, 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.

When will Michigan sports betting start?

Select retail sportsbooks in Detroit will begin taking sports wagers on March 11.

Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr., a key figure in bringing legal sports betting to the state, has long said that the goal was to have legal sports betting in place ahead of the 2020 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Otherwise known as March Madness, the 2020 NCAA Tournament begins March 17. It is the single biggest event in US sports betting.

Rules and guidelines governing Michigan online sports betting must be created first, before a licensing process takes place.

A lengthier approval process likely means online and mobile wagering will take a little longer before it goes live in the state.

Where will I be able to make legal sports bets?

There are three state licensed commercial casinos in Michigan, all in Detroit. These three licensed casinos can apply for sports betting licenses to operate retail and online and mobile sportsbooks. They can also legally partner with a sports betting operator to provide sports betting services.

Each casino, however, may only launch one sports betting brand, whether it’s a partner’s brand or its own.

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. Together, these partners took the first legal sports bets in Pennsylvania in November 2018. Penn National Gaming also calls DraftKings, PointsBet and FOX Bet partners in other states.

Penn National Gaming will likely want Greektown to be one of the first casinos to offer both live and online sports betting in Michigan. The only question is whom it will partner with in Michigan.

MGM Grand Detroit

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 playMGM and BetMGM brands around the country, with sports betting operations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Expect BetMGM and MGM Grand Detroit to compete with Penn National Gaming and Greektown Casino to be first to market.

MotorCity Casino Hotel

The MotorCity Casino is owned by Little Caesars Pizza billionaire Marian Ilitch. Ilitch owns the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers. Her interest in sports betting is not certain.

There’s an obvious conflict of interest, and to date, MotorCity Casino has made no public pronouncements on sports betting.

No obvious sports betting technology partner has emerged, either. Although DraftKings and FanDuel have been rumored to have an interest.

Sports betting at tribal casinos

It is conceivable that one or more of Michigan’s 23 tribal casinos could launch sports betting before the Detroit commercial casinos. Although it doesn’t appear likely any will.

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.

None have yet, however, and several publicly supported the legislation passed in December 2019, suggesting they will wait.

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.

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:

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 Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Gaming Authority

(Odawa Casino Resort in Petoskey, plus 2 others)

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.

Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi

(FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek)

Negotiating with a sportsbook operator. Pitched by Churchill Downs (BetAmerica), DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, Rush Street Interactive and William Hill. Supported Michigan sports betting legislation.

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

(Gun Lake Casino in Wayland)

Supported Michigan sports betting legislation.

Bay Mills Indian Community

(Bay Mills Casino in Brimley)

Supported Michigan sports betting legislation.

Michigan sports betting apps

Online and mobile sports betting is poised to be a huge part of the Michigan sports betting market. In New Jersey, over 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, it appears retail sportsbooks will come 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 controls board approval for processes like 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.

Michigan mobile betting apps will require just a minimal amount of standard information, including your name, address, date of birth and email.

Plus, they will ask for the last few digits of your Social Security number to ensure you are at least 21 years of age.

Fortunately, signing up for Michigan sports betting apps 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 sports betting apps will make this an easy process as well by accepting everything from credit and debit cards to online third-party payment processors like PayPal and cash through various retail locations around the state.

Live betting

Michigan online and mobile sports betting apps will offer more instantaneous betting access than retail sportsbooks. In turn, that will allow these apps to offer live betting or in-game betting options.

This is an increasingly popular way to bet on sports, allowing gamblers to bet on live sporting events in the middle of the game at odds that are adjusted throughout.

Most standard live betting options like point spreads, totals and money lines 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 baseball, who will score a certain number of points first in football, and a wide variety of other sport-specific things at odds that change throughout the game.

It can be a great way to hedge bets or make up for picking an obviously losing side ahead of the game.

How deposits and cashing out will work

Before placing a bet on a Michigan sports betting app, you will need to fund your account. This will be a safe and simple process with legal Michigan 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 like e-checks (ACH transfers), wire transfers and bill payments may be accepted by Michigan sports betting apps.
  • Third-party payment processors: Third-party payment processors like PayPal, Skrill and NETELLER may offer an alternative for depositing with Michigan sports betting apps.
  • Cash: Cash should be accepted at Michigan sports betting apps through the cage at affiliated casinos or third-party providers like 7-Eleven PayNearMe.

Generally, the way you make a deposit will be the same way you can make a withdrawal off of 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 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 go live, Michigan will officially become the 20th US state to have legalized and regulated sports betting.

The 2020 NCAA March Madness Men’s Basketball Tournament, beginning March 17, appears to be the state’s goal for the launch of retail sports betting in Michigan. Online and mobile wagering will come sometime after that.

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 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.

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.

Michigan Sports Betting 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 Michigan market be?

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.

Can you bet on all sports in Michigan?

Pretty much. Here’s a list of what sports will be available for you to bet on:

  • Auto racing
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Bowling
  • Boxing
  • Cricket
  • Darts
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Mixed martial arts
  • Olympics
  • Rugby
  • Sailing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Tennis
  • Track and field

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, money line, pools, exchange betting, in-game betting, in-play bets, proposition bets, and straight bets.”

That means Michigan sports betting operators will take the following types of bets:

Money line

Money line bets are the easiest bets and the most familiar to the general public. When you place a money line bet, you are betting on which team will win.

For example, you see that the money line 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 money line.

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.

Pools

In pool betting, bettors pay a fixed price into a pool and select what they think will be the winning outcome. The pool is shared between all bettors who made the right prediction.

There are no odds quoted, and the pool may be on something like the Ryder Cup, or who will win the Super Bowl.

Not all the money is paid out. The sports betting operator takes a small percentage as its fee for running the pool.

Exchange wagering

Betting exchanges are very popular in Europe. In a betting exchange, every wager is made against another bettor rather than the house. The exchange matches the bets that customers want to make with another customer who wants to take the other side of the bet.

This operates like a stock exchange that matches willing buyers with willing sellers.

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.

In-game bets provide 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.

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 do I need to create an account?

Not much, to be honest. Michigan sports betting apps require just a minimal amount of information before you can open up an account. This includes your name, address, date of birth and email address.

Plus, they will likely ask for the last few digits of your Social Security number to verify your identity and ensure you are at least 21 years of age.

Who regulates sports betting in Michigan?

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 the 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.

Where will I be able to make legal sports bets?

There are three state licensed casinos in Michigan, all in Detroit. The law restricts sports betting to licensed casinos although they may partner with a sports betting operator to provide their services.

Each casino may only partner with one sport betting brand, at least in the current draft text of the bill. In other states casinos may partner with multiple brands, so this is an area of the law that may change.

The three Detroit casinos are:

Greektown Casino Hotel

The Greektown Casino is operated by Penn National. Penn owns casinos in its home state of Pennsylvania as well as other states and is already in the sports betting market.

Penn’s primary partner is William Hill which took the first legal sports bets in Pennsylvania in November 2018. It is also partnered with DraftKings, PointsBet USA and The Stars Group which trades using the FoxBet brand.

Technology provider Kambi runs the company’s own branded sports books both live and online.

There is no doubt that Penn will want Greektown to be the first casino to offer both live and online sports betting in Michigan.

MGM Grand Detroit

MGM is one of the biggest names in Las Vegas and it has casinos in many locations in the US. The company is partners with the UK’s GVC for its online gambling in the US. The joint venture is called Roar Digital and uses the playMGM and betMGM brands.

The company has sports betting operations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and is set to expand to as many states as it can where the law allows.

The MGM Grand has just celebrated its 20th birthday after opening in July 1999. The casino has 100,000 sq ft of gaming space.

MGM will be competing with Penn National to be first to market.

MotorCity Casino Hotel

The MotorCity Casino is owned by Little Caesars Pizza billionaire Marian Ilitch. She bought out MGM’s stake in the casino after regulators insisted on the sale.

Ilitch owns the Detroit Red Wings, and Detroit Tigers. She is certainly interested in sports, but sports betting is not so certain.

Apart from the obvious potential conflict of interest, the MotorCity has avoided making public pronouncements on sports betting.

At this stage it’s a fair assumption that the casino will apply for a license, but not so obvious who the casino will partner with to provide the technology.

The conflict of interest was raised when she bought Motorcity, but regulators gave the go ahead. So long as the management of the casino and its sports betting remain at arms length, there is no reason why her team ownership should be a barrier to a license.

Sports betting at Michigan Tribal Casinos

Michigan is home to around 20 tribal casinos. The new law makes it possible for them to offer sports betting but without the 3.75 percent Detroit sports betting tax.

Theoretically that should give them a competitive advantage. In practice it is likely to make little difference. Not all will take on the sports betting opportunity, but several will. Expect announcements of sports betting partnerships as soon as the ink on the final bill is dry.

What they will do is add more brands to the market. If the Detroit casinos can only put three online brands out there, the tribal casinos can make up the difference.

Michigan’s population is a little higher than New Jersey. There are an astounding 17 sports betting brands in the New Jersey sports betting market. There is no reason to think Michigan can support less.

Mobile sports betting

In New Jersey, over 80 percent of sports betting is now conducted using mobile devices. That is a staggering percentage of bets placed. It emphasizes how important it is for Michigan to keep mobile sports betting in the current bill.

The good news is that moves to restrict sports betting to casino floors don’t appear to have the support they need. Mobile and online sports betting should come to Michigan at the same time as or shortly after the casinos launch live sports betting.

With mobile available you will be able to place your bets anywhere within state borders.

How old do I have to be to place sports bets in Michigan?

The three Detroit casinos has a minimum legal age of 21 for all casino gambling. The tribal casinos are on sovereign territory so they set varying minimum ages. Some have chosen 18, some set the age limit at 21.

OK, when Michigan sports betting is legal how do I begin?

Typically sports betting starts first on the casino floor. When the technology is in place, and the regulator signs off, sports betting can go mobile.

The first sports betting opportunities in Michigan will probably be live so a visit to a casino is necessary. As tribal casinos will probably launch after the Detroit casinos, a trip to the big city will be the only way to get in on the early action.

When online does start, sports betting will be a lot easier and more accessible.

Step one is to open an online account. Most sports betting apps are available through a browser interface, but for mobile betting users must download the relevant app.

So far this is easier with Android devices. Apple’s prohibition on unlicensed gambling apps is admirable, but it is only now getting to grips with the regulated US market. By the time mobile sports betting is available in Michigan the issues should be behind us and iPhone addicts will have easy access to apps.

Account opening is easy. Simply submit your personal details using the online form; choose a screen name and password and you are ready to go.

Check back here to see which casinos have launched with which operators. We’ll be putting up reviews as soon as it all happens.

How do I make a deposit?

Of course before placing a bet you need to fund your account. With legal sports betting operators this is safe and simple. The casinos will ensure that there are many ways to deposit and withdraw.

Methods in use in other states include:

  • Bank cards–Debit and credit cards are both commonly available. Visa and Mastercard are standard and some operators accept American Express and/or Discover cards.
  • Prepaid cards—Many casinos and other payment providers offer pre-paid cards. The three main casinos are all likely to offer their own branded versions with additional benefits for making deposits.
  • Bank transfers–You can use e-checks (ACH transfers), and pre-verification makes these very quick. Bill pay can also work but your bank may or may not permit the facility. Wire transfers are best for depositing large amounts.
  • Electronic wallet—Big e-wallet brands include PayPal, Skrill and NETELLER. After setting up an online account these services offer seamless deposits and withdrawals. You can deposit from an e-wallet instantly. Withdrawals can be equally fast, or you can use the associated pre-paid card to make purchases or withdraw cash from an automated teller.
  • Cash—There are two ways to fund your online account with cash. The casinos will accept deposits on site at the cage, or you can use a third party provider such as PayNearMe. Local 7/11 stores almost all offer PayNearMe services.
  • Check or money order—People are moving away from checks but they are still popular with many and can be used to fund your online sports betting account.

How do I withdraw my winnings?

Not all deposit methods can be used to withdraw your winnings, but the casinos will ensure that as many as possible are available.

In most cases your money can be returned to you virtually instantly. Delays of a few hours to ensure transactions are properly authorized are normal.

This is a complete contrast to the situation at non-state regulated sites where withdrawing cash can take days or even weeks.

Easy financial transactions and security for your cash are major benefits of the state regulated sector. If you are placing bets at an offshore site, do remember to switch to the legal sites as soon as they are available.

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.

Can I use my online account outside 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 the Michigan sports betting odds be competitive?

Betting odds are largely the same across all jurisdictions 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 between 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 incentives to offer poor odds in Michigan.

What sports can I bet on in Michigan?

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 down 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 be to do with college sports involving local teams.

In other sports betting states the list of sports offered by the sports betting operators looks something like this:

  • Auto Racing
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Bowling
  • Boxing
  • Cricket
  • Darts
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Mixed Martial Arts
  • Olympics
  • Rugby
  • Sailing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field

For the minor sports betting is only offered on major competitions. For example the Rugby World Cup or in golf the Ryder Cup.

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

What types of sports bets can I make in Michigan?

The bill before the legislature does list examples of the types of bets that can be offered. The list is not exclusive, so other bets may be available. The 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…”

For those following sports betting legislation with a forensic eye, this list is a straight copy and paste from the list in the Illinois legislation that passed a few weeks ago.

A short explanation of the most popular bet types is:

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.

E.g. 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 have to bet that amount to win $100. In this game you need to bet $120 to win $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 game. 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 where you bet on a single game that carries either a point spread, a total or a money line.

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.

Pools

In pool betting bettors pay a fixed price into a pool and select what they think will be the winning outcome. The pool is shared between all bettors who made the right prediction.

There are no odds quoted, and the pool may be on something like the Ryder Cup, or who will win the Super Bowl.

Not all the money is paid out. The sports betting operator takes a small percentage as its fee for running the pool.

Exchange wagering

Betting exchanges are very popular in Europe. In a betting exchange every wager is made against another bettor rather than the house. The exchange matches the bets that customers want to make with another customer who wants to take the other side of the bet.

This operates like a stock exchange that matches willing buyers with willing sellers.

In-game wagering & In-play bets

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.

In-game bets provide 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.

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 half-time.

Will Michigan 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.

What companies will be offering sports betting?

The partners for the MGM and Penn National operated casinos in Detroit are known. The tribal casinos that get into the market have yet to announce their preferred partners.

Big international and US names you can expect to see in the market include:

  • 888
  • Bet365
  • BetAmerica
  • Caesars Sportsbook
  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel
  • FOX Bet

What other forms of internet gambling will be available in Michigan?

The sports betting bill is a companion bill to another bill sponsored by Rep. Brandt Iden. The second bill aims to legalize iGaming including online poker and online casino games.

Unfortunately that bill doesn’t look like it will pass. Online poker fans must watch the success of sports betting and hope this triggers some legislative enthusiasm.

Limiting legalization to sports betting is not particularly rational. In European jurisdiction where online gambling is legal the experience shows that a wide range of legal betting options correlates closely with the level of gambling at unlicensed sites.

Put simply, if players don’t have a legal option they gamble illegally.

All the major online DFS operators accept fantasy sports customers from Michigan

What about Michigan gambling taxes, do I have to pay them?

The gambling taxes set out in the legislation are the responsibility of operators not sports bettors.

Any winnings from sports betting are normally taxable as income.

What do I do with my offshore online account?

If you have an account offshore, our advice is to get your money back to the US as soon as possible. Sports betting at unlicensed offshore operators is inherently risky. There is no legal redress if anything goes wrong.

Not only can games and odds be rigged, but the owners could be engaged in money laundering or organized crime.

Who is the Michigan regulator if I want to complain?

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.

Why is state regulated sports betting suddenly legal?

In May 2018, the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). This act effectively prohibited states from introducing legal sports betting unless it was already specifically legal—as in Nevada.

The court ruled that the act breached states rights under the 10th amendment. Thereafter, states suddenly recovered the freedom to set their own sports betting laws.

New Jersey was first to the off, and there are now 17 states with legal sports betting of one form or another.

Michigan will shortly join them!

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