It’s no surprise why Michigan made online sports betting a part of its most recent gambling expansion. After all, mobile sportsbooks have proven to be an extremely viable and profitable offering for states that have gone before the Great Lakes State.
However, the prospect of using a mobile sports betting app might be a bit daunting to Michiganders. Unless they’ve taken a recent trip to states like New Jersey or Pennsylvania, folks in the state will have never had the opportunity to use one of these programs before.
As Michigan residents will soon find out, technology has allowed sports betting to take a giant leap forward in terms of flexibility and opportunity. So, here is a handy guide to help Michiganders step into the world of sports betting apps.
At this point, it’s still not clear which sports betting operators will be the first to launch an app in Michigan. The latest estimates pit online gambling for an October launch in Michigan.
So, we can only guess about which operators might show up when apps start to go live in the Wolverine State. Based upon their stated interest and history in other states, here are some of the more likely candidates to first hit the market:
Of course, it’s possible that an operator not on the list will break the finish line tape before anyone else. There’s simply not enough data to know which company will be the first Michigan online sportsbook.
A couple wildcards exist with FireKeepers, Four Winds and Soaring Eagle casinos. Those three notable Native American gaming properties could launch their own sports betting apps.
However, we can safely assume that the procedures for using each app will be virtually identical.
There are two main types of mobile devices that Americans use on a daily basis. The first of these types is Apple devices, which use the iOS platform to run.
The good news is that downloading and accessing a sportsbook app will be largely the same process as any other app. Here is the procedure:
Most sportsbook apps will work with iOS version 8 or higher. However, just to be safe, it might be worth updating your phone to version 9 or above — a few sportsbook apps do require the latest updates to function properly.
Android users will be able to download and use sportsbook apps in Michigan, too. However, there will be a couple of extra steps in the process.
The reason is that Google does not allow gambling apps to download from the Google Play Store. As a result, it is necessary to get the programs directly from the sportsbooks themselves. Here’s how to go about it:
Usually, Android users with Version 5.1 or higher will be able to use most sportsbook apps.
The gambling age in Michigan varies between 18 and 21, depending on what type of gaming it is. However, by virtue of the new law, it will be necessary to be 21 or older to bet on sports in the Great Lakes State.
Though it might seem obvious, it will be necessary to be physically inside the state in order to play. Neither state nor federal law permits sports betting across state lines.
Obviously, no one reading this page would ever dream of attempting to circumvent the rules on out-of-state play. However, there are those who might be curious about how an online sportsbook would even know where they were.
The short answer is that all online sportsbooks use geolocation verification software. The programs that they use create a virtual fence around Michigan to keep out those from other states and countries.
This software is quite effective at performing its stated function. Most books set the parameters of their programs to deny service a few feet inside state lines.
In other words, there is a small chance that someone who actually should be able to play would get falsely denied. There is no chance that a player across the border could slip by.
In most cases, the software uses the GPS functions of your phone to verify your location. There’s really no extra step required on the part of the user.
However, if you happen to be using a laptop or other computer, make sure that you are stationary and using a valid in-state IP address. Use of a VPN, a virtual client network, or any other connection that allows remote access could get you booted from your sportsbook of choice.
For those unfamiliar with sportsbook apps, you might think that a traditional retail book would outpace the electronic version in terms of different sports it could offer. However, not only are online books able to compete, but they are often able to outpace their land-based counterparts in terms of selection.
Here are some of the sports most commonly found on sportsbook apps:
Of course, all that selection would be meaningless if the online books could not offer more than a couple of types of wagers. However, this is decidedly not the case.
In fact, online sportsbook apps have pushed the envelope for what bets are available. The result is a sports betting experience that only vaguely resembles the old days of backrooms and chalkboards. Here are some of the most common types of bets on sportsbook apps:
In addition to the above selection of sports betting options available, live betting on sporting events is another form of gambling that has exploded in popularity online.
Most of those types of bets are familiar, even to those who are not sports bettors. However, one of the biggest innovations in sports betting for the last few decades has been the rise of live betting.
Live betting, or in-game wagering, allows players to wager on events that are already underway. Instead of making a bet before the game and waiting, you can now wager throughout the course of a game.
Live bets tend to come in three distinct flavors:
This last type of live bet, partial game results, is the source of live betting’s ascension. The technology that sportsbook apps use for live betting allows for an extreme amount of granularity in the betting options.
Bettors can bet on the outcome of single plays in a game or match. As a result, it’s not uncommon for a single game to offer more than 100 different wagers.
Naturally, the sportsbook is happy to offer as many bets as it can. Generally speaking, a sportsbook’s profit increases as the number of bets goes up.
However, bettors like this flexibility, too. Live betting offers the ability either to augment pregame selections that seem to be going well, or hedge against those that are going badly.
Between the commercial and tribal casinos in Michigan, there are 26 locations that could potentially host a sportsbook in the near future. So you might wonder if it’s even worth fooling with the online games at all. However, there are several reasons that a sportsbook app might be a better fit for your needs.
Naturally, an app on your phone is more convenient than having to drive to a physical location. Almost every corner of Michigan could play host to a sports bet through online sports betting apps.
In a state with such frigid winters and inclement weather, the ability to place sports bets on your phone could be the only avenue you have available — at least, some of the time. Even without weather woes, there’s no question that it’s easier to sit in a favorite chair at home and play. It’s even possible to place a bet in pajamas!
Online sportsbooks are not run by stupid people. They know that you have a range of choices when it comes to selecting an online sportsbook. So they understand the need to entice you to play.
Their struggle is to your benefit. Unlike retail sportsbooks, which may not have as much direct competition due to geography, a mobile sportsbook is much more likely to offer bonuses to attract your business.
From the moment you set foot (so to speak) onto a sportsbook app, there will be opportunities to win extra dollars from the book. These sweeteners might be the only reason you’re playing on a particular site, but that’s OK. After all, your bets create vig as well as any others.
There’s no question that there are more ways to wager online than in retail sportsbooks. The mere presence of live betting explodes the options beyond the capabilities of a land-based sportsbook.
However, some sportsbook apps offer a live ticket system as a means of equipping bettors with greater flexibility. A live ticket system, or cash out option, allows players to cash out their open tickets under certain conditions in a game.
The option allows players to guard against any kind of late charge if their bet appears to be winning. The sportsbook can settle likely losses for less money and allow both parties to move on with their lives.
Some sportsbooks even allow players to propose their own wagers. Such a concept would be a rare thing to see in a retail sportsbook.
Of course, nothing is perfect. There are some downsides to sportsbook app play that simply do not exist in retail settings.
The most obvious ding against sportsbook apps is that they negate the social aspect of sports betting. Even if a bettor visits a retail book alone, there is a natural camaraderie between bettors who have taken the same bet on a game.
Retail sportsbooks are designed to be the most comfortable areas in the entire casino, too. It’s possible to relax and have some food and drink with friends in most land-based sportsbooks, and there are always plenty of televisions to watch.
Sportsbook apps don’t offer anything like that. Although you may be sitting comfortably at home, there’s probably nobody there to root for your chosen bets along with you.
Sportsbook apps require a certain degree of trust from their players. After all, you’re sending your personal information and banking data out into the ether to a faceless company.
In most cases, this isn’t a problem. Sportsbooks are heavily regulated and monitored, and it’s unlikely that any kind of monkey business might occur.
Nevertheless, an online sportsbook transaction is far more nebulously stressful than a bet in a retail sportsbook. In retail books, you bark out your bet to the tired staff member, hand over your cash and that’s it.
So there might be some who feel an understandable amount of reservation about online betting versus the simplicity of retail.
Actually, the entire notion of retail sports betting is simpler than online betting. A retail sports bet is an easy transaction — it’s usually made with cash, and there’s no need for names. Structurally, it’s not much different from buying a doughnut.
Sportsbook apps, however, require much more work to move forward. You will have to provide them with a variety of personal and banking information, and God help you if you misprint a number or letter.
With so many different bets available, a sportsbook app might also seem overwhelming to the uninitiated sports bettor. So, understand that there may be a learning curve associated with using a sportsbook app.