What Out-Of-State NFL Draft Fans Need To Know About Michigan Online Gambling

Written By Corey Sharp on April 23, 2024
Artist's rendition of the main stage at the NFL Draft in Detroit. NFL fans coming to Detroit for the draft this week can take advantage of a number of ways to gamble while in Michigan.

Detroit has been preparing for the 2024 NFL Draft for several years, and the big stage finally arrives this week. Fans from all over the country are flocking to the Great Lakes State to cheer on their team’s next draft picks. While doing so, the Michigan market offers fans plenty of ways to not only bet on the NFL Draft, but also indulge in other gambling verticals, too.

There is going to be plenty to do around Detroit with around 300,000 people making their way to the city. The influx of people is expected to greatly boost the economy during the three-day event.

Fans can bet on the NFL Draft using Michigan online sportsbooks or by visiting the three Detroit casinos, located within walking distance of all the festivities. Michigan also offers online casino games for newcomers, too.

Michigan online gambling offers 13 sportsbooks

This year’s NFL Draft marks the second time the league is playing host to the event in a state with legal sports betting. The other time was in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2022.

The state has multiple online sportsbooks available, the most popular of which being FanDuel and DraftKings. The remaining top five sportsbooks in Michigan, based on March handle, includes BetMGM, ESPN BET and Caesars.

Fanatics is the newest online sportsbook to launch in Great Lakes State. The merchandise company-turned-operator went live in February, and finished just outside the top five in handle last month.

BetRivers produced the seventh-largest handle figure in March, and rounds out the mainstream of operators most people are used to hearing.

The state has 13 available and legal sportsbooks. The remaining six are smaller operators, which don’t account for a ton of the state’s market share. Those include:

  • Eagle
  • FireKeepers
  • Sports Illustrated
  • Four Wins
  • betPARX
  • WynnBet

Though the NFL Draft is an event and not a game, Michigan online sportsbooks offer tons of draft markets for fans to bet on while in town. Some operators might require you to make another Michigan-specific sportsbook account.

Great Lakes State offers online casinos for visitors

Michigan is one of seven states that offers online casino games. Unless fans are from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut, West Virginia or Rhode Island, the concept of online casinos is going to be new.

Michigan is one of the leaders in the US online casino space. Last month, Michigan generated a state record $215.2 million in revenue.

There are 15 Michigan online casinos, which are often merged within the sportsbook app. Players can toggle between the sportsbook and casino, by a click of the button, to play slots and table games. Operators also offer live dealer games, another form of table games in which an actual person is dealing from a Michigan studio.

Online casino operators in Michigan surpassed 10,000 slot titles last December. FanDuel took over as the top online casino operator in the Great Lakes State based on March revenue. The top five consist of:

  • FanDuel
  • BetMGM
  • DraftKings
  • BetRivers
  • Caesars

Should a new player sign up for a Michigan-specific account, the sportsbook and casino will be accessible.

What retail casinos are close to the NFL Draft?

Map of NFL Draft and Detroit casino locations

Michigan is a rich gambling state that offers 22 casinos, the majority of which are on tribal lands. However, there are three casinos in Detroit that are within steps of all the action. They are:

  • Hollywood Casino at Greektown
  • MGM Grand Detroit
  • MotorCity Casino

All three casinos are within three miles of each other, with MGM Grand Detroit and MotorCity Casino the closest to each other — about a mile away. However, those two properties are the furthest away from the draft’s main stage at Campus Maritus Park, about eight and 15 blocks away, respectively.

Hollywood Casino at Greektown is five blocks away from the main stage. The location also is unveiling its new ESPN BET branded retail sportsbook on April 24, one day before the draft.

These three locations experienced great success last month, generating a combined $122.3 million in revenue, the best month since December 2019.

Not only does each casino have retail sportsbooks fans can place wagers on, visitors can also try their luck on slots and table games. Here are the amount of slots each property offers:

  • MotorCity Casino: 2,700
  • MGM Grand Detroit: 2,500
  • Hollywood Casino at Greektown: 2,200

Michigan is one of the richest gambling states in the country with sports betting, retail casinos and online casinos. Fans heading into Detroit for the weekend are welcome to try them all.

Photo by Visit Detroit
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Corey Sharp

Corey Sharp joined Catena Media in 2022 and is the go-to expert for Michigan gambling. Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, he previously worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer and NBC Sports Philadelphia as a sports journalist and content producer. In Corey’s role as Lead Writer for PlayMichigan, he works alongside a talented team of expert journalists and analysts to bring you the most comprehensive and accurate coverage of gambling news in Michigan. Corey’s contacts around the industry makes him a trusted source. Corey produces daily stories and features about the gambling space. Corey graduated from Holy Family University in Philadelphia with a bachelor’s degree in sports management.

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