Michigan Online Gambling

Michigan has welcomed online gambling and betting with open arms. Governor Gretchen Whitmer kickstarted the state’s journey to a full-fledged online gaming market just last year when she signed three bills. Each bill authorized one online gaming channel: HB 4311 for online casino gaming, HB 4916 for sports betting, and HB 4308 for fantasy sports. 

Right now, Michigan’s regulations are still in the works. Once the state has a solid framework in place, online betting operators will flock to Michigan, and players will be able to gamble online. Simply put, it’s a great time to be an online gambler in Michigan. 

Michigan Online Gambling Options

Type Of Online GamingStatus In Michigan
Online sports bettingLegalized in December 2019, expected to launch late 2020 (Nov/Dec)
Online casinosLegalized in December 2019, expected to launch late 2020/early 2021
Online horse race bettingLegalized in May 2020
Daily Fantasy SportsAvailable; formally legalized in December 2019
Sweepstakes casinosAvailable to Michigan players
Sweepstakes poker sitesAvailable to Michigan players
Online lottery Online lottery purchases allowed for instant games and draw games

Online Sports Betting In Michigan

Michigan’s House Bill 4916 made legal sports betting a reality in the state, ushering in a new age of both retail and online betting. For now, eager bettors have a bit longer to wait before they can start wagering on their favorite sports. Though the legislature legalized sports betting, the regulatory process is slow. State lawmakers and the Michigan Gaming Control Board are finalizing rules and regulations that will govern sports betting in the Great Lake State. 

All of Michigan’s casino properties–tribal and commercial–are allowed to launch retail and mobile sports betting under the state’s law. This will create a strong, competitive sportsbook ecosystem with many operators vying for the top spot. 

Michigan may launch online sports betting in late 2020, though some estimate the wait will be slightly longer, lasting until early 2021. Either way, sports betting is on its way to Michigan, and operators are gearing up to launch in what is sure to be a competitive market. 

Best Online Sportsbooks In Michigan

With no sportsbooks actually live yet, it’s hard to judge which will be Michigan’s best and brightest. However, major sports betting companies have inked partnerships in Michigan, giving us a look into the state’s sports betting future. Here are a few leading operators we expect to launch in Michigan as soon as regulations and licenses allow. 

DraftKings

No conversation about leading sportsbook providers is complete without mentioning DraftKings. The company is an undisputed frontrunner in many legal sports betting markets, and it’s ready to carve out a top spot in Michigan, too. 

DraftKings is partnered with Bay Mills Resort and Casino, Michigan’s longest-running tribal casino property. 

When DraftKings enters the Michigan market, expect lucrative bonuses like deposit matches and free bets offering up to $500. You’ll be able to access DraftKings on desktop, Android, and iOS devices. 

BetMGM

MGM Resorts will launch sports betting with its MGM Grand Detroit license. This will bring Roar digital (a partnership between MGM and GVC Holdings) to the Michigan sports betting scene. BetMGM has a wide audience in many US markets, and its roots in Michigan should help it secure a leading position in the state. 

BetMGM offers sports betting via iOS and Android apps in addition to desktop.

FanDuel

FanDuel is another massive leader in the sportsbook industry. The company formed a partnership with MotorCity Casino in Detroit. When FanDuel brings online sports betting to Michigan, it will likely be a top competitor in the market thanks to its strong corporate backing (FanDuel is owned by Flutter, a European gambling leader) and US experience. 

FanDuel typically offers a $500 risk-free bet as a new player incentive, and we expect that to be the case in Michigan. Players will be able to bet with FanDuel on iOS, Android, or desktop devices. 

Additional Online Sportsbooks

Of course, other operators will aim to nab a top spot in the Michigan sports betting market. Here’s a rundown of sportsbooks to expect in the state plus their casino partner, if applicable.

  • DraftKings (Bay Mills Resort and Casino)
  • BetMGM (MGM Grand Detroit)
  • FanDuel (MotorCity Casino)
  • Penn National Gaming (Greektown Casino)
  • Kambi (Four Winds Casino)
  • Scientific Games (FireKeepers Casino)
  • BetRivers/SugarHouse (Gun Lake Casino)
  • William Hill (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, owners of Leelanau Sands Casino and Turtle Creek Hotel and Casino)
  • GAN (Salut Tribe of Chippewa Indians, owners of Kewadin Casino properties)
  • FOX Bet/Stars Group (Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, owners of Odawa Casino Mackinaw and Odawa Casino Petoskey)
  • BetAmerica (Hannahville Indian Community, Island Resort and Casino in Harris)

Betting On Sports In Michigan

Compared to other states, Michigan has very few sports betting restrictions. Bettors can wager on college matches with no restrictions, and professional sports are completely fair game. The only iffy area at this point is esports. There’s no specific language allowing or prohibiting esports betting in Michigan. Michigan was quick to embrace all forms of online gambling, though, so esports betting looks like a positive prospect in the state. 

Online Casinos In Michigan

You could classify Michigan as an early adopter of online casino gaming. It’s one of only five states to regulate online casinos. Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania already authorized and launched online casinos, while West Virginia joins Michigan in the “legal, not yet launched” category.

So while sports betting carves a path to legalization in multiple states, online casinos remain a hold-out for many markets. Michigan took a different stance, choosing to legalize digital gaming alongside sports betting, creating a midwestern online gaming market that is virtually unrivaled in the region. 

Possible Online Casino Operators In Michigan

The catch? Online casinos in Michigan have yet to launch in the Great Lake State. For that reason, it’s difficult to pin down exactly which operators will make a splash in Michigan. MGM Grand, FireKeepers, MotorCity, and many others could launch online casinos as soon as 2021 alongside many other Michigan properties. We’ll update this page as operators form partnerships and announce their online casino plans and launch their casino apps.  

What To Expect From Michigan Online Casinos

When online casinos make their way to Michigan, players will have access to hundreds of games. Many of them will be slots from the world’s top providers with themes based on major pop culture franchises. There will also be popular proprietary themed games that players may recognize from casino floors. Online casinos will offer bonuses to new players. 

Table games will be on offer as well: baccarat, blackjack, roulette, and more. Michigan’s online casinos may also include live dealer games. Live dealer games feature a real dealer live streaming straight to your device and doling out cards at a virtual “table.” The computer collects and settles bets while the dealer runs the hand. Live dealer games combine the fun of heading to an actual casino with the convenience of playing casino games on the go. 

Other Online Gambling Options In Michigan

While the wait for online sports betting and casino gaming continues, Michigan gamblers can still access a number of online options. 

Online Horse Race Wagering

Though it’s now seen as a progressive market thanks to recent legislation, Michigan lagged behind with regard to online horse race betting until mid-2020. In May, The Michigan Gaming Control Board issued an order authorizing online horse race wagering. 

Before the order brought online pari-mutuel betting to Michigan, horse racing enthusiasts could only place bets at Northville Downs. Northville Downs is Michigan’s sole racetrack, and it also offers simulcast betting. 

TwinSpires, BetAmerica, and Xpressbet are some of the most popular horse race betting apps. Following the MCGB’s order, they became available to players in Michigan. To bet using these platforms, you must be 18 years of age or older and be within state lines. 

Daily Fantasy Sports

Michigan’s gambling expansion legislation included House Bill 4308, which formally authorized Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS). However, major operators like FanDuel and DraftKings have long been offering DFS in the state–albeit without full authorization. 

DFS exists in a legal middle-ground in most states that neither prohibits nor expressly allows companies to operate. Until Governor Whitmer passed Michigan’s legislation, that was the case in the Great Lake State. 

Now, operators can provide DFS to Michiganders without any risk of legal repercussions. In fact, Michigan offers competitively low licensing fees, making it an ideal market for smaller operators of Daily Fantasy Sports like Monkey Knife Fight. 

The move also bodes well for FanDuel and DraftKings. Both companies started as DFS operators before joining the legal sportsbook race. Now, the two competitors will be able to offer DFS, sportsbooks, and online casinos in Michigan, setting the stage for potentially massive revenue from the state. 

Sweepstakes Casinos

Sweepstakes sites like Chumba Casino and LuckyLand are excellent alternatives to real money online casinos. 

The sweepstakes model offers cash prizes to players in the form of sweeps coins. To get sweeps coins, players can mail in a request or purchase a separate in-game currency, usually called “gold coins.” Every purchase has the potential to award a player a few free sweeps coins. 

You can use gold coins to play casino games for fun. Chumba Casino includes slots and table games while LuckyLand focuses on slots. Once you have enough sweeps coins, you can play with them for a chance to win more. After you’ve played with your sweeps coins, any you have remaining (or additional sweeps coins you’ve won) can be redeemed for cash prizes. 

Sweepstakes sites get their name from the model they use. The sweepstakes model allows them to offer their sites even in jurisdictions with strict regulations. In Michigan, players can enjoy sweepstakes casinos legally. 

Sweepstakes Poker Sites

Global Poker is currently the most popular sweepstakes poker site, and it’s run by the same company that operates Chumba Casino. 

The model is almost the exact same. Each in-game purchase nets you a small allotment of sweeps coins, which you can then play with and redeem for cash prizes. You can also mail in a request for free sweeps coins, an option that allows these sites to operate legally even in jurisdictions that don’t allow legal online casinos. 

Online Lottery

Michigan kicked off online lottery sales in 2014. It was one of the first states to offer this option. The Michigan Lottery website has a helpful page on how to play online lottery games

Players can purchase more than 60 games online in Michigan, and some games (instants and Keno) even have free demos you can try before purchasing the real thing. 

For players hoping to hit a big jackpot, Michigan offers online purchases for draw games like Powerball, MegaMillions, and Michigan’s Lotto 47.

Michigan residents can play online lottery games via desktop or mobile devices through the Lottery’s Android or iOS app. 

Casinos In Michigan

Michigan’s gambling history stretches back to 1933 when the state legalized pari-mutuel horse race wagering. For nearly 40 years, that remained the only legal form of gambling in the state until the Michigan Lottery was approved and launched in 1972. 

It wasn’t until 1984, however, that Michigan casino gambling took off in a meaningful way. Tribal casinos launched in the state after Fred Dakota of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Tribe contested the state’s right to govern gambling on tribal land. Later that year, tribal casinos began to pop up in Michigan. 

Since then, Michigan has become a gambling-friendly state with 26 casinos (23 of them tribal properties). That trend continued into the 2010s when the state legalized online gaming. Now, Michigan is poised to become a 360-degree gambling leader with land-based casinos, horse race betting, and full online gambling available to players. 

CasinoLocation Type
Bay Mills Resort & CasinoBrimleyTribal
FireKeepers Casino HotelBattle CreekTribal
Four Winds New BuffaloNew BuffaloTribal
Four Winds HartfordHartfordTribal
Four Winds DowagiacDowagiacTribal
Gun Lake CasinoWaylandTribal
Island Resort & CasinoBark RiverTribal
Kewadin Casino ChristmasChristmasTribal
Kewadin Casino HesselHesselTribal
Kewadin Casino ManistiqueManistiqueTribal
Kewadin Casino Hotel And Convention CenterSault Sainte MarieTribal
Kewadin Shores CasinoSt. IgnaceTribal
Kings Club CasinoBrimleyTribal
Leelanau Sands CasinoSuttons BayTribal
Little River CasinoManisteeTribal
Northern Waters Casino ResortWatersmeetTribal
Odawa Mackinaw City CasinoMackinaw CityTribal
Odawa Petoskey CasinoPetoskeyTribal
Ojibwa Baraga CasinoBaragaTribal
Ojibwa Marquette Casino IIMarquetteTribal
Saganing Eagles Landing CasinoStandishTribal
Soaring Eagle CasinoMt. PleasantTribal
Turtle Creek CasinoWilliamsburgTribal
Greektown Casino-HotelDetroitCommercial
MGM Grand DetroitDetroitCommercial
MotorCity Casino HotelDetroitCommercial

Michigan Gambling Compared To Neighboring States

Michigan is nestled in the midwest among states with widely disparate views on gambling. Some nearby states welcome gambling in many forms while others enforce strict regulations. 

Wisconsin

Wisconsin takes a conservative approach to gambling, only allowing tribal casinos within its borders. There are no commercial casinos in Wisconsin, and attempts to legalize sports betting in recent years have stalled due to strong opposition. 

Ohio

Ohio has some gambling available: namely a smattering of land-based casinos, horse racing, and a lottery. Michigan outpaces Ohio on the online front, though. Ohio has not legalized online gambling. A 2016 study recommended the Buckeye State authorize online gaming, but little has come of the recommendation and not much has happened since, legislatively speaking. 

Indiana

Of the three states that actually share a border with Michigan, Indiana brings the strongest competition. The Hoosier State unveiled sports betting in 2019 and has seen success since the launch. Players in Indiana can register and bet online without visiting a property in-person, and its headstart may give it a leg-up on Michigan’s sports betting offer. 

However, Indiana still prohibits online casino gaming, opening up an added opportunity for Michigan’s online gaming revenue to pull ahead after launch. 

Illinois

Though it’s not a formal neighbor, Illinois is only a short drive from southwestern Michigan, especially for those looking to visit Chicago in Northeast Illinois. 

The Prairie State has made recent moves to ramp up its online gambling offer, including the legalization of online sports betting. Additionally, Illinois recently authorized the construction of up to six new casinos. In other words, the Land of Lincoln is setting itself up as a midwestern gambling hub and could give Michigan a run for its money. 

But, like Indiana, Illinois has not legalized online casino gaming. Michigan could remain the only online casino gaming market in the midwest for some time.

Who Regulates Michigan Online Gambling?

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) oversees almost all legal gambling in the Great Lake State. It’s a government agency that sets forth rules and regulations that govern all legal gambling operations in Michigan. 

The Board’s jurisdiction includes Detroit’s land-based casinos, sports betting, online casino gaming, and horse race betting. 

The notable exception is any tribal offering. Tribal properties are governed by the National Indian Gaming Commission because they are sovereign groups that do not fall under state jurisdiction. 

The MGCB website features plenty of helpful resources if you’re curious about Michigan gambling regulations. The site is also frequently updated with Michigan gambling news. 

Is Online Gambling Safe In Michigan?

When it launches, Michigan’s legal online gambling portfolio will be safe to use. The state is currently setting up a regulatory framework that will govern all online gambling and sports betting operations in the state. MEasures will be put in place to protect users, and operators who don’t abide by regulatory requirements will risk losing their licenses. 

On the operator side, there will be important security practices in place to protect your data. Online gambling providers use high-level encryption tools to keep your data safe as it travels from your device to the operator’s systems. 

Michigan Gambling FAQ

What’s the gambling age at Michigan’s casinos?

It varies. At Detroit’s commercial casinos, the minimum gambling age is 21. 

Tribal casinos, however, set their own minimum gambling age. Some set the threshold at 18 or 19 while some keep it at 21. If you’re planning a visit, check the casino’s website or give them a call to confirm the minimum age. 

Is it legal to gamble at a casino in Michigan?

Yes. Michigan’s first tribal casino opened in 1984, and now the state has 23 tribal properties. In 1997, the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act authorized the construction of three commercial casinos in Detroit. The three properties opened by 2000 and have been operating ever since. 

This gives gamblers 26 casino properties to choose from, all completely legal. 

Does Michigan have legal online sports betting?

Yes, but it hasn’t launched yet. Michigan legalized online sports betting in December 2019, but the legislature and major stakeholders are finalizing regulations. Michigan is expected to launch online sports betting as soon as late 2020, possibly early 2021. 

Many casinos already formed partnerships with sportsbook providers to gear up for the market’s launch. 

Can I legally gamble online in Michigan?

Yes. Right now, online lottery, sweepstakes casino and poker sites, and horse race betting are available to Michigan players. Online casino and sports betting have both been legalized, but no operators have launched yet. Once Michigan outlines its regulatory framework, operators will apply for licenses and launch once they’re granted. 

Does Michigan have a lottery?

Yes. Michigan started its lottery in 1972. It was the second form of gambling formally legalized in the Great Lake State after pari-mutuel wagering was authorized in 1933.

Can I play the Michigan lottery online?

Yes. Michigan was one of a handful of early online lottery adopters. In 2014, the state-authorized online lottery sales. Now, players can purchase instant games online, plus popular in-state and national draw games like Lotto 47, MegaMillions, and Powerball. 

Is it safe to gamble at casinos in Michigan?

Yes. Casinos have to adhere to strict regulations in order to legally operate, so it;’s safe to gamble at Michigan’s 26 casino properties. 

Detroit’s three commercial casinos are regulated by the Michigan Gaming Control Board. Michigan’s 23 tribal casinos, meanwhile, are overseen by the National Indian Gaming Commission. 

Should I join a casino loyalty program?

If you’re a frequent player, absolutely. Loyalty programs reward you for frequent visits and spending. You can earn free slot play, meal or hotel discounts, and other special promotions as a loyalty member. Just remember to play responsibly. 

About the Author

Cole Rush

Cole Rush is a Chicago-based freelance writer in the gambling, media, and entertainment space. His work has been showcased in various gaming industry magazines and online columns. Prior to freelance writing, Cole spent seven years in communications at a gambling and lottery supplier. Cole writes for a number of online and print publications, including The Quill To Live, a book review site.