After a seemingly endless wait, Michigan online casino apps launched in early 2021. Currently, about a dozen online gaming apps are available to Michigan players. This includes online casinos from some of the top names in the industry. The Michigan Gaming Control Board will be issuing additional approval for new licenses throughout 2021.
Best Michigan Online Casino Bonuses & Promos 2021
Golden Nugget launched an online casino through its partnership with Ojibwa Casino. The property is operated by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community.
Golden Nugget is a renowned iGaming brand, especially in New Jersey. Michigan players can look forward to an ever-expanding game selection at Golden Nugget Michigan.
Motor City Casino chose FanDuel as the technology partner for its upcoming legal online casino platform. FanDuel’s growth from a fantasy sports brand to a multi-faceted iGaming company includes the introduction of the FanDuel Casino platform in multiple states.
FanDuel Casino launched in Michigan on Jan. 22, 2021. The casino welcomes new players with a risk-free day bonus up to $200.
The Roar Digital brand operates as a partnership between MGM Resorts International and British sports betting technology powerhouse GVC Holdings.
This collaboration of major players in the gaming industry powers the BetMGM online gambling platforms already operating in several US states. Retail property MGM Grand Detroit launched a BetMGM platform for its online casino offering in Michigan on Jan. 22, 2021.
BetMGM also recently partnered with Evolution Gaming. The companies plan to launch live dealer games as part of a robust online casino offering in Michigan. New players at BetMGM can enjoy a 100% deposit match bonus up to $1,000, plus $25 on the house.
The Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians inked a partnership with iGaming company GAN to offer online gambling to Michigan players. This means Michigan players can access the WynnBET Casino app in Michigan.
WynnBET launched in Michigan on January 22, 2021. On top of playing many different slots and table games, new members can receive a 100% welcome bonus up to $250. The playthrough requirement is just 1x as well, which is as good as it gets for bonus terms.
GAN software powers other legal US online gambling platforms like Betfair Casino New Jersey, one of the top revenue-earning iGaming skins in the US market. The Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians operates the Kewadin Casino brand, which includes five retail properties.
Rush Street Interactive, which owns BetRivers, partnered with Little River Casino in Manistee to launch BetRivers Michigan on January 22, 2021. On top of a wide range of casino games, bettors can also enjoy an impressive sports betting market using the same BetRivers Michigan account.
The BetRivers MI welcome bonus includes a 100% deposit match up to $250, with just a 1x playthrough requirement. The only other online casino that offers comparably great terms on a welcome bonus is WynnBET, which has the same signup bonus as BetRivers Michigan. Both are high-quality choices.
Although most known for its online sports betting and Daily Fantasy Sports offerings, DraftKings also operates one of Michigan’s most exciting online casinos. DraftKings license partnership with Bay Mills Resort & Casinos includes online casino gaming, online sports betting, and retail sports betting.
Michigan players can sign up for a new account at DraftKings Casino and get a 100% deposit match bonus up to $1,500, as well as $10 in free betting credits.
Additional Michigan Online Casinos
One of the world’s biggest iGaming brands, William Hill’s reputation as a powerhouse in the US sports betting industry is unrivaled given its dominant presence in Las Vegas.
As legal online gambling in the US expands, William Hill continues to extend its online casino and sports betting platforms into new territories.
William Hill’s foray into Michigan comes as a product of a partnership with the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. The tribe owns the Leelanau Sands Casino and the Turtle Creek Hotel & Casino.
William Hill launched a hybrid sports betting and casino app in Michigan on January 22, 2021. Signing up at William Hill Casino Michigan yields 24 hours of risk-free playing up to $100 as a welcome bonus.
TwinSpires (owned by Churchill Downs) operates in Michigan by way of a partnership with the Hannahville Indian Community, which owns and operates Island Resort & Casino in Harris,
The TwinSpires online casino and sportsbook platform went live in Michigan on Jan. 22, 2021. New players can enjoy up to $500 of risk-free play in their first week after depositing at TwinSpires MI Casino.
Stars Casino By PokerStars
The world’s biggest online gambling brand, The Stars Group, expands into Michigan through a partnership with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indian Gaming Authority.
Through the partnership, FOX Bet Sportsbook, PokerStars poker app, and Stars Casino all launched in Michigan on the same day. Members can enjoy it all under one account and bankroll.
The Stars Casino signup bonus is a $30 no-deposit bonus for creating an account. You can also use the Stars Casino Michigan 100% welcome bonus up to $500 on the first three deposits for a total bonus of $1,500.
Four Winds Casino
Four Winds Casino launched its online casino app in February 2021, making it the first Michigan tribal casino to launch a casino app under its own name, rather than a partner brand.
The Four Winds Casino and Sportsbook is exclusive to Michigan, and it offers two lucrative welcome bonuses:
- $20 casino free play no-deposit bonus.
- 200% first deposit match up to $200
However, the Four Winds Online Casino deposit bonus has a somewhat reasonable 10x playthrough requirement for slots games only. For table games, the playthrough is 100x, so if you’re not planning on playing slots, skip the deposit bonus.
Full List of Michigan Online Casino Apps
- Golden Nugget Online Casino
- FanDuel Casino Michigan
- WynnBET Casino
- BetRivers Michigan
- BetMGM Michigan
- DraftKings Casino Michigan
- William Hill Casino
- TwinSpires Casino (formerly BetAmerica)
- Stars Casino by PokerStars
- Four Winds Casino
Michigan Online Gambling Launch Dates
- Online Casinos: Launch Date January 22, 2021
- Online Sports Betting: Launch Date January 22, 2021
- Online Poker: Launch Date January 29, 2021
Michigan’s gambling bills legalized online sports betting as well as online casino games and poker. Michigan is the fifth state to legalize all three, joining New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia. By the start of March 2021, 10 online casino apps launched in Michigan.
House Bill 4916 legalized sports betting, both retail and online, in the state. House Bill 4311 authorizes online casinos and poker rooms. House Bill 4308 formally legalized Daily Fantasy Sports in the Great Lakes State.
These new online platforms are certain to boost Michigan’s gambling economy. House Bill 4311 also legalized retail sportsbooks, which have already launched at some of the state’s 26 land-based casinos.
When the plans put forth by HB 4311 reach full maturity, the selection of online gambling options in the state will rival even the biggest US online gambling markets, such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Additional Casinos Launching Later In 2021
In addition to expanding its sports betting presence in the US, Australian company PointsBet is bringing its online casino project to Michigan. They partnered with the Lac Vieux Desert Public Enterprise and Finance Commission under the license of Northern Waters Casino Resort.
Hollywood Casino is currently only live in Pennsylvania, but folks in Michigan may know Hollywood Casino’s quality for the Hollywood Casino properties in Aurora, Illinois and Toledo, Ohio.
When Hollywood Casino Michigan launches, the welcome bonus will likely be the same as it is in Pennsylvania: a $10 no-deposit signup bonus and a 100% match up to $251 on first two deposits ($502 total).
Parx Online Casino
Parx Online Casino is currently available in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. And while the Michigan Gaming Control Board will have to approve many more games before the Parx Michigan casino compares to its counterparts in other states, you can expect a high-quality betting option.
The Parx Casino Michigan welcome bonus will likely be a 100% deposit bonus up to $500 plus 500 free spins (a free spin for every dollar of the first deposit).
FOX Bet Casino
FOX Bet Sportsbook Michigan is already available, but it seems likely that FOX Bet Casino Michigan will also launch in the near future.
Already live in Pennsylvania, you can expect a seamlessly integrated casino and sports betting experience that would be somewhat cleaner than the Stars Casino and FOX Bet Sportsbook partnership.
Perhaps PokerStars will also launch its own sportsbook as a result.
Caesars, best known for its land-based properties in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and beyond, will launch Caesars Casino Michigan in the near future. When it does, you’ll have access to online casino gaming on-par with the in-person offerings at Caesars Properties.
The Caesars Online Casino welcome bonus will likely be a 100% deposit match up to $300 and a $10 no-deposit signup bonus.
Unibet Casino New Jersey offers over 600 different slot machines and tons of table games. But the Michigan Gaming Control Board still needs to approve online casino gaming, so Unibet Michigan won’t have that many. Still, it will have plenty to enjoy.
Unibet Casino Michigan will likely have a 100% deposit bonus up to $500 and a $10 no-deposit bonus for verifying your account.
FireKeepers Online Casino
FireKeepers Casino entered into a partnership with proven iGaming brand Scientific Games for the tribal casino’s upcoming online gaming platforms.
Scientific Games’ interactive gaming partners include Golden Nugget Casino New Jersey, Caesars Interactive, Rush Street Interactive, and numerous others in the US industry.
What Online Casino Bonuses Are Available In Michigan?
Michigan’s legal online casino sites launched with the first wave of products hitting the market on Jan. 22, 2021. Bonuses at the state’s mobile casinos look similar to what we’ve seen in other states.
Deposit Match Bonuses
Deposit match bonuses award bonus money based on the amount a player deposits. The most commonly offered bonus across US iGaming platforms, deposit match bonuses, give players a percentage of a deposit back as a bonus, up to a certain amount.
For example, Golden Nugget Casino Michigan offers a generous deposit match bonus for new players. Golden Nugget Casino players receive a 100% match bonus on deposits up to $1,000.
Using that offer, new players earn up to $1,000 in bonus money. Deposit match bonuses usually require a certain amount of playthroughs to unlock the bonus.
Playthrough requires the player to wager a multiple of the deposit to unlock the full bonus. Playthrough requirements can range from 1x to 30x the deposit.
On most platforms, the match bonus is unlocked in smaller increments as players advance through the playthrough requirement.
Some online casinos extend the opportunity of a risk-free day for players to try out the platform. A risk-free day offers a rebate on losses up to a certain amount.
The risk-free day period generally gives players a 24-hour window after the first deposit.
At FanDuel Casino MI, for example, new players are eligible for a risk-free day up to $200. Using this offer, the casino refunds new players up to $200 in losses in the first 24 hours after depositing.
Free Sign-Up Bonuses
Many mobile casino platforms offer free wagering funds just for signing up. No deposit is necessary for these bonuses.
At BetMGM Michigan, for instance, new players get $25 in betting credits just for signing up. The $25 is issued as casino credit and must be wagered on the platform before it can be withdrawn as real money.
How To Deposit At Michigan’s Online Casinos
Across all US legal online gambling sites, ACH/eCheck is the most universally accepted deposit method. An eCheck deposit uses an online bank account to draft an electronic check, which then goes through an Automatic Clearing House (ACH) for processing.
ACH/eCheck deposits instantly become available on a player’s online casino balance once they’re processed.
The prepaid card option isn’t as widely available as ACH/eCheck. On the platforms that offer prepaid card deposits, however, this method is one of the fastest and most reliable ways to get funds into an online casino balance.
Certain online casino platforms offer prepaid cards directly. Players load money onto cards with money from a debit or credit card. From there, the funds are immediately available for use at the casino.
Once loaded, the casino mails a physical version of the prepaid card to the player within 7-10 days. There’s no need to wait for the physical card to show up to start playing, however. The prepaid card is ready for use as soon as funds are loaded.
PayPal offers one of the most reliable and widely accepted methods for getting money onto a legal online gambling site.
The process takes extra verification steps compared to other deposit methods but yields an almost 100% acceptance rate. Players 21 and over with a valid US PayPal account have access to this deposit method.
Debit cards are another widely offered deposit method at US legal online casinos. The biggest concern about debit card deposits is a relatively high rejection rate from issuing banks.
When a debit card deposit does make it through, the funds are instantly available for play at the online casino.
Skrill and Neteller are a couple of the eWallet options accepted for deposits at some legal mobile gambling sites. These methods do come with fees, however, generally around 3% per deposit.
Casino Cage Deposit
Visiting the land-based casino that operates a given online platform is another way to deposit and withdraw funds at a legal mobile casino.
Do Michigan Online Casinos Offer Live Dealer Games?
Michigan’s legal online casinos will likely offer live dealer games at some point, although none of the eight casinos going live on Jan. 22 had live dealer games on the menu. This is because regulations require live dealer studios to be located within state lines.
Live dealer games allow players to interact with a physical table, and a human dealer, with real-life games, streamed from a secure studio.
BetMGM and Evolution have inked a deal to provide live dealer games in Michigan. So far, this is the most high-profile deal of its kind in the state, though more will almost certainly follow.
Live dealer Blackjack offers online players the social experience of live blackjack, with the convenience of the mobile gaming experience.
These games play virtually exactly like a live blackjack game at a land-based casino. A human dealer deals the cards at a physical table. Online players interact with both the dealer and other players.
Many of the variants of roulette found at a land-based casino can be played as live dealer games on legal online casino sites as well.
Live dealer versions of American and European Roulette play exactly like they do in a live setting. The only difference is that players can participate from the comfort of a mobile device or desktop at home.
Baccarat and casino table games like Casino Hold’em and Three Card Poker are offered as live dealer games at many legal online casinos. These games play exactly as they do at a retail casino.
Progressive Jackpots At Michigan’s Online Casinos
Michigan’s online casinos include enticing progressive jackpot slots. The following list includes some of the most popular progressive slots offered in the state:
Divine Fortune sits at the top of the list of most popular progressive online slots in the US. This slot is found at numerous online casinos in Michigan.
The Divine Fortune Mega Jackpot can reach totals of more than $300,000.
The Big One
The Big One network of progressive jackpot slots resides exclusively at BetMGM Michigan.
This collection of slots operate as different games, linked to the same progressive grand prize. That grand prize jackpot started at six figures when BetMGM launched in Michigan.
Big One progressive jackpot titles include MGM Grand Millions, Loot’en Khamun, and Book of Myths.
Online Casinos Come To Michigan
Numerous US states are jumping into the pool when it comes to online sports betting, but Michigan is just one of five states to legalize online casinos. With the passage of HB 4311, Michigan now joins Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and West Virginia as a state with legal, regulated online casinos. West Virginia launched its online casinos in 2020, and Michigan debuted its mobile casino platforms in January 2021.
Current Tribal Casino Landscape
Like those other states, Michigan’s land-based casinos operate the legal online casino sites. The retail casino industry in Michigan, however, has a different makeup than the other states.
Out of 26 total casinos in the state, 23 are tribal casinos. House Bill 4311 allows for all state casino ownership groups, both tribal and commercial, to apply for online gaming licenses.
The language of the bill contains a unique provision. It provides that at least one commercial and one tribal casino must be licensed to offer interactive gaming (iGaming) for any of the state’s casinos to offer iGaming. This provision is in place to ensure a competitive balance between tribal and commercial casinos.
Michigan Aims For NJ-Style Success
New Jersey is the benchmark state for US online casino gaming performance. After all, it was the first state to legalize and launch online casinos. By far the largest US market, New Jersey’s online casino industry has generated nearly $1.46 billion in revenue since the launch of the state’s first online casinos in December 2013.
Michigan’s online casinos launched with full lineups of classic casino games. This includes blackjack, roulette, craps, slots, video poker, and casino table games.
Live dealer games, which allow online players to interact with a live dealer and other players, are popular in New Jersey. BetMGM and Evolution gaming recently partnered to launch live dealer games in Michigan. Michigan’s online casinos don’t include live dealer games yet, but they will at some point.
The convenience of playing from home or anywhere within the state makes online casino gaming a hit in New Jersey. The same is true in Pennsylvania’s emerging market.
The ability to deposit, withdraw, and play a wide variety of casino games on a mobile phone or desktop computer has led to the growing popularity of the market in states where mobile casinos legally operate. Michigan looks staged to replicate this success as a state that has legalized online gambling in almost every form.
Who Could Be Big Players In Michigan?
Michigan’s online gambling legalization drew the biggest names in the industry to the Wolverine State. DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Golden Nugget, BetRivers, and other big-name brands all launched mobile casino apps in January 2021,
Michigan Online Gambling Options: The Run-Down
Real Money Online Casinos
The massive gambling expansion outlined in HB 4311 includes the legalization of online casinos.
Michigan is one of only five states to legalize online casino gaming, along with New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia.
Michigan hopes to see its mobile casino market catch on and grow in a similar fashion to Pennsylvania, another newcomer to the online casino industry. Pennsylvania’s online casinos earned a record $19.5 million in revenue in February 2020, growing nearly 40 percent over the previous month.
In a state that hosts 23 tribal and three commercial casinos, the launch of casino iGaming should give a welcome boost to the Michigan economy.
Online Sports Betting
House Bill 4916, aka the Lawful Sports Betting Act, brings a new era of sports betting to Michigan, both retail and online. With a population of 10 million and a deep tradition of both college and professional sports, the Michigan sports betting market looks to be poised for success.
Much like several other states with legal sports betting, the industry’s biggest brands operate in Michigan. These brands offer sports betting platforms through partnerships with retail casinos in the state.
Brands like FanDuel Sportsbook, FOX Bet, William Hill, BetMGM, and PointsBet have partnerships in place with state casinos. Michigan bettors can expect to see mobile betting platforms from these companies at some point.
Michigan’s first wave of online sportsbooks debuted in January 2021.
While the online sports betting industry booms in the US, legal online poker currently operates in just a few states. The December 2019 online gambling legislation passed in the Wolverine State put Michigan on the list of markets that to offer state-regulated online poker. The first online poker app, PokerStars, launched on January 29, 2021.
PokerStars’ parent company, The Stars Group operates as a license partner to the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indian Gaming Authority. The tribe owns a pair of land-based casinos in Michigan.
Michigan’s online poker market should also see partypoker offering legal poker to Michigan players. Partypoker’s parent company, GVC Holdings, launched online gambling under the license of MGM Grand Detroit.
Visit: Michigan Lottery
Michigan was one of the first states to implement online options for the state lottery. The Michigan Lottery started to offer online purchases in 2014.
With this option to play online in place, the Michigan Lottery realized record sales figures in both 2018 ($3.6 billion) and 2019 ($3.9 billion).
Michigan’s online lottery platform allows players to purchase entries for a wide variety of instant win and drawing games. The Michigan Lotto 47, an in-state drawing game, offers jackpots reaching well into seven figures.
Online purchases for multi-state lotteries like MegaMillions and Powerball are also at the disposal of Michigan players. Michigan Lottery can be played online on both desktop and mobile apps for iOS and Android.
History Of Michigan Lottery
In May 1972, Michigan voters approved a constitutional amendment to introduce a state lottery. Public Act 239 was signed into law in August 1972, which formally legalized the lottery.
The first lottery tickets were made available to the public in November 1972. By the end of 1977, the Michigan Lottery offered a variety of games. This included instant win tickets and the Daily 3 drawing game.
In August 1996, Michigan, in collaboration with five other states, begins offering the Big Game. The Big Game was the first multi-state lottery to operate in the US.
The Big Game eventually evolved into MegaMillions. It is currently one of the two biggest multi-state lotteries in the US. MegaMillions now includes 45 states. Michigan also participates in Powerball, which is the other major national lottery games.
Michigan became one of the first states to implement online lottery ticket sales, which started in August 2014. The Michigan Lottery app offers purchases to almost every in-state instant win and drawing game, as well as MegaMillions and Powerball.
Daily Fantasy Sports
The gambling-expansion bills signed by Gov. Whitmer included HB 4308, a bill that regulates paid fantasy sports.
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) giants like FanDuel and DraftKings operated in Michigan for years without regulation. This practice is common in the US. FanDuel and DraftKings operate in about 40 states, with only around half of those states having explicit DFS regulations in place.
HB 4308 doesn’t change anything about the actual execution of fantasy sports sites. DFS operators can continue to offer their services. With the new legislation in place, DFS operators will be taxed by the state at the same rate (8.4 percent) as legal sportsbooks.
The bill set licensing fees for fantasy sports operators at a considerably lower rate than many other states. The intent is to allow smaller DFS brands to compete in the Michigan market.
Online Horse Racing
The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) issued an order to legalize online horse race betting on May 6, 2020. Prior to the order, horse race wagering was limited to in-person betting at the state’s lone operating racetrack, Northville Downs.
No standalone off-track betting facilities operate in the state, but Northville Downs does offer simulcast race betting,
With the order from the MGCB in place, Michigan bettors can now enjoy access to legal wagering platforms like TwinSpires and BetAmerica. These mobile apps open up a new world of horse racing options for Michigan bettors, with the convenience of wagering from anywhere within state borders.
State-regulated online casinos are up and running in Michigan. Additionally, sweepstakes sites like Chumba Casino are available to Michigan players and offer a variety of casino games.
Chumba Casino allows for players to purchase “Gold Coins” to be used for play-money games. Players receive an amount of “Sweeps Coins” as a gift that comes along with the Gold Coins packages.
Sweeps Coins can also be obtained for free through various offers. Gold Coins games and Sweeps Coins games both offer a variety of classic casino staples like slots, roulette, blackjack, and casino table games.
Best Sweepstakes Sites In Michigan
- Chumba Casino
- LuckyLand Slots
Sweepstakes Poker Sites
Chumba Casino also operates Global Poker, the largest sweepstakes poker site available to US players. Like Chumba Casino, the games on Global Poker are mini-sweepstakes games.
Players purchase “Gold Coins” packages for play-money poker games. Those packages award an amount of “Sweeps Coins” that come along with the Gold Coins purchase. Players can also receive Sweeps Coins as a free gift through various offers from Global Poker.
Like Chumba Casino, players can redeem Sweeps Coins for cash prizes. Sweeps Coins are never available for direct purchase. They can only be obtained as a gift with Gold Coins purchases or by special free offers.
Legal Versus Illegal Online Casinos
The US legal online casino industry is just beginning to take shape. Michigan joins a list of just a handful of states offering legal, state-regulated online casino gaming.
With Michigan’s legal mobile casinos going live, players in the state enjoy access to a virtual casino landscape that’s owned and operated by Michigan’s retail casinos.
Michigan Online Casino Regulations
The National Indian Gaming Commission regulates Michigan’s tribal casinos. The Michigan Gaming Control Board provides oversight of the state’s commercial casinos. These agencies ensure that the casinos in their respective jurisdiction operate with transparency and accountability.
Tribal and commercial casinos in Michigan conduct business as part of multi-billion-dollar industries. Both the National Indian Gaming Commission and the Michigan Gaming Control Board have a vested interest in fair games and player safety for customers of Michigan’s casinos.
Michigan’s regulated tribal and commercial casinos own and operate the state’s online casinos. As such, playing at a legal, state-regulated online casino platform in Michigan presents the same level of security as playing at a legal retail casino in the state.
Risks To Offshore Betting
Offshore casinos operate illegally in the US. These platforms are not subject to the same regulations as legal online casinos.
Playing at an offshore casino can be a riskier proposition than playing at a state-regulated casino. Players that visit offshore online casinos do so at their own risk.
Timeline For Legal Gambling In Michigan
- 1933 – The first form of legalized gambling became available in the form of pari-mutuel horse race betting. The Racing Act of 1933 legalized pari-mutuel betting on races. It also created the Office of Racing Commissioner to oversee the new industry.
- 1972 – Michigan voters approved a constitutional amendment permitting a state lottery. Then Gov. William Milliken signed Public Act 239 into law later that same year. By the end of 1972, the newly created Michigan Lottery offered the first games.
- 1984 – Tribal casinos launched in Michigan. Fred Dakota, a member of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Tribe, challenged the state’s legal right to regulate gambling on tribal lands. Dakota opened a casino called “The Pines” in January 1984. The casino consisted of a single blackjack table in Dakota’s garage. Later in 1984, large-scale tribal casinos started to operate. The Bay Mills Indian Band opened Kings Casino Club, the first tribally owned casino in the US. By the end of 1985, multiple tribal properties started to offer casino gaming.
- 1996 – Michigan, along with five other states, started to offer tickets for the Big Game, the first multi-state lottery in the US. The Big Game eventually evolved into what is now known as MegaMillions, involving 45 US. states.
- 1997 – The Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act was signed into law. State voters passed the bill, originally called Proposal E, in November 1996. The bill permitted the construction of three commercial casinos in Detroit. The MGM Grand Detroit and MotorCity Casino Hotel both opened in 1999. The Greektown Casino-Hotel opened in 2000.
- 2014 – Online sales for the Michigan Lottery began in November. This made instant win games available for purchase online. Tickets for in-state and multi-state drawing games started online in January 2016.
- 2018 – Both the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives passed a bill to legalize online gambling. The bill only needed a signature from then-Governor Rick Snyder to go into law. Snyder instead vetoed the bill just days before his gubernatorial term ends.
- 2019 – A package of bills that included legislation to legalize sports betting (both retail and online), online casinos, and online poker passed the state Senate and House. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed these bills into law in December. The passage set the foundation for significant gambling expansion in the state.
- 2020 – The first of Michigan’s legal retail sportsbooks went live in March, but only briefly. The COVID-19 pandemic forced nationwide shutdowns of casinos just days later.
- 2020 – Online horse race betting legalized by the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
- 2021 – Michigan’s legal online sportsbooks and casinos go live. Ten online sportsbooks and eight online casinos launch on Jan. 22, 2021.
Recent History Of Michigan Online Gambling
The state first approved and regulated online lottery as the first form of online gambling in Michigan. The Michigan Lottery started to offer online purchases of instant win game tickets in November 2014. In January 2016, Michigan Lottery added options to buy tickets for in-state and national drawing games as well.
Pro-gambling lawmakers, led by former Michigan State Representative Robert Kosowski, began to advance the narrative for legalized sports betting in 2015. In 2017, State Representative Brandt Iden drafted a Lawful Internet Gaming Act bill. The bill was designed to legalize internet-based sports betting if the then-effective federal ban on sports betting was ever overturned.
By 2018, the prospects of legal online gambling in Michigan began to gain serious momentum. A package of bills outlining the legalization of online casino games, retail and online sports betting, and online poker made it through both the state House and Senate.
Overcoming The Veto Hurdle
The bills faced one final hurdle. Then Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed the bills instead of signing them into law. This happened just days before his term as governor ended. Snyder vetoed the gaming bills in December 2018, which pushed Michigan back to square one.
Governor Whitmer took over in the governor’s office the following January. With Whitmer in office, 2019 proved to be a landmark year in the advancement of Michigan’s iGaming initiatives. A package of internet gaming bills, similar to 2018, once again made it through the state House and Senate.
These gaming bills made it to the governor’s desk for the second consecutive year. This time, they received the required signatures from Gov. Whitmer.
The bill’s package included HB 4311, which legalized online sports betting, casino games, and poker in Michigan. Michigan is now one of five states in which all three of those gaming verticals are legal.
Operators in all three areas can launch iGaming platforms via license partnerships with Michigan’s retail casinos. The Michigan Gaming Control Board approved 15 different iGaming operators in December 2020.
Legal online gambling platforms launched in Michigan on Jan. 22, 2021.
History Of Live Gambling In Michigan
Pari-mutuel horse race wagering was the first form of legal gambling in Michigan. The Racing Act of 1933 legalized betting on horse races. The state’s first legal wagers took place in September 1933.
The state established the Michigan Lottery in 1972. This introduced instant win and drawing games to the state.
In 1984, a single individual in the Keweenaw Bay Indian Tribe took the first step for what would eventually become a robust live casino industry in the state. Fred Dakota challenged the state’s stance toward regulated gambling on tribal lands by operating a single blackjack table in his garage.
Other tribal gaming interests soon followed suit. Kings Club Casino became the first tribally owned casino in the US, opening later in 1984. Michigan’s casino industry has grown to include 23 tribal casinos.
The 1997 Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act authorized the construction of three Detroit-area commercial casinos. All three of those properties started to operate by 2000. As of 2020, Michigan is home to a total of 26 casinos.
Michigan Live Gambling At A Glance
|Is lottery legal in Michigan?||Yes, the Michigan Lottery launched in 1972. Michigan players have access to in-state instant win games and drawings, as well as multi-state lotteries like Powerball and MegaMillions|
|Does Michigan have casinos?||Yes, Michigan is home to 26 total casinos, including 23 tribal and 3 commercial properties|
|Does Michigan have racetracks?||Yes, Michigan has one horse racetrack, Northville Downs|
|Where else can I gamble in Michigan?||Online casinos, sports betting, and poker are legalized. Michigan’s mobile gaming platforms launched in January 2021. Players can play on these iGaming sites from anywhere within state borders|
|What is the minimum gambling age?||21 (18 for lottery and horse racing)|
|Who regulates gambling?||The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) and the National Indian Gaming Commission|
Casinos In Michigan
Michigan is home to 26 casinos, with 23 tribal casinos situated throughout the state, as well as three commercial casinos in Detroit.
Players can find tribal casinos all over the Michigan map. There are 12 in the Lower Peninsula and the other 11 in the Upper Peninsula. Kings Club Casino, located in the Upper Peninsula’s Bay Mills Township, was the first tribally owned casino to open in the US. It started operations in 1984.
Michigan Casino Locations
|Bay Mills Resort & Casino||Brimley|
|FireKeepers Casino Hotel||Battle Creek|
|Four Winds New Buffalo||New Buffalo|
|Four Winds Hartford||Hartford|
|Four Winds Dowagiac||Dowagiac|
|Gun Lake Casino||Wayland|
|Island Resort & Casino||Bark River|
|Kewadin Casino Christmas||Christmas|
|Kewadin Casino Hessel||Hessel|
|Kewadin Casino Manistique||Manistique|
|Kewadin Casino Hotel and Convention Center||Sault Sainte Marie|
|Kewadin Shores Casino||St. Ignace|
|Kings Club Casino||Brimley|
|Leelanau Sands Casino||Suttons Bay|
|Little River Casino||Manistee|
|Northern Waters Casino Resort||Watersmeet|
|Odawa Mackinaw City Casino||Mackinaw City|
|Odawa Petoskey Casino||Petoskey|
|Ojibwa Baraga Casino||Baraga|
|Ojibwa Marquette Casino II||Marquette|
|Saganing Eagles Landing Casino||Standish|
|Soaring Eagle Casino||Mt. Pleasant|
|Turtle Creek Casino||Williamsburg|
|MGM Grand Detroit||Detroit|
|MotorCity Casino Hotel||Detroit|
Tribal Casinos In Michigan
The opening of the Kings Club Casino by the Bay Mills Indian Band was just the beginning of a long history of tribal gaming in Michigan. Five more tribal casinos opened by the end of 1985.
At the time, these tribal casinos operated in a legal grey area. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in 1987 that Native American tribes could legally operate on tribal lands. In 1988, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act further defined the legal relationship between tribal gaming industries and state regulatory agencies.
The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act required Michigan’s tribal casinos to enter a state compact. The Act provided that tribes retained exclusive rights to operate casino gaming throughout the entire state. This included off-reservation lands.
The compact required the tribes to pay 10 percent of revenue from video gambling machines to the state. As of 2021, the industry has grown to include 23 tribal casinos.
Commercial Casinos In Michigan
The 1997 passage of the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act authorized the construction of three commercial casinos in Detroit. This bill negates parts of the state compact, as tribal interests no longer held exclusive rights to operate casinos in the state. The tribal casinos were also no longer required to pay the 10 percent “tax” on video gaming profits.
All three of the proposed Detroit-area casinos opened in 1999 and 2000. The MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino Hotel, and Greektown Casino-Hotel are still in business as of 2020.
These three casinos realized all-time highs in combined revenue for both 2018 ($1.44 billion) and 2019 ($1.45 billion).
Michigan’s tribal casinos are owned and operated by 12 different Native American tribes. Of the commercial casinos, MGM Resorts International owns the MGM Grand. IH Gaming owns the MotorCity Casino Hotel. Penn National Gaming operates Vici Properties, which in turn owns Greektown Casino.
Other Reading On Michigan Gambling
Michigan Online Casinos & Gambling FAQ
Yes. Michigan is home to 23 tribal and three commercial casinos, all of which legally offer gambling in the state.
Michigan was one of the first states to introduce tribally owned casinos. These properties can be found throughout the state. The state authorizes tribal casinos to operate anywhere in the state, including on non-reservation lands.
Michigan’s three commercial casinos are all located in Detroit.
18 at some casinos, 19 or 21 at others. Michigan’s tribal casinos can individually set the minimum gambling age at their respective properties. Depending on the casino, this age can be 18, 19, or 21.
The minimum age to gamble at the three Detroit commercial casinos is 21. For horse racing and lottery, the minimum age is 18.
All online gambling platforms mandate a minimum age of 21, including those licensed to tribal casinos.
Yes, on gambling winnings of $5,000 or more. Federal laws require a 25 percent tax to be paid on all gambling wins of $5,000 or more.
For proper tax reporting, the casino will require paperwork for any players winning $5,000 or more. If a player provides a social security number, the casino withholds 25 percent. If the SSN is not provided, the casino withholds 28 percent.
The state tax rate of 4.25 percent also applies to winnings of more than $5,000. It is the player’s responsibility to report winnings to the state.
Yes. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed off on a package of bills in December 2019 that legalized online sports betting, casino games, and poker. Michigan’s online gambling platforms launched on January 22, 2021.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board regulates the state’s land-based commercial casinos as well as all online gambling. The National Indian Gaming Commission regulates all land-based tribal casinos.
Michigan legalized online horse race betting in May 2020. TwinSpires and BetAmerica online wagering sites now operate legally in Michigan. The Michigan Lottery also offers online purchases for tickets.
No, apart from the online lottery. Michigan’s online gambling platforms allow any players within state borders who are of legal gambling age to play.
Purchasing online tickets for the Michigan Lottery is different. Players must be located in Michigan and be able to provide proof of residency.
Yes. In 2019, Gov. Whitmer signed off on a package of bills that legalized sports betting, both online and retail.
Michigan’s tribal and commercial casinos are eligible to apply for licenses and to launch online sportsbooks in the state. The first 10 of Michigan’s mobile sportsbooks launched in January 2021.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) regulates online gambling in Michigan as well as commercial casinos in the Detroit area.
The National Indian Gaming Commission oversees tribal land-based casino operations. Both of these agencies take part in the overall regulation of Michigan’s online gambling industry.
A variety of options should be available for players to deposit and withdraw when Michigan’s online gambling platforms launch. This includes ACH/eCheck, credit/debit cards, prepaid cards, casino cage deposit, PayPal, eWallets, and wire transfers.
These are the most common ways to deposit and withdraw in other states that offer legal online gambling.
Yes. DraftKings Casino is partnered with Bay Mills to offer online sports betting and an online casino as well.
The DraftKings Casino homepage displays a map of all states in which it legally operates. The platform’s geolocation software will not allow for players outside of these states to play.
Yes. FanDuel Casino operates in Michigan under the license of MotorCity Casino Hotel, one of three Detroit-area commercial casinos in the state. They also operate a retail sportsbook at MotorCity Casino in Detroit.