In its first year of operation, Michigan has already grown into one of the largest casino markets in the U.S. Four months after launching in January 2021, Michigan had more than a dozen online casino operators, all offering the latest mobile apps and game and slots selection.
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On Jan. 22, 2021 online casinos and online sports betting in Michigan launched, with nine operators initially going live. Poker Stars launched the status’s first online poker platform a week later, giving Michigan players a full range of online options.
Highlights of some of the state’s online gambling laws:
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the Lawful Internet Gaming Act in Dec. 2019, which authorizes online casino games in the state:
Key components of the Act:
Michigan online casinos, sports betting sites and poker sites launch.
After years of negotiations, elected officials finally reach consensus on a sweeping gambling legislation package that makes Michigan the first state with not just online casino gambling and sports betting, but also Native American as well as commercial casinos.
In one of his final acts as governor, Rick Snyder vetoes a series of massive gaming expansion bills that would have legalized real-money online casino gaming and paved the way for future expansion.
The first significant push for legal sports betting begins in the legislature, even though a federal ban in place at the time handicaps any hope for the bill coming into law.
Laws to explicitly ban online gambling are ratified and subsequently repealed.
The first casino in the state, MGM Grand, opens its doors.
Lawmakers create the Michigan Gaming Control Board to govern the trio of new commercial casinos in Detroit.
Three commercial casinos are legalized by an act of the legislature. Greektown Casino Hotel, MGM Grand Detroit and MotorCity Casino Hotel all open in the following years.
The first Native American casinos open on federally recognized sovereign land after the U.S. government permits expanded gaming options on tribal lands.
Michigan becomes one of the earlier adopters of the modern state-sanctioned lottery.
Pari-mutuel horse racing is legalized, largely to bolster state revenues in the midst of the Great Depression.
Michigan online casino revenue has shown significant increases since launching in January 2021. By April 2021, sports betting surpassed $1 billion. It's safe to say the future looks bright for online gambling.
Total gross gaming revenue receipts by month, per the state's Gaming Control Board:
January 2021: $29.3 million
February 2021: $79.7 million
March 2021: $95.1 million
April 2021: $94.8 million
That equated to a $53.4 million total internet gaming state tax payment to the state during the first quarter of 2021.
By way of comparison, New Jersey’s igaming revenue in March was a nation-leading $114 million. Pennsylvania was No. 2 with $97.7 million, barely edging out Michigan ($95.1 million), which only began online casino gaming less than two months earlier.
BetMGM, which launched on Jan. 22, 2021, is the clear market leader for online gambling in Michigan. BetMGM is the online arm of MGM Resorts, whose MGM Grand Detroit is the state’s leading commercial casino. In addition to a robust offering of online slots and table games, BetMGM Casino in March became the state’s second poker platform to launch.
The No. 2 online casino operator in Michigan and the state’s leader in sports betting handle. While FanDuel is primarily known for sports betting and daily fantasy sports, its online casino operations is growing fast. Partner of MotorCity Casino in Detroit, FanDuel makes it easy to use shared wallets and seamlessly switch from online casino to sports betting.
Like rival FanDuel, DraftKings is known more for sports betting and daily fantasy sports. Partnered in Michigan with the Bay Mills Indian Community, the DraftKings Casino offers more than a dozen different forms of blackjack along with several live dealer games and a growing number of exclusive slot titles.
Partnered with the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, BetRivers Casino offers nearly 200 slot titles and a wide selection of table games. A convenient filter makes it easy to immediately locate the specific slot title or table game you want, and also browse games offered by individual studios, such as IGT, NetEnt and Evolution Live.
The state’s first online casino to launch an online poker platform on Jan. 29, 2021. Its poker app is considered the industry stalwart. Partner of Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, PokerStars Casino offers a solid gaming platform with plenty of exclusive slot titles and video poker options.
Majority owned by Penn National Gaming and partnered with Greektown Casino, Barstool is a popular sports media brand that has brought its pop culture attitude to online casino gaming and sports betting. The Barstool online casino has a robust selection of slots and more than half-dozen poker options.
Partner of Keweenaw Bay Indian Community offers a generous welcome bonus and plenty of promotions. Players at Golden Nugget Casino can choose specific slot titles through a unique game theme filter (Animal, Halloween, Movie & TV, etc.). Table game selection includes at least three different forms of roulette.
Yes, each Michigan online casino operator offers its own selection of bonus offers to sign up new players. Note that most bonus offers include some form of wagering requirement before the bonus money can be fully redeemed. Among the most popular casino bonuses offered:
Receive a no-deposit bonus of up to $45 just for signing up.
Make an initial deposit and your Michigan online casino will match that amount up to 100%.
Refund up to $200 on net losses during the first 24 hours of online casino wagering.
A specified number of free spins are offered on new or particular slot games after signing up.
Bonus offered to players for using a preferred payment method to make deposits.
Deposit and withdrawal methods at Michigan gambling sites will vary by operator, but generally speaking you will be able to choose from an array of options. Those can include Play+, which is often branded by the online casino or sportsbook; PayPal and other e-wallets like Skrill or Neteller; online banking (including ACH and VIP Preferred); credit and debit cards (Mastercard, Visa, American Express and/or Discover); PayNearMe; and cash at an affiliated brick-and-mortar casino cash.
Most online sites will want you to withdraw using a method you had used for a deposit (if applicable). However, options tend to be more limited as credit card withdrawals are typically not allowed, so it’s best to have multiple options at your disposal. Play+ allows you to add funds to the card with a credit card to deposit into your gambling account and allows you to withdraw back on to the card. You can then access funds from the card at an ATM. Other options include PayPal, online banking, mailed paper checks and cash at an affiliated casino/sportsbook cage.
Withdrawal times vary both by method and by operator. Expect a 24-to-72-hour processing time before funds are released for withdrawal after you make your request. Once that time is complete, e-wallets and Play+ tend to be the fastest in delivering cashouts.
All Michigan online casinos offer mobile casino apps that allow you to play 24/7 on your smartphone or mobile device from anywhere inside the state. The online casino apps use start-of-the-art technology that allow you to do anything you could do on your home computer, whether it’s wagering, requesting a withdrawal or claiming a bonus. The apps are available for Android and iOS systems and free to download. No two online gambling apps are the same, so it’s best to experiment with a few different ones to determine which work best for you.
In addition to the most popular gaming options such as slots, blackjack and roulette, several other table games are available on Michigan online casino sites. Among them:
Online slots in Michigan are legal and offer popular games from popular slots software providers. Companies such as IGT and Bally are some of the most-known online slot providers and offer endless slot games just like the ones you’ll find at a brick-and-mortar casino. Playing real money slots online is a nearly identical experience, with a few extra conveniences and perks. You’ll never have to worry about finding a seat at your favorite wall of slots. And you won’t lose your seat if you need to get up and stretch your legs for a few minutes. Additionally, online slots will offer a higher RTP (Return to Player) than land-based ones as online operators have less expenses and overhead.
A handful of varieties of video poker are available online, depending on your casino operator. The most popular are Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better and Bonus Poker.
All the top online casinos feature mobile blackjack as one of the most popular games. Playing online blackjack is a great way to have some fun. Players don’t have to wait for everyone else at the table and can play as many as eight hands in the time it would take to play one at a land-based casino. Strategy is more important in blackjack than other table games, and online blackjack provides the opportunity to stay sharp and consistently make the most profitable decisions on whether to hit, stay, split or double down.
Online roulette is legal in Michigan and available at online casinos. Most online casinos in Michigan feature the same American Roulette rules as land-based casinos. This means that while the game is the same, it’s easier to place your bets wherever you want – no one wants to hold the table up placing bets everywhere while scrambling to keep track of all the chips. Playing roulette online means no crowds and no waiting for all the bets at the table to get sorted out. Standard bets on black/red, odd/even and high/low are calculated instantly, and you can employ all the same strategies such as the Martingale and the James Bond systems. Michigan online casino sites also offer variants with a lower house edge, including European and French roulette.
Not all Michigan online casinos offers the popular dice game, as even the top software operators find it difficult to replicate the vocal emotional swings from players at land-based craps tables. Still, the online version is offered by some Michigan operators and playing online is a valuable way for newcomers to learn the game and its unique odds-based wagers at their own comfortable pace.
Wager on the player’s hand, the banker’s hand or a tie. Variations of baccarat, which generally include side bets, include EZ Baccarat, Dragon Bonus Baccarat and Mini Baccarat. Each Michigan online casino offers its own selection of baccarat options.
Online poker in Michigan was first legalized in 2019 and launched in late January 2021. PokerStars was granted the first partnership in 2020 – it’s the biggest online poker operator in the country and previously available exclusively in New Jersey. PokerStars launched in the state in January 2021, via a partnership with the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians, becoming the first online poker option available to play for folks in Michigan.
Online poker rules and betting strategies are like traditional poker games, with a few exceptions. It’s far easier to find blinds and limits that fit your budget with all the options in online poker apps. But strategy is different with no face-to-face interaction. Playing the cards is more important in online poker as it’s tougher to pick up on player tells. It’s also more difficult to bluff. Online poker involves more numbers and card strategy than you’d find at an in-person poker room as a result.
These are table games such as blackjack, roulette and baccarat that are dealt by a live dealer in a studio setting and streamed to your mobile device or computer. Players can live chat with the dealer and others at the table, providing a more social atmosphere. Many Michigan online casinos offer live dealer games, and some offer a handful of them.
These include casino poker variations (Three Card Poker, Caribbean Stud, etc.), bingo, scratch tickets and keno. Several Michigan online casinos offer all or a combination of these games. Loyalty Programs and Rewards
Michigan is home to three Detroit-based commercial casinos and 23 tribal casinos located throughout the state. The state of Michigan does not have general regulatory authority over land-based Indian casinos. The tribal casinos are regulated by the National Indian Gaming Commission and the government of the specific tribal community.
Greektown Casino Hotel: 3,000+ video slots, 60+ table games, poker
MGM Grand Detroit: Nearly 3,500 video slots, 150 table games, poker
MotorCity Casino Hotel: 2,700+ video slots, 60 table games, poker
Among the largest tribal casinos in Michigan:
Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort: 4,000+ video slots, 60 tables games, poker. Located in Mount Pleasant, owned by Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe.
Four Winds Casino Resort New Buffalo: Nearly 3,000 video slots, 60 table games, poker. Located 60 miles each of Chicago, owned by Pokagon Band of Potawatomi.
Firekeepers Casino Hotel: 2,500+ video slots, 75+ table games, poker. Located in Battle Creek, owned by Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi.
Gun Lake Casino: 2,000+ video slots, 40+ table games, poker. Located between Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, owned by Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Potawatomi.
Bay Mills Resort & Casino: Nearly 1,000 video slots, table games, poker. Located in Upper Michigan, owned by Bay Mills Indian Community.
|Casino||City||Address||Hours of Operation|
|Bay Mills Resort & Casino||Brimley, MI||11386 W Lakeshore Dr.||Open 24 hours|
|FireKeepers Casino||Battle Creek, MI||11177 E. Michigan Ave||Open 24 hours|
|Four Winds Dowagiac||Dowagiac, MI||58700 M-51||Open 24 hours|
|Four Winds Hartford||Hartford, MI||68600 Red Arrow Hwy||Open 24 hours|
|Four Winds New Buffalo||New Buffalo, MI||11111 Wilson Rd.||Open 24 hours|
|Greektown Casino Hotel||Detroit, MI||1200 St. Antoine||Open 24 hours|
|Gun Lake Casino||Wayland, MI||1123 129th Ave.||Open 24 hours|
|Island Resort & Casino||Harris, MI||W 399, US-2||10 a.m.-3 a.m.|
|Kewadin Casino Christmas||Christmas, MI||N 7761, Candy Cane Ln||9 a.m.-1 a.m.|
|Kewadin Casino Hotel Sault Ste. Marie||Sault Ste. Marie, MI||2186 Shunk Rd||Open 24 hours|
|Kewadin Casino Hessel||Hessel, MI||N 3 Mile Rd||9 a.m.-10 p.m.|
|Kewadin Casino Manistique||Manistique, MI||5630 W, US-2||9 a.m.-1 a.m.|
|Kewadin Shores Casino & Hotel||St. Ignace, MI||3015 Mackinac Trail||Open 24 hours|
|Northern Waters Casino Resort||Watersmeet, MI||N5384 US-45||Open 24 hours|
|Leelanau Sands Casino||Peshawbestown, MI||2521 N West Bay Shore Dr||8 a.m.-2 a.m.|
|Little River Casino Resort & Hotel||Manistee, MI||2700 Orchard Hwy||Open 24 hours|
|MotorCity Casino Hotel||Detroit, MI||2901 Grand River Ave||Open 24 hours|
|MGM Grand Detroit||Detroit, MI||1777 3rd Ave||Open 24 hours|
|Odawa Casino Petoskey||Petoskey, MI||1760 Lears Rd||Open 24 hours|
|Odawa Casino Mackinaw||Mackinaw City, MI||1080 S Nicolet St||9 a.m.-12 a.m.|
|Ojibwa Casino Baraga||Baraga, MI||16449 Michigan Ave||Open 24 hours|
|Ojibwa Casino Marquette||Marquette, MI||105 Acre Trail||Open 24 hours|
|Saganing Eagles Landing Casino||Standish, MI||2690 Worth Rd||Open 24 hours|
|Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort||Mt Pleasant, MI||6800 Soaring Eagle Blvd||Open 24 hours|
|Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel||Williamsburg, MI||7741 M-72||Open 24 hours|
Located in downtown Detroit, the MGM Grand opened in 1999 and launched the BetMGM Sports Lounge in March 2020. The casino floor has nearly 3,500 slots, including progressive jackpots, and video poker machines. Nearly 40 different table games are also available with a variety of different side bets and bonuses. The 400-room hotel is a AAA Four Diamond selection and includes a luxury spa. It is also pet-friendly. The TopGolf Swing Suite is a unique addition allowing for year-round golf on the simulators. Wolfgang Puck Steak highlights a variety of upscale and fast dining options.
The casino opened in 1999 as one of three in downtown Detroit. The latest addition is a two-story FanDuel sportsbook which will soon begin taking live sports bets in Michigan. The massive casino floor includes nearly 3,000 slots and video poker machines and more than 50 table game offerings. There’s also a poker room that offers different tournaments throughout the week. The 400-room hotel opened in 2007 and includes a full spa. There’s a full food court as well as fine dining options.
Located directly in downtown Detroit, the Greektown Casino is a Motor City staple. It now includes a fully operational sportsbook for legal sports betting in Michigan. There are more than 3,000 slot and video poker machines ranging from penny slots to $100 minimums. A massive array of table games includes blackjack, roulette, craps, three-card poker, Let it Ride, high card flush and many more. The poker room is open 24 hours. And the 30-story hotel features more than 400 rooms and suites. There are also five restaurants including the Prism steakhouse and Bistro 55 buffet.
Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort is an expansive property with all sorts of amenities. Located a short drive from Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Soaring Eagle has thousands of slot machines and video poker options. There’s also a healthy offering of table games like blackjack, craps and roulette, and the poker room is open 24/7. Soaring Eagle also runs bingo games Wednesday-Sunday. The large hotel includes a full spa and day care options with the Kid Quest children’s program. The Entertainment Hall regularly hosts national music acts.
The Odawa Casino opened in 2007 of Little Traverse Bay in Petoskey, Michigan. Odawa Casino is owned and operated by the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and includes more than 1,000 slot machines. The casino also has plenty of table games including blackjack, roulette, craps, Let it Ride, Ultimate Texas Hold'Em and more. The poker room holds weekly tournaments in addition to cash games on Friday and Saturday.
Most of the same slots and casino games at your favorite Michigan brick-and-mortar casinos are available in the state’s online casinos. The advantages of playing online:
Convenience: There is no need to drive to the nearest casino to play your favorite slot machine or table game. Access to online casinos is 24/7 from the comfort of your own home or anywhere within the state.
Access: No more waiting for someone to leave a blackjack table or specific slot machine. Access is immediate. In addition, online casinos offer lower minimum wagers for most games.
Bonus offers: A variety of welcome and sign-up bonuses are available for new online casino account holders. These bonuses are not offered at retail casinos.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board regulates and oversees the state’s gaming industry. That includes the state’s commercial and online casinos, sports betting, horse racing and casino-style charitable gaming. The Board is composed of five members and an executive director, who are appointed by the governor with the consent of the Senate.
The Board does not have regulatory authority over the state’s tribal casinos but does have oversight authority over the tribes’ compliance with state-tribal compacts. The Michigan Bureau of State Lottery oversees the state lottery.
When it comes to gambling, bettors will find few states more welcoming than Michigan, which offers the following options:
Online: Mobile casinos, sports betting, poker, daily fantasy sports, horse racing (advance deposit wagering).
Land-based: Casinos (commercial and tribal), sports betting, poker, horse racing.
Lottery: Tickets can be purchased at retailers and online.
Bingo: Available through charity game tickets, instant tickets, raffles and other forms, both retail and online.
Gambling.com only reviews and recommends online sites that are legal and properly regulated. In Michigan, that means sites licensed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
Offshore-based operators are risky and should be avoided. Among the many reasons why:
Both the Michigan Gaming Control Board and the state’s online sportsbooks offer players a variety of resources to help identify and address problem gambling. In fact, Michigan law requires online operators to provide support and display responsible gambling information.
Michigan players can set wagering, deposit and time-based limits when betting with their online casinos. In addition, the Michigan Gaming Control Board allows players to sign up and enter a self-exclusion program, which bans them from betting for one year or five years.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Gambling Disorder Helpline is available 24 hours a day and can reached at 800-270-7117.
Yes, online gambling is 100% legal at online Michigan casinos, sportsbooks and poker sites. You just need to be 21 or older, be in the state and set up an MI online gambling account at your operator of choice.
MI online casinos are safe as long as you are playing at Michigan online gambling sites that are licensed by the state. To legally offer online gambling in Michigan, an operator must be licensed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, which makes sure every operator utilizes encryption to protect your data and that all games are operated legitimately.
First, pick an online casino site you like best and look for the sign-up page. Then you’ll need to provide some personal information such as your name, address and date of birth. You might also need to provide a Social Security number, but this is standard practice and safe with all legal online casinos. Then simply pick a payment method that works for you, deposit however much you’d like, claim a welcome bonus and get to playing. Prepare to show a government-issued ID either during registration or when you are requesting your first withdrawal.
No, visitors and tourists will be able to gamble online in Michigan. But they’ll need to be within state lines while they’re playing or using online casinos or sportsbooks.
Online casinos in Michigan use geolocation technology to ensure players are inside state borders. It is required by regulators, but don’t worry about your information, as it is secure.
Yes, according to the IRS, all gambling winnings should be reported on your state and federal tax returns. In addition to federal taxes payable to the IRS (which will vary based on your income level), Michigan levies a 4.25% tax on all gambling income.
"Chet Fussman is a freelance writer for Gambling.com. Fussman is a former horse racing writer and longtime sports editor of the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville. He's a poker and blackjack player and frequent sports bettor, who plans to send the U.S. Supreme Court a thank-you card for clearing the way for states to adopt sports wagering. Fussman's philosophy: Don't let the bad beats overshadow your winning ones."
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