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The May 2018 Supreme Court PASPA ruling opened the door for individual states to make their own rules when it comes to legal sports wagering. Michigan didn’t waste any time in crafting a package of gambling bills that included poker, casino games and sports betting, which were surprisingly vetoed by then-Gov. Rick Snyder in December 2018.
After Snyder left office, the legislature passed new legislation, and Gov. Whitmer signed the Lawful Sports Betting Act in December 2019 that legalized sports betting in Michigan for the first time. The sweeping bill covered additional areas like online casinos and online poker, but sports wagering was of particular interest as something that had been previously banned entirely in the state.
Michigan sports bettors are legally cleared to bet at retail betting shops and online sportsbooks. The state has a rich offering of commercial and tribal casinos, which currently house all available legal retail sports-betting options. Online launched in January 2021, and you can already sign up with a handful of operators, including with DraftKings, William Hill and PointsBet, to name a few.
Michigan took its first legal sports bets in March 2020 with four commercial casinos each opening a retail sportsbook for legal sports betting.
Greektown Casino, a downtown Detroit casino, opened a fully operation retail sportsbook at that time and is owned by Penn National Gaming. It has plans for an even bigger sportsbook on the main floor of the casino, which will include branding from Barstool Sports.
MGM Grand Casino, also in downtown Detroit, took its first legal sports bet in March 2020 at the BetMGM Sports Lounge. The new legal sportsbook at MGM Grand Detroit includes electronic betting kiosks and is open from 9 a.m.-1:30 a.m.
Motor City Casino also built a two-story FanDuel Sportsbook which opened in March 2020. Former Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders placed the first bet during the grand opening.
FireKeepers in Battle Creek became the first tribally owned Michigan casino to launch a sportsbook in June 2020. The namesake for Dacey’s Sportsbook, Jim Dacey, placed the first wager with a bet on Rory McIlroy to win the 2020 Masters.
At least a dozen additional tribal casinos in Michigan have secured partnerships or begun the planning stages for legal retail and online sports betting.
BOOKMARK: Get The Latest On Top Michigan Poker Sites & Offers When They Become Available
Yes! Although online sports betting is perfectly legal in Michigan, it took awhile for regulated online sportsbooks to become operational. It took time to figure out all the licensing agreements and the governing body needed to establish a separate set of regulations for online sportsbooks and mobile betting. They launched in January 2021.
Ahead of launch, commercial and tribal casinos began reaching partnerships with online sports betting operators. With Michigan sports gambling fully online, every sports bettor should have a wide variety of operators and mobile apps to choose from.
We strongly recommend being patient and avoiding offshore sportsbooks until legal and licensed sports betting sites are operational. Offshore sportsbooks present unwanted risk for the bettor as they face no regulation or oversight in the United States and offer customers little legal recourse in the event they go out of business or refuse to release funds.
While we still don’t know all of the casinos and online operators that will be available to players for legal Michigan sports gambling, we do know the first 10.
The first 10 to launch in Michigan are:
Mobile betting apps work just like the desktop online versions. But they’re often preferred for the convenience factor as you can essentially travel around with an entire sportsbooks via your cell phone. It’s easy to download these mobile sports betting apps on iOS or Android. New users will need to first complete a registration process with each sports betting operator they want to bet with and should have personal information such as date of birth, address, phone number, driver’s license or other government-issued ID and social security number ready to go.
Almost all of the top online sportsbooks offer mobile apps, many of which should be available in Michigan. Other operators to keep an eye on are 888sport, Unibet and FOX Bet.
Unlike some states, Michigan hasn’t proposed any restrictions for betting on in-state college teams. That means it’s all on the table and sports betting will include the Michigan State Spartans and Michigan Wolverines, as well as local pro teams like the Detroit Lions, Pistons, Red Wings and Tigers.
But that’s just scratching the surface. Michigan sports gambling will include lines, props and futures bets on a large number of pro and college sports including:
This is one of the most popular sports betting formats. Oddsmakers set point spreads on every game as a way to handicap the match for betting on unevenly matched teams. For a Lions-Bears game, the point spread could be Bears -6. This means the Bears are a 6-point favorite, and a bettor can wager on them to win the game by six or more points. Conversely, the Lions would be +6. That means you could wager on the Lions and win the bet as long as the Lions don’t lose by six or more points.
Moneyline betting removes the point spread and allows players to simply bet on the winning team. The risk/reward is just different. In the above example, the Bears could be -160 and the Lions +140. That means Bears bettors would have to risk $160 in order to win $100, while a $100 bet on the Lions would net a profit of $140 should the Lions pull off the upset.
You can be sure there will be plenty of top NFL betting sites available for your Lions betting.
Totals, or over/under bets, are available for every game in the popular pro and college sports as well. Instead of betting on a team, you’re betting whether the two teams will combine to score more or less than the total points. The total for a Pistons-Bucks matchup could be 203. Michigan gamblers would then bet whether the combined score at the end of the game will be more or less than 203 points.
Parlays are a series of wagers combined together. They’re generally low-risk, high-reward bets that can create large profits if they hit. But the key is that every game needs to be correct. In a four-team parlay, you could correctly pick three games but still lose the bet if the fourth and final leg goes the other way.
Futures bets are long-term wagers that predict the outcome of a season-long race or award. You could bet on the Detroit Tigers to win the World Series in March, or the Pistons to win the Central Division before the season starts. The odds all depend on the team’s outlook entering a season and can lead to big payouts when they hit.
The same goes for individual awards – sports gamblers could place a bet in August on the Michigan State quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy, for example.
Michigan sports gambling and other forms of legal online wagering are expected up to generate approximately $19 million in new revenue annually for the state.
That sports betting revenue will come from several avenues, including sports betting licensing fees of $100,000 with an annual renewal fee of $50,000. There’s also a $50,000 fee to simply apply for a sports betting license.
Each sports betting operator will pay a general tax rate of 8.4% on their adjusted gross revenue from sports betting, while Detroit’s three sportsbooks in its commercial casinos are required to pay a 1.5% city tax.
Michigan sports gamblers will also be required to report winnings exceeding a certain amount on their annual income tax return at a rate of 4.25%.
MICHIGAN SPORTS BETTING, JUNE vs. MAY
|Total handle||Mobile handle||Revenue (GGR)|
|Change||Up 0.7%||Down 1.0%||Up 20.7%|
Updated July 19
Michigan first legalized pari-mutuel horse racing in 1933, partly to help generate state revenues amid the Great Depression. As the state continued to expand its gambling options by introducing a state-run lottery in 1972 and overseeing its first tribal casinos in the late 1980s, legal sports gambling in Michigan remained off the table until the Supreme Court’s 2018 PASPA ruling.
Gov. Whitmer signed the Lawful Sports Betting Act in December 2019, one year after a series of gambling bills was vetoed by outgoing Gov. Rick Snyder. The Lawful Sports Betting Act included retail and online sports betting along with additional online options like poker, casino games and online slots.
Retail sportsbooks at the states existing commercial and tribal casinos became operational just a few months later, with bettors placing the first legal sports gambling bets in Michigan in March 2020.
The legal sports betting age in Michigan is 21. The legal age for gambling at tribal casinos and state-run lottery is 18.
Online casino, land-based casinos, daily fantasy sports, lottery, pari-mutuel horse racing and online poker are all legal forms of gambling in Michigan. Social casinos are also legal.
Online betting sites use geotracking technology to prevent things like underage gambling and ensure that users don’t violate state laws by gambling on sports in states where it’s still illegal.
Michigan sports betting licenses carry a $50,000 application fee, a one-time $100,000 fee and an additional $50,000 annual renewal fee.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board oversees legal sports betting in Michigan, as well as the state’s commercial and tribal casinos.
Winnings exceeding a certain amount must be reported as income and taxed at a flat rate of 4.25%.
Players will need to register with their chose online sportsbook. They might need to provide information like proof of residence and social security number. This information is totally secure because these sites are regulated.
Yes, for all the reasons listed above. This is a legal, regulated industry in Michigan and protects the players first and foremost. Unregulated offshores sportsbooks aren’t trustworthy because there’s no oversight and no vetting process, so we strongly recommend sticking with legal Michigan sports gambling sites.
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