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When Did Michigan Launch Online Gambling?
The Michigan Gaming Control Board launched online sports betting and online casino apps on Friday, January 22, 2021. Michigan bettors now have access to 12 sportsbook apps, 11 casino apps, and one online poker app.
Under the initial Michigan gambling bill, a 2021 launch was expected for Michigan gambling apps. There was an ongoing legislative effort in Michigan to accelerate the planned rollout of legal online gambling and sports betting, hoping to boost revenue in the state. The Michigan Gaming Control Board started accepting license applications for both online gambling and online sports betting. It was hopeful that apps would launch before the end of 2020, but they failed to do so.
Michigan’s commercial land-based casinos all launched retail sportsbooks in March 2020. Tribal casinos across the state also started opening live sportsbooks throughout the state and will continue throughout the year. Some of these sportsbooks have closed periodically through due to COVID.
Michigan Online Gambling Update
In case you missed it, here’s some of the latest news to come out of the Michigan gambling industry we’ve covered on Michigan Sharp.
- Michigan had the most successful online gambling launch in US history. Michigan sportsbooks had over $115 million in betting handle and $27 million in casino revenue from just 10 days (January 22-31).
- Additional sportsbook and casino apps launched on January 29 and February 15, 2021, including PokerStars, the first online poker app in the state.
- MGCB announced that 10 Michigan online gambling apps would launch on Friday, January 22, 2021. This included 10 online sports betting apps and 8 online casino apps.
- Michigan online gambling launch was delayed until January. It is anticipated that at least two sports betting apps will launch after a January 12, 2021 MGCB meeting. Read more on Michigan launch plans.
- Detroit casinos reported $50.4 million in revenue a 48.7% drop from the prior month.
- Operators prepared for launch by securing key partnerships in Michigan: PointsBet signed with the Pistons and Red Wings. BetRivers inked with the Pistons and Detroit native Jerome Bettis.
- As sports betting and online casinos approached, Michigan legislators laid the groundwork for interstate online poker.
- Some projections predict 90% of Michigan’s betting revenue will come from mobile/online platforms.
- Now that online sportsbooks and casinos are live, here’s how you can get started in Michigan.
One of the most anticipated launches of the year, Michigan bettors now have access to a variety of online casino apps. The MGCB finalized rules and regulations, which permitted the first casino apps to launch in January 2021. This allows players to use mobile apps or desktop browsers to access a variety of slots and table games and play for real money.
The online casinos are partnered with Michigan’s retail casinos. The three Detroit casinos operate casinos under the brands BetMGM, FanDuel Casino, and Barstool Casino. Other mobile casinos partnered with Michigan’s tribal casinos, including DraftKings Casino, BetRivers Casino, and Golden Nugget.
The online casinos that are now live include:
- Golden Nugget Casino >> Claim $10 Free Play + $1,000 deposit match bonus
- FanDuel Casino >> Claim 24 hours of risk-free betting up to $200
- WynnBet Casino >> Claim 200 Free Spins + $1,000 deposit match bonus
- BetRivers >> Claim 100% deposit match bonus up to $250
- BetMGM >> Claim $25 on the house + $1,000 deposit match bonus
- DraftKings Casino >> Claim 100% deposit match up to $1,500 + $10 free credit
- William Hill >> Claim 24 hours risk free up to $100
- TwinSpires Casino (formerly BetAmerica)
- Stars Casino
- Barstoool Casino
- Four Winds Casino
Michigan started by offering sports fans the opportunity to bet at retail sportsbooks in Detroit as well as at tribal casinos throughout the state. The MGCB then launched 10 online sportsbook apps on January 22, 2021 opening up the world of sports betting in Michigan. Additional apps launched in the weeks that followed.
Michigan became the 20th state to legalize online sports betting, but it took some time to develop rules and regulations to allow sportsbooks to launch their apps. The three Detroit Casinos announced partnerships for online sportsbook apps as well as many of the Michigan tribal casinos.
The online sportsbooks that are now live in Michigan include:
- BetRivers >> Claim 100% deposit match up to $250 with 1x playthrough
- WynnBet Sportsbook >> Claim $1,000 Risk Free Bet
- William Hill >> Claim up to $2021 risk free bet
- FanDuel Sportsbook >> Claim a $1,000 Risk Free Bet
- BetMGM >> Claim risk free bet up to $600
- PointsBet Sportsbook >> Claim up to $2,000 in 2 risk free bets
- DraftKings Sportsbook >> Claim 20% deposit bonus up to $1,000
- Golden Nugget Sportsbook >> Claim $250 in free bets
- Barstool Sportsbook
- TwinSpires Sportsbook (formerly BetAmerica)
- FOX Bet Sportsbook
- Four Winds Sportsbook App
Michigan joins the shortlist of states that offer legal online poker in the US. This includes New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. West Virginia plans to launch online poker as well.
Like online casinos and sports betting, online poker sites in Michigan operate in partnership with the state’s commercial or tribal casinos. Michigan poker players already have access to PokerStars in Michigan. It is likely we will see BetMGM Poker in 2021. It’s also possible that Michigan could see WSOP.com as well, but they haven’t announced any partnership as of yet.
These platforms offer a full slate of cash games, tournaments, and progressive jackpot sit & gos.
In an apparent oversight in the original Michigan gaming bill, Michigan online poker sites were not permitted to join interstate player pools. This would have meant that Michigan poker players would only be able to play poker online against other Michigan players. In December 2020, the Michigan legislature passed Senate Bill 0991 to allow Michigan to enter interstate player pools.
It is likely Governor Whitmer will sign the bill into law in early 2021. This will permit Michigan poker players to play against players in New Jersey and Nevada.
Michigan Sweepstakes Sites
Michigan players can legally enjoy sweepstakes casino platforms, which offer the opportunity to play sweepstakes casino games and poker for cash prizes.
Sweepstakes casinos like Chumba Casino offer slots, table games, and video poker. Michigan players can pick between play money and sweepstakes versions of all of the games at Chumba Casino.
The sweepstakes games use credits known as “Sweeps Coins” as currency, which can redeemed for cash prizes. Global Poker, a sister site to Chumba casino, offers sweepstakes poker using the same “Sweeps Coins” method.
Michigan Betting Information
Among traditional commercial casinos, tribally-owned casinos, the Michigan Lottery, sports betting, and online gaming, Michigan offers many forms of legal gambling.
Our goal is to be the number one resource you can reference and provide you with the necessary information you’ll need before gambling in Michigan, including top Michigan bonuses for online casinos and sportsbooks.
History of Gambling in Michigan
The first form of gambling that became legal in Michigan was when the state passed the Racing Act of 1933, which created regulation around betting on pari-mutuel horse racing. Years later in 1972, the state legalized the lottery.
The 1980s brought casino gaming to Michigan. In 1984, Keweenaw Bay Indian tribe member Fred Dakota ran blackjack games from his two-car garage in a setup he called The Pines. Later that same summer the Bay Mills Indian Band started the first tribal-sanctioned casino on their land, the Kings Club Casino.
Fast-forward to today, and Michigan hosts three commercially-owned casinos in the Detroit area and 23 tribal casinos throughout the state. Michigan online gaming launched in January 2021.
Key Dates in Michigan’s Gambling History
- Jan. 29, 2021: The Michigan Gaming Control Board announced the launch of additional gambling apps, including the first online poker app in Michigan.
- Jan. 22, 2021: The MGCB launched the first round of online gambling apps.
- Jan. 12, 2021: The first meeting of the MGCB in 2021 where it was anticipated that the board would give final approval to launch online gaming apps. The MGCB anticipated the first sports bets would be placed before the end of January.
- Dec. 10, 2020: Michigan Gaming Control Board approved 15 online gaming licenses.
- Dec. 1, 2020: The Joint Committee of Administrative Rules met to consider waiving the 15-session-day requirement for final gambling rules approval.
- Nov. 18, 2020: Michigan lawmakers issue an emergency order forcing commercial casinos to shut down due to surging COVID-19 case numbers.
- Sept. 23, 2020: MGCB held a public hearing to finalize rules and regulations.
- Aug. 5, 2020: After a nearly five-month shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan’s three Detroit-based casinos reopen.
- March 11, 2020: Retail sportsbooks go live for the first time. Land-based casinos are forced to shut down just days later, however, due to the COIVD-19 pandemic.
- Dec. 2019: The Governor of Michigan signed a law legalizing regulated online gaming and sports betting throughout the state.
- Nov. 10, 2000: Greektown Casino-Hotel opened its doors to become the third casino in Detroit.
- Dec. 14, 1999: MotorCity Casino Hotel became the second casino to open in Detroit.
- July 29, 1999: The MGM Grand in Detroit officially opened to the public.
- Nov. 1996: Proposal E was approved during the ‘96 election and construction of three commercial casinos was approved to break ground in Detroit.
- July 4, 1984: The Bay Mills Indian Band officially opened the doors to the first tribal-owned casino in the USA – Kings Club Casino.
- Jan. 1984: Fred Dakota opened up a single blackjack table casino in his garage on Keweenaw Bay Indian Tribe land.
- Nov. 24, 1972: The first Michigan Lottery draw occurred.
- May 16, 1972: State voters approved the Michigan state lottery.
- 1933: Racing Act of 1933 was passed regulating pari-mutuel horse racing.
Michigan Betting FAQs
Yes. Michigan hosts 23 tribal and three commercial casinos, all of which offer legal gambling.
You must be at least 21 years or older to legally gamble at the commercial casinos located near Detroit, Michigan. However, tribal casinos have their own age limits. Depending on which tribal casino the age requirements range from a minimum age of 18 to 21.
Yes, Michigan online gambling launched on January 22, 2021. Michigan currently has 11 sportsbook apps and 10 casino apps. The first online poker app launched on January 29, 2021.
Yes, online sports betting launched on January 22, 2021 while retail sportsbooks have been available since March 2020.
Yes, all of the Michigan online sportsbooks have developed an iOS app.
Yes, mobile sports betting apps are permitted under Michigan law. Bettors can place bets on a desktop or mobile browser as well as on Android and Apple iOS devices.
Yes, but due to Google Play Store policies you will need to side-load any sports betting apps on your Android device.
Yes, Michigan has a state-run lottery available to anyone 18 years or older. In May of 1972, voters approved lottery games in Michigan and later that year the first lottery draw was held. Today, lottery games remain legal in Michigan.
Yes, you can play select lottery games online. Michigan offers its residents the ability to purchase online versions of scratch-off lottery games online. For all other lottery games not available online there are over 10,000 licensed retailers throughout the state. You must be 18 years of age to play scratch-offs online.
Yes, casinos in Michigan are safe. Despite several of Michigan’s casinos being located near its largest city of Detroit it is still safe to gamble at casinos. Casinos are equipped with security, dealers and floor personnel as well as cameras.
Yes and no. Yes, you have to pay taxes if you win $5,000 or more. Casinos will withhold the federally mandated amount of 25% if you provide them with your social security number and if you refuse they will withhold 28%. This withholding is for federal income tax. For Michigan’s state tax, you are obligated to report it and it is subjected to a 4.25% state tax. If you win less than $5,000 then no, you will not have to pay taxes.
Yes, especially since loyalty programs are free to join. Casinos have created loyalty programs in order to keep you at their casino. They do this by providing you with free bets, discounted or free hotel rooms, food and beverage credits, and more. You should definitely sign up if you intend to consistently game. If you would rather not be marketed to then we would suggest not signing up as the direct email, email, and marketing efforts may be bothersome to you.
The MGM Grand in Detroit is owned and operated by MGM Resorts. MotorCity Casino Hotel is owned by IH Gaming, and Vici Properties owns the Greektown Casino Hotel.
In addition to the three commercial casinos located near Detroit, the state has 23 casinos located on tribal land. Those casinos are owned by various native tribes that effectively operate autonomously.
Yes, the state has several physical poker rooms, including FireKeepers Casino’s poker room which is the largest in the state. Michigan poker players also have access to online poker as of January 2021.