Esports Betting In Michigan

Esports betting is currently available in Michigan only at certain retail sportsbooks located at tribal casinos. The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has yet to authorize esports as an approved sports bet for Detroit’s commercial casinos and online sportsbooks.

The only tribal sportsbook that’s reportedly offering esports bets is Little River Casino Resort, which lists lines for Call of Duty and Overwatch events here and there. You can call ahead to this location or any other tribal-owned retail sportsbook to see if they offer esports betting before you make the trip.

With legal online sportsbook apps now legal in Michigan, as of January 2021, Esports are not as widely available as they are in other states. This could change.

Where Can I Expect To Bet On Esports In Michigan?

The MGCB greenlit the launch of online sportsbooks on January 22, 2021, without including esports in the “Sports Wagering Catalog,” which is the approved list of sports. Because the MGCB regulates the three commercial casinos in Detroit as well as all legal online sportsbooks, esports bets are currently hard to come by.

However, Little River Casino Resort, which offered esports bets for select events in 2020, partnered with BetRivers to launch the BetRivers Sportsbook Michigan.

Also, the daily fantasy sports platforms DraftKings DFS and FanDuel DFS offer esports fantasy sports.So if the MGCB approves esports betting, you will almost certainly see it listed at the following three Michigan online sportsbooks:

Best Online Sportsbooks In Michigan For Esports

Sports Betting AppEsports OfferedWelcome Bonus
BetRiversCall of Duty, Overwatch, and likely many more100% deposit bonus up to $250
FanDuelLoL, CS, Rocket League, Overwatch, CoD, StarCraft, FIFA, Madden, NBA2K, eNASCARUp to $1000 risk-free bet
DraftKingsLeague of Legends (LoL), Counter-Strike (CS), Rocket League, Overwatch, Call of Duty (CoD), eNASCAR20% deposit match up to $1,000

Betting On Esports Online In Michigan

It’s unclear exactly what esports options online sportsbooks will have in Michigan. You can contact the MGCB directly by phone or email to learn more about when esports betting will enter the state.

In the meantime, you can currently play Daily Fantasy Esports at DraftKings DFS, which is available in Michigan. The current options include:

  • Call of Duty
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO)
  • League of Legends
  • Rocket League
  • eNASCAR

FanDuel also offers Daily Fantasy Esports for the League of Legends World Championships. So it’s safe to assume that both brands will have those betting options. And as brands that are largely focused on traditional sports, both DK and FanDuel will almost certainly offer esports bets on FIFA, Madden, and NBA2K.

Retail Sportsbook Locations In Michigan

Unfortunately, esports betting in Michigan is hard to come by beyond Daily Fantasy eSports. While Little River Casino and Sportsbook will take bets on the largest esports events, they don’t usually offer the option. 

However, retail sportsbooks can legally take in-person esports bets. So if they take bet requests, you may be able to get a line made personally for you. It can’t hurt to call and ask.

It’s possible that the MGCB will add esports betting to the approved list of sports. When they do, you can check back here for all the best places in Michigan for esports betting both retail and online.

History Of Esports In The US

According to an Esports Ecosystem report for 2020 reported on by Business Insider, the esports market is projected to grow to at least $1.5 billion by 2023. And in that same report, Newzoo projects $1.8 billion by 2022.

Esports is the competitive side of video gaming. Technically, any game where you can compete against other players could be considered an esport. In fact, going for the best score or the fastest time on a game is a competitive market in and of itself.

But when it comes to esports betting, it’s the biggest names that reign supreme. And the reason is simple: the games that draw the most viewers draw the most bets — and bring in the most revenue.

Despite the incredible worldwide popularity, the first online sports bet on an esports event wasn’t taken until November 2019 at the FanDuel Sportsbook in New Jersey. However, it’s a safe bet that esports will become an increasingly common bet, especially with the 2020 COVID-19 shutdown only amplifying interest in gaming streams.

Popular Esports, Events, And Tournaments

The most popular esports events and tournaments in 2020 were those that had the most viewers and the largest prizes. While sports games like FIFA and Madden are highly popular in the esports circuit, it’s these that inspire the most watching – and betting.

1. League of Legends World Championship And Mid-Season Invitational

League of Legends (LoL) is a battle arena game that boasts two of the biggest single-game tournaments on the planet: the LoL World Championship and the Mid-Season Invitational. Teams can win more than $1 million.

2. Intel Extreme Masters

The IEM is a two-game tournament involving both Counter-Strike Global Offensive (CS:GO) and Starcraft II. However, the tournament has hosted other games, including LoL, so it stands to reason that additional games will be introduced in the future.

3. ESL One

The sequel to Defense of the Ancients, Dota 2, is one of the most popular esports games and shares a massive tournament with CS:GO. ESL One 2020 in Los Angeles was canceled because of the coronavirus, but normally, this is one of the biggest tournaments to watch.

4. Call of Duty League Championship Weekend

Call of Duty is an extremely popular first-person shooter game that hosts a yearly championship weekend to a massive number of viewers. First place gets $1.5 million, second place receives $900,000, and third place is awarded $600,000, three massive purses that give the Kentucky Derby a run for its money.

How Will You Be Able To Place An eSports Bet Online In Michigan?

When the MGCB adds esports to the approved list of sports, it will be quick and simple to place a bet on esports. The only requirements are that you’re at least 21, physically located in the State of Michigan, and have an internet connection.

Step 1: Find An Esports Sportsbook

Even when Michigan approves esports betting, it is unlikely that all sportsbooks in the state will offer it. Before you join, make sure that esports (or the specific game) is included in their list of options. If you can’t find it, double-check with the customer service via online chat or email.

Step 2: Deposit and Bet

Once you’ve created an account at an online sportsbook with esports, you then make a deposit using debit or credit card, online banking transfer, PayPal, or whatever method you prefer. You can then place bets as low as $0.50 to as high as $5,000 or more.

Step 3: Cash Out Winnings

Depending on how well you do betting on esports, you can cash out your winnings via online banking, PayPal, or your preferred method. However, credit and debit cards will not be an accepted withdrawal method at Michigan online sportsbooks.

Different Ways To Wager On Esports

You can win money on esports in several different ways. While the sports betting sites and apps in Michigan will focus on real-money betting and fantasy sports, your options don’t end there.

Type of BettingDefinitionExample of a Website
Real-MoneyBetting US dollars on esports events.FanDuel
Fantasy BettingEntering fantasy esports competitions for cash prizes.DraftKings
Skin BettingBetting with weapon, character, and other in-game skins instead of money.CSGOEmpire
Social Betting

Betting with site-specific currency that can be exchanged for cash prizes.
FendOff Sports
Playing for MoneyYou can participate in tournaments and win money by playing the video games themselves.GamerSaloon

Popular Ways To Bet On Esports In Michigan

Win

For an esports win bet, you’re simply betting who will win. The score doesn’t matter.

Spread

Betting the spread in esports depends on the game. It works the same as traditional sports when you’re betting on games like FIFA, Madden, or NBA 2K. But for games like LoL or CS:GO, the spread applies to the number of rounds rather than points.

Parlays

A parlay is placing multiple bets under one total wager to increase the win potential. If all bets are correct, you win the parlay. But if even one event loses, the whole parlay is lost.

Futures

A Futures bet is betting on a result that will happen at a later date. For example, you could bet on the winner of the League of Legends World Championship months in advance. Doing so usually ensures that your win potential is higher than if you bet the day of the event.

Prop Bets

Prop Bets, also known as exotics, are bets on specific occurrences within the event, and usually aren’t affected by the final result. For example, betting that a team will win both pistol rounds in CS:GO.

Totals

In esports, totals depend on the game. For CS:GO and LoL, you bet the over/under on how many maps or rounds are played. Basically, you’re betting over 2.5 or under 2.5; or whether the game be decided in two rounds or three.

In-Game/Live Betting

In-Game or Live Betting is where you bet on the game as it’s being played. Once the game is underway, the odds can shift dramatically depending on what happens. And you can place bets accordingly. Think a team is going to make a comeback despite being behind? That can result in a large in-game win if you’re right.

eSports Betting Odds

In Michigan, the odds for esports betting will be presented the same way as traditional sports: using American odds. The sportsbooks determine the odds based on what they believe to be the likelihood of the result.

The positive (+) number is how much you’ll win with a $100 bet, and it starts at a minimum of +100. The negative (-) number is how much you’d need to bet to win $100, and the lowest it starts at is -101.

The larger the positive number, the lower the chances of winning, but the higher the payout. For example, a correct $100 bet on +150 odds would win $150.

On the flip side, the lower the negative number, the higher the likelihood of winning, so the win potential is lower. For example, odds set at -150 would mean you’d need to bet $150 to win $100.

Why Choose A Legal Sportsbook For eSports Betting In Michigan?

Illegal Betting Sites Can Be Unsafe

Illegal betting sites are often located in areas with little oversight or strict regulations. That’s how they’re able to offer their platform to bettors in areas where online gambling is illegal.

When you join these sites, there’s no telling what they’ll do with your personal or financial information. There are countless horror stories of people’s sensitive information being compromised, and that’s reason enough to avoid these sites.

Legal Betting Sites Are More Transparent

Legal and legitimate online sportsbooks in Michigan will have their terms and conditions front and center. They’ll also have accessible customer service representatives available via phone, email, or online chat.

Illegal sites, on the other hand, will hide terms and conditions like 50x rollover requirements on bonus offers. Their customer service will only be available via email. And they can withhold your winnings for any imaginable reason.

You’re Not Protected At Illegal Betting Sites

When you play at a legally licensed online sports betting site or app in Michigan, you’re protected by the Michigan Gaming Control Board in case of any disputes.

Meanwhile, your best course of action for an illegal site is to post a strongly-worded review. And that’s about it.

Michigan Legal eSports Betting FAQs 

How popular are esports and video gaming in Michigan?

Very. Esports and video gaming are popular all across the US. But as one of the most populated states, and one with several major colleges, esports is particularly popular in Michigan. On top of intercollegiate recreational esports leagues, there’s also the Michigan High School Esports Federation. No gambling is involved, but it’s a good indication of the popularity of esports in the state.

Is esports betting legal in Michigan?

Sort of. Tribal-owned casinos outside of Detroit are legally allowed to offer esports betting. Little River Casino and Sportsbook have listed esports events since opening. However, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has not yet authorized esports betting for Detroit’s commercial casinos or online sportsbooks.

Can I bet on international esports events?

Yes, you can bet on international esports events at certain tribal casinos in Michigan, but not at commercial casinos in Detroit or online sportsbooks. The biggest esports competitions take place all over the world, and more than half of the esports market is located in Asia. However, the US has their fair share of host cities for some of the world’s biggest tournaments, including ESL One.

Will all sportsbooks in Michigan accept bets on esports?

No, but maybe someday. Right now, esports are still considered relatively niche in the world of sports betting. But once the MGCB authorizes esports for online sportsbooks, you’ll likely find a wide range of esports bets at most of the apps and sites, especially DraftKings and FanDuel, which already offer Daily Fantasy Esports.

What are the best sites for esports betting in Michigan?

The best sites for esports betting in Michigan are DraftKings DFS and FanDuel DFS. These are the two fantasy sports platforms that allow you to win money on esports competitions around the world. Not only do both DraftKings and FanDuel cover the biggest tournaments and events, but also some of the more regularly occurring matchups.

How old do I need to be to bet on esports in Michigan?

21 or 18. The age requirement is 21 for online sportsbooks as well as the three retail sportsbooks inside the three commercial casinos in Detroit. But the age requirement is 18 and up at some tribal casinos that have retail sportsbooks. You can also be 18 to play real-money daily fantasy sports.

About the Author

Mike Epifani

Mike Epifani (shown here at Caesar's Palace Las Vegas) is an experienced online gambling writer who specializes in online casinos and sports betting sites. From the nuances of bonus offers to winning strategies and beyond, his insights have helped countless remote bettors keep more of their money while having fun and staying safe.