When Will Michigan Online Casinos Launch?
Michigan online casinos could launch as early as December 2020. The state legislature and the Michigan Gaming Control Board are trying to finalize rules and regulations in anticipation of a 2020 launch.
Michigan Online Casino Launch Apps
Michigan online casinos are still waiting for the green light from the Michigan Gaming Control Board. There are some complicated state legislature maneuverings happening to try to launch online casinos in Michigan before the end of 2020. On December 1, 2020, the Michigan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules met to change legislative requirements to speed up the process. It looks like this could be happening.
Until then, some real money casino apps have started offering pre-launch no deposit deals. Just register before they launch to claim the free online casino credit with no deposit necessary!
These are the online casino apps we anticipate will be first to launch in Michigan:
Best Bonuses For Michigan Online Casino Pre-Launch
As we eagerly anticipate the launch of online casinos, a few top-notch Michigan casino apps are offering new bettors pre-launch registration offers. Take advantage of these no deposit bonuses just for registering.
Best For Pre-Launch Offer & Deposit Bonus
$50 Launch Offer On BetRivers' Website
Available On: Web Browser, iOS, Android
States Allowed MI, PA, NJ (SugarHouse)
Best For Pre-Launch Offer & Deposit Bonus
BetRivers Casino Michigan
Deposit Match Bonus
Best Pre-Launch Offer
$100 Launch Offer On FanDuel's Website
Available On: Web Browser, iOS, Android
States Allowed: MI, PA, NJ (Betfair)
Best Pre-Launch Offer
FanDuel Michigan Casino
Risk Free Bet
Best Casino Pre-Launch Offer
$200 Launch Offer on DraftKings' Website
Available On: Web Browser, iOS, Android
States Allowed: MI, NJ, PA, WV
Best Casino Pre-Launch Offer
DraftKings Michigan Casino
Legalization Of Online Casinos In Michigan
The state legalized online gambling at the end of last year. It’s taken time, though, for state legislators to finalize rules and regulations and the audit casino apps before they are able to debut in the state. After the law passed, the Michigan Gaming Control Board issued a timeline that anticipated the process would take more than a year. That meant that legal online casino apps wouldn’t launch until December 2020.
Seeing an opportunity to increase state revenue before the close of the year and to make up for lost revenue due to COVID-19 related casino closures, legislators are doing their best to speed up this process. Richard Kalm, the director of the MGCB, said the state is making significant progress and launch is imminent.
In the meantime, if you are looking to play online games, we suggest playing at the Michigan Lottery Online which offers instant games and online scratch-offs.
Launch Of Michigan Online Casino Timeline:
- December 20, 2019: Online gaming legalized
- March 11, 2020: Retail sportsbooks launch in MI
- March 6-August 5, 2020: Detroit’s commercial casinos closed due to COVID-19
- September 23, 2020: MGCB held public hearings
- End of October 2020: Final economic impact statement expected
- November 2020: MGCB hoped to launch in November but gambling rules still need to be approved by legislators who canceled their November session because of Covid-19.
- December 2020: If legislators finalize rules in the first week of December, Michigan Online Casinos could launch before the new year. The Michigan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules met on December 1, 2020, to move things forward.
While legal online casinos haven’t launched in Michigan, it’s only a matter of time. Most operators have announced their partnerships with tribes and commercial casinos and are waiting on the MGCB to announce the launch date for Michigan casino apps. Several online casinos have already announced pre-launch bonus offers.
Below is a comprehensive list of announced partnerships and the apps you can expect to launch in Michigan.
The Best Online Casinos Coming To Michigan
Little River Casino Resort in Manistee Michigan will be partnering with Scientific Games and Rush Street Interactive to launch its BetRivers Online Casino.
The agreement, announced in June 2020, brings Rush Street Interactive, parent company to the BetRivers online gaming brand, to Michigan. Little River Casino Resort’s partnership with Rush Street Interactive also includes retail sports betting.
The big names backing the BetRivers Casino means some of the top online slots will be coming to Michigan. And BetRivers has a massive library of slots, including progressive slot jackpots. They will also be offering blackjack, several varieties of roulette, and baccarat.
To celebrate its launch in Michigan, BetRivers is offering new players the chance to claim $50 in free bets just for registering on its site. This offer is available even before the BetRivers casino app officially launches in Michigan.
FanDuel may be known for its sportsbook, but it also has an online casino. FanDuel’s online casino is available through its existing sportsbook app, and MotorCity Casino Hotel’s partnership will give FanDuel access to Michigan’s online gaming market.
The online casino is only available in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, but it’s a glimpse at what could be available in Michigan.
In New Jersey, bettors will see FanDuel’s online casino under the Betfair brand name. It has blackjack, roulette, and baccarat games ready to entice new bettors. For bettors who want a more realistic experience, Betfair’s (read: FanDuel’s) online casino has a thriving live betting section available for all sorts of table games.
Finally, this online casino is filled to the brim with slot games. Whatever brightly colored theme bettors are attracted to, their taste is catered to in this wide selection of games.
FanDuel is offering a pre-launch registration promotion in anticipation of the launch of online casino apps in Michigan. Claim $100 in free bets at FanDuel casino, which includes $50 in casino bets and $50 in sports bets.
DraftKings is also known mostly for its sportsbook but is quickly gaining a reputation for a strong online casino in a handful of states including New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
DraftKings Sportsbook and Draftkings Casino will launch in the state as a license partner of Bay Mills Resort & Casino.
For players interested in casino games, sports betting, and DFS, DraftKings is a natural choice because all three will be accessible from a single app. The app is quite strong as well for blackjack lovers. DraftKings has a minimum bet of $1 and a maximum bet of $1,000 on its blackjack games, including its live dealer blackjack. They also offer a wide variety of slots and progressive slots.
Golden Nugget is a well-established name in gambling, with an iconic Las Vegas casino and the most successful online casino in New Jersey. Now, Golden Nugget is coming to Michigan, thanks to a partnership with Ojibwa Casino, which is owned and operated by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community.
Golden Nugget’s Michigan access granted through the partnership will allow the brand to ramp up its online gambling and sports betting business in the state once the market is officially open.
See our full Guide To Golden Nugget Michigan Online Casino.
Other Online Casinos Coming To Michigan
Roar Digital is currently providing a sportsbook to the MGM Grand in Detroit, but it has an online casino, too. It has several apps, including BetMGM and PartyCasino.
Bettors will find familiar table games like blackjack, roulette, and baccarat. They’ll also find live dealers available who will deal cards and call wins and losses in real-time, just like a regular table. Roar Digital also has countless slot games that are just as colorful as anything on the Strip.
Penn National Gaming operates Greektown Casino in partnership with Vici Properties. This partnership will eventually yield the launch of Hollywood Casino, an online brand owned by Penn National.
Hollywood Casino will function as an online casino available to Michigan players, operating under the Greektown Casino license.
Bettors may not recognize Penn National Gaming by name, but they may recognize Hollywood Casino. It’s an online casino that specializes in online slots games. Bettors must be at least 21 to play, and they had better love slot machines.
For a glimpse at table games, Pennsylvania’s Hollywood Casino website offers virtual blackjack and roulette games. There’s no baccarat on this website, though, so high rollers are out of luck there.
Scientific Games is currently providing its technology to power the live sportsbook at FireKeepers Casino and Hotel. A FireKeepers online casino is slated to launch in Michigan, also in collaboration with Scientific Games.
Online casino sites powered by Scientific Games technology in other states include blackjack, slots, roulette, and baccarat. There are also live dealers available for bettors looking for a realistic casino experience.
Scientific Games offers so many different games because of its content aggregation service. It uses its vast web of partnerships to provide access to many different games. When online casinos come to Michigan, BetRivers will have a massive selection of games to offer their customers.
GAN plc’s partnership with the Kewadin casinos is the largest partnership on this list. With five locations, Kewadin casinos have the largest number of locations in Michigan. GAN plc has physical sportsbooks at those locations now, but it has online offerings, too. Its operational sites are:
Both sites offer blackjack, roulette, and slot games. However, only betfaircasino.com has baccarat and live dealers. OceanOnlineCasino.com appears to have neither.
This will be important for Michigan bettors to recognize. Just because most casinos have certain online casino games, doesn’t mean all of them will. However, the five Kewadin casinos will probably come with the full arsenal of online casino games. They have a year to prepare, so they’ll have plenty of time to learn what their patrons want and offer it when the licenses become available.
William Hill’s deal with the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians puts it in two casinos:
William Hill also offers its own online casino, William Hill Casino, to bettors in eligible states. William Hill’s online casino makes finding games particularly easy. Card games, slots, roulette, and live dealers all have their own categories. (Baccarat is under the card games tab.) If they get access to William Hill’s online casino, Michigan bettors will have a full casino at their fingertips.
FOX Bet & PokerStars (The Stars Group)
Thanks to a partnership with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indian Gaming Authority, The Stars Group is in two casinos:
- Odawa Casino, Mackinaw.
- Odawa Casino, Petoskey.
The Stars Group offers the PokerStars Casino brand to US players, as well as the FOX Bet sports betting platform. Bettors will find blackjack, baccarat, roulette, and slot machines galore on PokerStars Casino platforms in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Live dealers are offered at PokerStars Casino NJ as well.
PointsBet joins forces with the Lac Vieux Desert Public Enterprise and Finance Commission (LVD) to offer online casino gaming and sports betting under the license of Northern Waters Casino Resort.
The Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians owns Northern Waters Casino Resort. Per the agreement, it appears that both the online sports betting and casino products under this license will function as a collaboration between PointsBet and LVD.
In July 2020, BetAmerica announced a partnership with Island Resort & Casino to offer both online casino gambling and online sports betting. BetAmerica operates successful sites in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Mississippi.
The Hannahville Indian Community operates the Harris, Michigan casino and Churchill Downs is the parent company of BetAmerica.
Online Casinos That Could Come To Michigan
Unibet does business as a well-established international gaming brand that’s beginning to expand into the legal US sports betting and online casino industry. Unibet started its US business plan with online gaming platforms in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.
Unibet has an agreement with Caesars Entertainment (now owned by Eldorado Resorts) to launch online gaming in states with Caesars-owned properties. Caesars/Eldorado Resorts doesn’t own any casinos in Michigan, however.
The Pennsylvania and New Jersey versions of the Unibet platform operate in agreements outside of the Caesars partnership, however. A similar arrangement could bring Unibet online casino to Michigan.
With the success of Caesar’s online casino app in New Jersey and Michigan, we anticipate that they will launch in Michigan as well. If not in partnership with Unibet, they could seek a partnership with a local Michigan casino to launch in 2021.
Commerical Casino Partnerships
Michigan’s casino industry includes three Detroit-area commercial casinos, as well as 23 tribal casinos located throughout the state. Online partnerships for the three commercial casinos are as follows:
|Site||Commercial Casino||Partnered Software Companies||Live Dealer Available?|
|FanDuel Casino||MotorCity Casino Hotel||FanDuel||Yes|
|BetMGM||MGM Grand - Detroit||Roar Digital||Yes|
|Hollywood Casino||GreekTown Casino||Penn National Gaming, Inc.||N/A|
Tribal Casino Partnerships
In a situation unique to Michigan, both tribal and commercial casinos can partner with technology companies to offer legal online casino gaming. Several of the state’s tribal casinos already announced agreements to launch online sports betting, and those partnerships are as follows:
|Site||Tribal Casino||Partnered Software Companies||Live Dealer Available?|
|DraftKings Casino||Bay Mills Resort & Casinos||Kambi / SBTech||Yes|
|FireKeepers||FireKeepers Casino & Hotel, Battle Creek||Scientific Games||Yes|
|Golden Nugget||Ojibwa Casino, Baraga & Marquette||Scientific Games||Yes|
|BetRivers Casino||Little River Casino Resort||Scientific Games||Yes|
|Parx Casino||Gun Lake Casino, Wayland||GAN||N/A|
|LVD/PointsBet||Northern Waters Casino Resort, Watersmeet||PointsBet||N/A|
|Fox Bet/PokerStars Casino||Odawa Casino Resort, Petoskey & Mackinaw||The Stars Group||Yes|
|William Hill||Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, Williamsburg||William Hill||Yes|
|William Hill||Leelanau Sands Casino, Suttons Bay||William Hill||Yes|
|Four Winds||Four Winds Dowagiac, Hartford & New Buffalo||Kambi||N/A|
|BetAmerica||Island Resort & Casino Bark River||N/A||N/A|
|Partner TBA||Kewadin Casino (Christmas, Hessel, Manistique, Sault Sainte Marie, St. Ignace)||GAN plc||Yes|
|N/A||Kings Club Casino, Brimley||N/A||N/A|
|N/A||Saganing Eagles Landing Casino, Standish||N/A||N/A|
|N/A||Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, Mt. Pleasant||N/A||N/A|
What Are Online Casinos And What Do They Offer?
Online casinos are apps and websites that offer casino games from the comfort of players’ homes. Some of them involve real money, while others are free-to-play social games. They offer the kinds of card games bettors would expect to find at a casino, including blackjack, roulette, and on some websites, baccarat. But there are also slot games and games with live dealers available for those who want a real casino experience.
Even better, many of these online casinos offer bonuses to new bettors.
One of the ways that online casinos–and most online gaming products–entice new bettors is by offering bonuses on the first few bets. There are two major types of bonuses. The first is a welcome bonus that puts money in a bettor’s account (with strings attached). The second offers risk-free bets, which act more like insurance than truly free bets.
Welcome bonuses are what they sound like. When bettors sign up and verify their accounts, online casinos will deposit a little extra money. Some bonuses arrive in customer accounts upon sign up and verification, like this $25 deposit from Hollywoodcasino.com. These are called no-deposit bets, because bettors don’t have to deposit their own money to earn a bonus. They also tend to be small amounts.
Deposit bets on the other hand require bettors to put money into their account before getting anything back. Take this $500 bonus from Hollywoodcasino.com that matches deposits up to $500. That means for every dollar a new bettor deposits into his account, Hollywood.com will add one dollar, until it pays out $500.
This matching makes it easier for bettors to pour money into their accounts and make larger bets. Online casinos want bettors to make multiple wagers and learn to enjoy them. Based on how widespread welcome bonuses are, this tactic seems to work quite effectively.
Despite the name, risk-free bets do require bettors to risk some money before receiving a free bet. This Golden Nugget Casino welcome offer spells the deal out pretty clearly. Bettors must place a wager, then get up to $100 back if they lose. It’s more of a refund for a lost bet than a risk-free bet. Some bettors may not think much of a small refund for a losing bet, but it can make anxious new bettors willing to give online casinos a try.
What’s The Difference Between Legal And Illegal Online Casinos?
Like online sportsbooks, online casinos have tell-tale signs that indicate their legitimacy. There are a few signs that bettors can watch for when they’re looking for legitimate online casinos in Michigan next year.
First, all online gambling websites must display the compulsive gambling hotline on their websites. It’s required by law in Michigan, and bettors will be hard-pressed to find any legitimate online gambling websites without it.
However, Michiganders will have a particularly easy time identifying legitimate websites. All online casinos must be partnered with eligible land-based casinos. These sites must also display proof of their license reasonably clearly.
These are important signs of quality to watch for. Missing them could lead bettors to risk funneling money into an account that will never pay out.
How Online Casinos Are Regulated
Commercial online casinos must be licensed by their state gaming boards before they’re allowed to go live in any given state. Michigan’s online casinos will be regulated by the Michigan Gaming Control Board–pending written regulations, of course.
However, tribal casinos have their own regulatory body. The National Indian Gaming Commission writes and enforces regulations on tribal casinos across the country. Tribes run casinos themselves, but the National Indian Gaming Commission must review and approve each tribe’s gaming compacts.
And to top it all off, all these regulatory bodies require casinos to pay bettors their winnings. Legitimate online casinos will not only pay winnings, but they will also have processes to resolve customer disputes. The same cannot be said for offshore scam sites accountable to no one.
How Bettors Collect Their Winnings From Online Casinos
Bettors get paid from online casinos by withdrawing from their gaming accounts. For example, FanDuel will process withdrawals through:
- Bank Transfer
- Check in the mail
It’s just a matter of bettors checking the option to withdraw in their online accounts. Remember though, non-cash bonuses don’t count toward cash withdrawals. A “free spin” worth $100 isn’t a free $100. Unless it’s hard-won cash, it doesn’t count toward a bettor’s withdrawals.
Everything Else Bettors Need To Know About Online Casinos In Michigan
Online casinos are already in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and a few other states. They offer familiar staples like:
Many, but not all, online casinos also offer live dealers for many of these games.
Although online gaming is legal, the regulations governing licensing and online operations still need to be written. Those regulations won’t be ready until 2021, but that hasn’t stopped Michigan’s casinos from preparing.
Every Michigan casino with a sportsbook deal has partnered with a company that also offers an online casino. PointsBet is the only sportsbook operator without an online casino, but its partnership with Penn National Gaming could give its partner casino access to online casino products in 2021.
As industrious Michiganders explore the online casino landscape, they should watch for signs that the online casino they’re browsing is legitimate. State-licensed online casinos will:
- Partner with licensed land-based Michigan casinos
- Display the compulsive gambling hotline number on its website
- Show clear evidence of its license per Michigan state law
The online casino landscape is dense, but it’s part of the ongoing evolution of the gaming industry. It began with sports betting legalization, but the wave of innovation sweeping the country’s gaming industry will bring online casinos to Michigan next.
Michigan Online Casinos
There’s a lot to digest about the impending arrival of online casinos to Michigan. Here are a few questions that either come up often from new bettors or which may need clarification on their own.
There are only two entities that can apply for an online gaming license:
-Casino licenses holders.
-Eligible tribal casinos.
Michigan is keeping tight control over its gaming industry by only allowing online gaming to come from licensed casinos. It’s a way for Michigan to stave off scam sites that accept bets but never pay out winnings. It’s also probably how lawmakers appealed to gambling opponents to assure them that gambling would be a respectable industry in Michigan.
Only people 21 and older and who are not in the online casino’s self-exclusion database. The age requirement is straightforward, but the self-exclusion database may not be.
The self-exclusion database is a voluntary measure to protect problem gamblers from themselves. Bettors can register themselves so gambling outlets will refuse to let them gamble. Unless a bettor struggles with a gambling problem, it’s not a list that most bettors have to worry about.
Anywhere from 20% to 28%, depeding on how much revenue the casino produces. It’s on page nine of the bill legalizing internet gambling in Michigan.
DraftKings announced a partnership with Bay Mills Resort & Casios to operate its online sportsbook as well as its online casino. They will probably one of the first casino apps to launch in Michigan.
FanDuel will be one of the first online casino apps to launch in Michigan. They’ve already opened their retail sportsbook at Motor City Hotel & Casino in Detroit. FanDuel will launch its online casino and sportsbook as well for Michigan bettors.
No. Sportsbooks are specifically for betting on sports games. Online casinos offer casino games. The reason sportsbooks came up so often in this article is that the Michigan Gaming Control Board created rules governing sportsbooks first. Retail sportsbooks started opening in Michigan in early 2020 whereas online casinos and online sportsbooks have not yet launched.