If you’re looking for information about the current online and offline gambling laws that apply to the state of Michigan (the Wolverine state) then you’ve come to the right place. Here, you can find a brief history of gambling in Michigan, a list of benefits of playing at legal casinos in the state, and the highlights of gambling in Michigan.
I’ve also included a useful list of frequently asked questions & answers and a section that covers problem gambling advice and support for Michigan residents. As of 2021, it IS legal to gamble in Michigan, and there are tribal and state-licensed casinos. You need to be at least 18 to play bingo, take part in lotteries and pari-mutuel betting, and at least 21 for land-based and online casinos and sports betting.
- Listing of Top Legal Michigan Online Casinos
- Gambling History in the US State of Michigan
- Michigan USA Gambling & Online Gambling Laws
- Online Casino Benefits to Players from the US State of Michigan
- FAQ Useful to Players from the US State of Michigan
- Online Gambling Highlights in the State of Michigan
- Problem Gambling Help in the State of Michigan
Listing of Top Legal Michigan Online Casinos
Below is a listing of all available online casinos within the State of Michigan where you can play legally if you are playing from within the State.
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Gambling History in the US State of Michigan
Here are some of the most significant milestones with regards to the history of gambling in the state of Michigan. We can start by going back to 1933, when the Michigan state authorities passed new legislation known as the Racing Act of 1933. It basically paved the way for a newly regulated and authorized pari-mutuel horse racing industry. It was at this same time when the Officer of Racing Commissioner was established. We then have to fast-forward several decades to the next significant year for gambling in Michigan.
In mid-May 1972, the first lottery was launched. This was all thanks to the voters in Michigan who opted for a constitutional amendment to authorize the introduction of a fully regulated state lottery. However, it wasn’t an overwhelming landslide win. Voters only won by a tight margin of 2-1 in favor of a state lottery. Just a few months later, in August 1972, the Public Act 239 was brought in by then-Governor William Milliken. He immediately appointed Gus Harrison as Michigan’s first ever Lottery Commissioner, and the public schools in Michigan were among the first to benefit from the proceeds of the lottery.
1972 also saw the introduction of Act 382, which legally permitted non-profit organizations to raise funds via certain legally authorized gambling activities, such as through the sale of raffle tickets and charity game tickets, licensed bingo games, and even millionaire parties. The first lottery draw took place in November ’72, just one week after the first tickets were sold for the $0.50 cent Green Ticket lotto, and it took just a few months before the first Michigan Lottery millionaire was created in February 1973.
In January 1984, the state’s right to regulate Indian gambling was challenged by Fred Dakota – a member of the Keweenaw Bay Indian tribe. He opened a casino in his two-car garage, offering just one table of blackjack, and then in the summer of 1984, the first tribal-sanctioned casino, located on tribal land in Brimley, was established by the Bay Mills Indian Band. The Kings Club Casino became the first casino in the US to be owned by a tribe, and then nine years later, in 1993, the first tribe to sign a compact with the state was the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. They agreed to pay the state 2% of the winnings from the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mt. Pleasant.
The first ever Mega Millions ticket, which used to be known as the Big Game, was sold in Michigan in 1996. This led to the birth of the first ever multi-state lottery, which included five other US states - Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts and Virginia. Voters in Michigan went on to vote to approve the construction of three new licensed casinos in Detroit. The following year, new legislation known as the Michigan Gaming Control & Revenue Act came into effect, authorizing the opening of three new licensed casinos in Detroit. This led to the MGM Grand Detroit being the first to open in the summer of 1999, with the MotorCity Casino Hotel then following in December 1999.
The city’s third legally permitted commercial land-based casino, Greektown Casino Hotel, went on to open its doors a year later in November 2000. The introduction of online lottery ticket sales was proposed in 2013 by then-Governor Rick Snyder, but it was initially rejected. It took another year before Michigan’s iLottery launched, which allowed residents to purchase lottery tickets, online scratchies, and instant keno tickets online from a desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet device at state-licensed sites.
In 2018, a bill that would legalize other forms of online gambling was passed by the Michigan Legislature. However, it was initially vetoed by outgoing Governor Rock Snyder, before several bills eventually came into effect in December 2019. This new law would legalize online poker, fantasy sports, online sports betting, and certain other major online gambling activities. This also meant that existing tribal and commercial casinos could also apply for online gambling and sports betting licenses.
The first sportsbooks, the Greektown Casino-Hotel and the MGM Grand Detroit, launched on the same day in Mar 2020, and the very next day, MotorCity Casino launched. Several others also then popped up over the next few months, such as Little River Casino, FireKeepers Casino, and Four Wins Casino. The latest development occurred in January 2021, when the Michigan Gaming Control Board authorized nine operators to begin online sports betting or both online casino gaming and sports betting. The changes in the law will also lead to even more state-licensed online casinos and other similar gambling sites opening throughout 2021 and beyond.
Michigan USA Gambling & Online Gambling Laws
As of 2021, all forms of gambling are legal in the state of Michigan, and you have tribal casinos and state-licensed casinos. You need to be at least 18 for pari-mutuel, bingo, and lotteries, and at least 21 for casinos and sports betting. Legalized online gambling in the state of Michigan is partly down to Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who, in 2019, approved new legislation (the Lawful Internet Gaming Act) that would legalize certain major forms of online gambling, such as online poker, online sports betting, and online casino gambling. Other gambling activities, such as fantasy sports betting and bingo, are also legal.
Michigan became the fourth US state to legalize all three major online gambling industries, and in March 2020, the first retail sports betting services arrived at a limited number of land-based gaming venues. In January 2021, online betting and online casino gambling also became available to local residents. There are currently 24 tribal casinos, and three Detroit-based casinos are all allowed to offer online casino gambling and sports betting services. One of the things that you need to be aware of is that gambling/lottery winnings are subject to Michigan individual income tax to the extent that they are included in your adjusted gross income. For any Michigan Lottery prize that’s greater than $5,000, the lottery is required to withhold an estimated 24% in federal tax and 4.25% in state tax
Michigan is one of a handful of states, which also includes Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Nevada, that offers online casino gambling where residents can place real money wagers on a wide range of games, such as online slot machines, online table & card games (e.g. online roulette blackjack, craps, and baccarat), video poker, and live dealer games, which means that you can legally gamble online from the comfort of your home, and you can do so from a desktop or laptop computer. You can also gamble from pretty much any other location in the state using either a smartphone or tablet device.
Some of the first land-based venues to offer real money gambling services online included BetMGM, DraftKings, BetRivers, FanDuel, Golden Nugget, TwinSpires, William Hill, and WynnBet. It’s also still possible to gamble at offshore online casinos and offshore sports betting sites that operate from outside of Michigan/US state borders. Although there are no current laws that will stop you from gambling at ‘offshore’ based online casinos and other similar gambling sites, these sites aren’t always the most secure gambling sites to play at.
Some of the major sporting events that Michigan residents can legally place a wager on today include Horse Racing, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, and Premier League Soccer. They can also bet on ATP Tennis, WTA Tennis, PGA Tour Golf, UFC, College Football, and College Basketball. Visitors and tourists who come to Michigan can also gamble online, but you’ll need to be within state borders while you’re playing at a state-regulated/licensed online casino or sportsbook. You would also need to provide a Michigan address when signing up to a Michigan online casino or sportsbook. If you’re playing at an offshore online casino or sportsbook, then your location doesn’t matter. When you leave Michigan and return to your home state where online gambling is perhaps illegal, then, unfortunately, you wouldn’t be able to continue gambling at the site you’ve registered to, at least until you return to Michigan again.
VPN detectors and Geo-location software are both used by the operators of Michigan-licensed online casinos to prevent interstate gambling. It’s used to identify your IP address and to find out if you are trying to access the casino from outside of Michigan. If you make it appear as though you are still in Michigan by using, for example, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to disguise your IP address, the casino or sports betting operator would ask you to switch off your VPN. If you don’t, you simply won’t be able to access the site. Your account could also be either temporarily frozen, or worse, closed for good if you continue to use a VPN to access their site and services.
Online Casino Benefits to Players from the US State of Michigan
Michigan has one of the most liberal approaches towards online and offline gambling, which is a major benefit in itself. Being a Michigan resident means that you have more freedom and choice to gamble than residents from most other US states. You can now choose from a broad range of land-based casinos and sports betting facilities, and a growing number of online casinos (home-grown and offshore), as well as online sports betting sites, online lottery sites, online bingo sites, live dealer casinos and more. If you’re a sports bettor, the benefits are that there are often hundreds of markets for most major US and global sporting events. If you’re a fan of casino games, the good news is that there are now thousands of games to choose from.
Today’s best online casinos for Michigan players are powered by one or more of the world’s leading online casino software providers, which means that you can now find industry-award-winning games from companies such as NetEnt, IGT, SG Gaming, and Microgaming (to name just a few). You can benefit from playing either on desktop or mobile, and you can also benefit from playing instantly in your web browser without the need to download or install any online casino software onto your system.
New players can benefit from a guaranteed new player welcome bonus when signing up to an online casino for the first time. The initial sign-up bonus tends to include either a matching deposit bonus (when you make your first ever real money deposit) or a certain number of Free Spins will be credited to your account to try out a selection of online slots in the real money mode. If you’re really lucky, you may even be able to benefit from a no deposit bonus. Although the new player welcome bonus for Michigan players is different at every online casino, you’ll find that most of today’s welcome bonuses include three types of offers - a deposit bonus, a no deposit bonus and/or a free spins bonus.
Playing at a gambling site that’s licensed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board also means that you can benefit from the proper legal backing should you require it. Online casinos that are licensed in Michigan are ranked among the most secure online casinos for US players. The casinos are protected by the latest Secure Socket layer (SSL) encryption technology, which means that your money and your personal details are always in safe hands. Many of today’s best ‘offshore’ casinos that accept real cash wagers from players in Michigan also happen to be controlled by some of the most trusted foreign operators in the world with proven track records. They also happen to be licensed in one of several major global licensing jurisdictions.
Other notable benefits of playing at legal Michigan online casinos are the rewarding loyalty programs and VIP programs that you can become part of when playing regularly in the real money mode. There are plenty of frequent, ongoing promotional offers that you can also sink your teeth into. The friendly and professionally trained player support is available in English (plus one or two other language options are also available), and the support for Michigan players is usually open 24 hours per day via toll-free telephone, email, and/or live chat.
You can benefit from playing in your own local currency of US dollars at these websites, and you can deposit and withdraw using one of several popular US online payment options. You can also benefit from playing in the free play demo mode at today’s best Michigan online casinos before risking your own hard-earned cash in the real money mode.
FAQ Useful to Players from the US State of Michigan
Is gambling (online and offline) legal in Michigan?
Yes. It’s legal to gamble at land-based casinos and online at state-licensed gambling sites, plus there’s also nothing stopping you from gambling at offshore gambling sites that operate from outside of Michigan borders where Michigan authorities have no jurisdiction. You need to be at least 18 to play bingo, take part in lotteries, and for pari-mutuel betting, and at least 21 for land-based and online casinos and sports betting.
How do I find the right Michigan online casino for me?
Before you go ahead and sign up to any old online casino, sports betting site, or other legally-permitted gambling sites, it’s always a good idea to carry out your own due diligence on a website, which means that you should perform your own basic research, like trying to find out who actually owns the casino.
Does the operator have a good track record? Can they be trusted? It would also be a good idea to try and find out where there the casino is licensed. The good news is that all of our featured online casinos on this website are controlled by trustworthy operators, and they are licensed by major authorities operating from some of the world’s most reputable online gambling licensing jurisdictions.
How do I claim my new player welcome bonus?
Claiming your new player welcome bonus is really straight forward. Before you claim a bonus, make sure that you fully read through the bonus terms and conditions to find out exactly what is required of you. You may also need to opt in to claim a bonus. If you don’t opt in, you could miss out on your bonus. However, most times, you just need to sign in to your new account and claim your welcome bonus as soon as it appears on the screen when making your deposit.
You can claim your bonus by following the simple onscreen instructions. Some online casino bonuses require a special bonus code to be entered into the required field. If you’re unsure about how to claim your new player welcome bonus, the best thing to do would be to contact the toll-free player support at your chosen casino, and they will be happy to point you in the right direction.
What are online casino bonus wagering requirements (aka playthrough requirements)?
Before you can claim any winnings that you have made from your online casino bonus, you generally need to complete the wagering requirements (aka playthrough requirements) first. The wagering requirement is the amount of cash that you must wager before you can withdraw, and it’s often between 10x and 60x times the bonus amount. I only recommend claiming your bonus if it comes with a low wagering requirement.
Also, don’t forget that the wagering requirements generally have to be completed within a certain amount of time (e.g. one week or one month). I also suggest sticking to the slots when completing your wagering requirements because these games will contribute 100% towards completing them. In comparison, certain table & card games may only contribute as little as 0% to 5% per dollar wagered towards completing them. All of this information can be found in the bonus T’s & C’s.
What’s the best way to get in touch with the player support should I need to?
Today’s best Michigan-player-focussed online casinos, sports betting sites, poker sites, and bingo/lottery sites tend to provide 24-hour player support. The best way to get in touch with a friendly support agent is usually via toll-free telephone, live chat or email. Skype, and perhaps one or two other effective support methods may also be available.
What kind of deposit & withdrawal methods can I use at today’s Michigan online casinos?
The most common types of payment options that Michigan players can use at today’s best gambling sites are ACH/eCheck, PayPal, Play+ Prepaid, credit and debit cards, bank checks, and money couriers. Most deposits are processed instantly, whereas withdrawals can take anywhere from just a couple of hours up to usually no more than 48 hours to be processed. You can also now find a growing number of online casinos that accept Cryptocurrencies as a viable payment option.
Can the software at Michigan online casinos be trusted?
Yes. Today’s best Michigan online casinos are powered by some of the most trusted online casino software providers in the world. The outcomes for the games are produced by frequently tested Random Number Generators (RNGs), and the software is constantly being tested and monitored for fairness by some of the most reputable third party online casino testing agencies out there today. Two such examples are eCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gambling Regulation and Assurance) and Technical Systems Testing (TST). In other words, the outcomes are about as fair and realistic as can be, and therefore the software can be trusted.
Online Gambling Highlights in the US State of Michigan
- Michigan is just one of a handful of states in the US where pretty much all major forms of online gambling are now legally permitted, which means that you never have to leave your own state and travel to another state to gamble
- Michigan players currently have access to some of the best online casinos in the world – sites that are licensed in Michigan and also offshore sites that operate from outside of the US
- Claim a guaranteed new player welcome bonus when you sign up to an online casino for the very first time, and then look forward to some rewarding loyalty programs and VIP programs, and plenty of ongoing promotional offers
- Thousands of games to choose from, most of which can be enjoyed in the free play demo mode and the real money mode. You can now enjoy playing games from several of the world’s best online casino software providers, some of which include NetEnt, Microgaming, IGT, SG Gaming, Red Tiger Gaming, Blueprint Gaming, Evolution Gaming (live dealer games), Pragmatic Play, Yggdrasil Gaming, Quickspin, Thunderkick, and ELK Studios
- Multi-million dollar progressive jackpots up for grabs on a daily basis and the good news is that these jackpots are generally paid out in one lump sum rather than in instalments
- You can play instantly in your web browser without the need to download or install any programs from the internet onto your computer, and you can enjoy playing either on desktop or mobile
- Michigan players can count on 24-hour player support via toll-free telephone, email, and/or live chat
- You can choose from a broad range of popular US online payment methods when depositing and withdrawing
- State-licensed Michigan online casinos and our featured foreign-controlled offshore online casinos are often ranked among the most secure in the world. Your personal details and funds are always in safe hands thanks to the latest SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption technology that’s currently used by the operators to secure their sites. This is the same online security that’s also used by today’s banks and other major global financial institutions
- The games have wide betting ranges, catering to everyone from low rollers to high rollers, which means that everyone can enjoy playing
- In addition to online casinos, Michigan players can also gamble at sports betting websites and can enjoy several other popular legal gambling activities such as horse racing, pari-mutuel betting, various types of poker and other card games (live and online), and also bingo and lotteries
Problem Gambling Help in the US State of Michigan
For some, gambling can become a problem, so if there’s someone that you care about who may have developed a gambling problem, perhaps a close friend, a relative, a colleague, or even yourself, and if you live in Michigan, the good news is that there’s plenty of online and offline support readily available. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, physical group meetings with organizations such as Gamblers Anonymous, where you can meet other like-minded problem gamblers in person, are temporarily closed due to the coronavirus. However, you can still take part in ‘Virtual Group Meetings,’ and you can still easily get in touch with professionally trained counsellors at GA via telephone by calling the Michigan Hotline number on 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542) or by calling the Grand Rapids Hotline number on (616) 776-0666.
There are numerous other non-profit and charitable problem gambling support organizations out there today for the residents of Michigan, one of which is called Southwest Michigan Behavioral Health. You can contact them directly on the Michigan Problem Gambling Help Hotline: 1-800-270-7117, or you can visit their website for more information about problem gambling.
You also have the NCPG (the National Council on Problem Gambling). Their National Problem Gambling Helpline is 1-800-522-4700 (which is also the same number to send them a text message), or you can call the local Michigan Association on Problem Gambling on 1-800-270-7117. They also provide a useful online chat service (ncpgambling.org/chat), or you can send them an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for free advice and support. The best thing to do would be to reach out to one of these renowned organizations before it’s too late, whether it’s you or someone else you’re concerned about. You will have access to friendly counselors often 24 hours per day, and they have been trained to deal with a wide range of problems relating to gambling.
The problem gambling websites that you can visit today generally have several useful tools, such as problem gambling fact sheets, problem gambling articles, forums, responsible gambling tools, and questionnaires. You can also find topics such as public awareness, treatment and prevention programs, and intervention & outreach. Problem gamblers in Michigan can also look to the wider international community for additional support. For example, there’s Gam-Anon (www.gam-anon.org) - a self-help organization for the spouse, family, or close friends of compulsive gamblers, and also GamTalk (a 24/7 moderated online peer support forum). Other notable organizations are GambleAware and GamCare.