Michigan has had a long and colorful history, the state borders on four of the Great Lakes and is the home of the US auto industry, and if legislative efforts are successful it may also become home to one of the most diverse gambling offerings in America. Michigan currently offers a variety of gambling activities but, since the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), new legislation has been introduced to expand the state’s gambling offerings and to permit sports betting.

Is it legal to bet on sports in Michigan?

Full-scale sports betting is not yet legal in the state of Michigan, but residents can currently bet on horse racing and greyhound racing. However, lawmakers have introduced legislation, that would allow the state to expand its gambling markets to allow sports betting. Between 2017 and 2018, eight pieces of legislation were introduced in an effort to expand the states gambling offerings. The eight bills were:

In June 2018, two of the bills that contained provisions for internet gambling ( HB 4926 and HB 4927) were passed by the House of Representatives, though they are yet to be passed by the senate. These bills will have a direct impact on the taxation and regulation of online gambling in the state, and have the potential to set a strong foundation for the legal sports betting in Michigan. Almost all of the eight bills contain provisions for online gambling and some reference sports betting and fantasy sports betting. The state legislature has yet to reach a final decision on all eight bills.

State representative Brandt Iden has led the charge behind the legalization of sports betting in Michigan and is responsible for introducing the four sports betting bills. Iden spent a considerable amount of time in 2018 meeting with representatives of the Indian gaming industry in Michigan and educating his fellow lawmakers on sports betting.

According to Iden, the main issue with legalizing sports betting in Michigan is that sports betting has become entangled with daily fantasy sports betting. Judging by the recent legislative efforts in Michigan, if Iden’s bills are reviewed and redrafted to contain provisions for physical land-based sportsbooks in time for the 2019 legislative session then Michigan could be the next state to legalize the activity.

Where will I be able to place bets on sporting events in Michigan?

It’s likely that, if state legislators do legalize sports betting in Michigan, residents will be able to place their wagers at the tree land-based commercial casinos in the Detroit area. It’s also possible that bettors will also be able to make their wagers on mobile devices at these casinos, thanks to legislation that contains provisions for ‘internet wagering’, but it’s not yet clear if sports betting sites will be legal in Michigan.

What sports will I be able to bet on?

If sports betting does become legal in Michigan it is likely that venues in the state will offer sports betting on a variety of major league sports. Depending on the regulation in place, it may also be legal to place wagers on collegiate sports. If it is legal to wager on college sports then it is likely the state will follow the example set by others and prohibit bettors from wagering on the state’s own college teams.

What else can I bet on in Michigan?

Michigan’s residents and visitors can enjoy a variety of gambling activities including a state lottery, horse racing and a variety of casino games which include slot games and your standard assortment of casino games which includes:

  • Blackjack
  • Poker
  • Craps
  • Three card poker
  • Roulette
  • Texas hold’em

The Wolverine state is home to a variety of gambling establishments. The tribal gaming market is a dominant force in the state with over 20 tribal owned casinos. The Motor City, Detroit, is homed to the states three commercial casinos and there are four pari-mutuel horse racing tracks spread across the state.

 

Casino name Type of casino Location Contact Email Opening hours
Bay Mills Resort & Casino Tribal 11386 W Lakeshore Dr, Brimley, MI 49715, USA +1 888-422-9645 marketing@baymillscasinos.com 24 hours
FireKeepers Casino Hotel Tribal 11177 E Michigan Ave, Battle Creek, MI 49014, USA +1 877-352-8777 Available via website 24 hours
Four Winds New Buffalo Tribal 11111 Wilson Rd, New Buffalo, MI 49117, USA +1 866-494-6371 Online form 24 hours
Four Winds Casino Dowagiac Tribal 58700 Michigan 51 South, Dowagiac, MI 49047, USA +1 866-494-6371 Online form 24 hours
Four Winds Hartford Tribal 68600 Red Arrow Hwy, Hartford, MI 49057, USA +1 866-494-6371 Online form 24 hours
Greektown Casino Hotel Commercial 555 E Lafayette St, Detroit, MI 48226, USA +1 313-223-2999 Online form 24 hours
Gun Lake Casino Tribal 1123 129th Ave, Wayland, MI 49348, USA +1 269-792-7777 Online form 24 hours
Island Resort & Casino Tribal W 399 US-2, Harris, MI 49845, USA +1 800-682-6040 Online form 24 hours
Kewadin Casino Christmas Tribal N7761 Candy Cane Ln, Christmas, MI 49862, USA +1 906-387-5475 Online form Every day: 9am – 1am
Kewadin Casino – Hessel Tribal N 3 Mile Rd, Hessel, MI 49745, USA +1 906-484-2903 Online form Sunday -Thursday: 9am-10pm

Friday – Saturday: 9am – 11pm

Kewadin Casino – Manistique Tribal 5630W US-2, Manistique, MI 49854, USA +1 906-341-5510 Online form Every day: 9am – 1am
Kewadin Casinos – Sault Ste. Marie Tribal 2186 Shunk Rd, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783, USA +1 800-539-2346 Online form 24 hours
Kewadin Shores Casino St. Ignace Tribal 3015 Mackinac Trail, St Ignace, MI 49781, USA +1 906-643-7071 Online form 24 hours
Kings Club Casino Tribal 12140 W Lakeshore Dr, Brimley, MI 49715, USA +1 906-248-3227 marketing@baymillscasinos.com Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday: 10am-12am Friday and Saturday: 10am-2am
Leelanau Sands Casino Tribal 2521 N West Bay Shore Dr, Peshawbestown, MI 49682, USA +1 231-534-8100 Online form Every day 8am – 2am
Little River Casino and Resort Tribal 2700 Orchard Hwy, Manistee, MI 49660, USA +1 231-723-1535 directmarketing@lrcr.com 24 hours
MGM Grand Detroit Commercial 1777 3rd Ave, Detroit, MI 48226, USA +1 877-888-2121 concierge@det.mgmgrand.com 24 hours
MotorCity Casino Hotel commercial 2901 Grand River Ave, Detroit, MI 48201, USA +1 866-782-9622 Online form at bottom of contact page 24 hours
Northern Waters Casino Resort Tribal N5384 US-45, Watersmeet, MI 49969, USA +1 906-358-4226 Online form 24 hours
Odawa Casino Resort Tribal 1760 Lears Rd, Petoskey, MI 49770, USA +1 877-442-6464 Online form 24 hours
Ojibwa Casino – Marquette Tribal 105 Acre Trail, Marquette, MI 49855, USA +1 906-249-4200 Online form 24 hours
Ojibwa Casino Resort – Baraga Tribal 16449 Michigan Avenue, Baraga, MI 49908 +1 906-353-6333 Online form 24 hours
Saganing Eagles Landing Casino Tribal 2690 Worth Rd, Standish, MI 48658, USA +1 888-732-4537 Soaringeagle@soaringeaglecasino.com 24 hours
Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort Tribal 6800 Soaring Eagle Blvd, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858, USA +1 989-775-5777 hotel-info@sagchip.org 24 hours
Turtle Creek Casino and Hotel Tribal 7741 M-72, Williamsburg, MI 49690, USA +1 231-534-8870 Online form 24 hours

On top of the casinos that operate in the state, residents and visitors can partake in four types of legal online gambling. These four types of online gambling include:

  • online lottery games
  • horse and greyhound racing
  • games of skill like backgammon
  • betting on fantasy sports games.

The state lawmakers have taken steps in recent years to expand the online gambling offerings with online casinos, poker and sports betting currently considering legislation to permit these activities.

Are offshore gambling sites legal in Michigan?

According to Michigan law, it is illegal to place bets with unlicensed online sportsbooks and offshore gambling sites, and gamblers could face prosecution for gambling with these operators. This also applies to US gambling sites from other states.

Aside from legality, we’d recommend steering clear of offshore gambling and sports betting sites because of the lack of regulation. This means they may not be secure or may not have measures in place to protect vulnerable players. You also have no way of finding out who is handling the money you deposit into an online account. If Michigan does choose to regulate sports betting, then there is a strong chance there will be some legal online Michigan sports betting sites available further down the line.

You can spot offshore gambling sites by looking at the website’s domain name. If you see a domain that ends in .EU or .AG it does not hold a license to operate in Michigan and therefore should be avoided at all costs.

Will it be safe to bet on sports in Michigan?

Michigan already has very strict regulatory standards for gambling operations so, as long as the state follows the same path sports betting, it should be safe and fair. However, taking steps to ensure you gamble responsibly and never bet more than you can afford to lose is a vital part is keeping gambling fun. The Michigan Association on Problem Gambling and the National Problem Gambling Helpline offer support and resources if you believe that you, or a loved one, may be suffering with problem gambling.

You can contact the Michigan Association on Problem Gambling via:

Phone: 517-672-6904

The Michigan Association on Problem Gambling is located at: 1128 Wethersfield Dr. S., Portage, Michigan, 49002

You can contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline via:

Phone: 1-800-522-4700

Text: 1-800-522-4700

Online chat

Who regulates gambling in Michigan?

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) is responsible for overseeing gambling operations in relation to the state’s commercial casinos, as well as some aspects of Michang’s tribal casinos, as laid out by terms in tribal-state gaming compacts.

How old do I have to be to gamble in Michigan?

You must be 18 play Michigan state lottery and place bets on horse racing. If you wish to play casino games, you must be at least 21 years of age.

The journey to legal and regulated sports betting in Michigan

Whilst sports betting in Michigan is yet to be legalized, state lawmakers are still considering legislation, we will continue to update this page as the situation develops.

1933 – The first opportunities for legal gambling in Michigan surfaced with the approval of the 1933 Racing Act. This act authorized and regulated pari-mutuel horse racing in Michigan. Since then the act has been repealed and horse racing now falls under the Horse Racing Law of 1995.

1972 – On 16 May, voters in Michigan approved a constitutional amendment which lead to the establishment of the state lottery. On 1 August Governor William Milliken signed Public Act 239 into law and appointed Gus Harrison as the state’s first Lottery Commissioner.

Act 382 was also passed thar year, allowing nonprofit organizations to raise funds through licensed bingo games, raffles and the sale of charity game tickets. It also allowed for the licensing of bingo halls and suppliers

1992 – Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) prohibiting sports betting across US states. Four states were made exempt from the law: Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana. These states had legal sports betting regulations in place.

1993 – The first tribal casino in Michigan opened for business in the Mt. Pleasant area and was operated by the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. The tribe entered into a compact with the state the same year.

1996 – The Lottery Commissioner at the time Bill Martin, introduced “The Big Game” a new lottery game in which Michigan, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland and Virginia all participated. Thanks to the success of the game four more states joined the game in 2002.

In November, voters in Michigan approved Proposal E, which authorized the construction of three licensed casinos in the Detroit area. The proposal was reviewed and improvements made before being the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act. Greek Town, MGM and Motor City were the three commercial casinos established under this act.

1998 – A number of tribes entered into compacts with the state this year, and tribes were required to pay 10% of their net wins on electronic games of chance. 8% of this would go to the state, and 2% to local municipalities.

2003 – The state lottery began to expand its games and started offering Club Keno and pull-tab games which could be purchased at licensed restaurants and bars.

2007 – On 30 September, the state lottery finished the financial year with a contribution of $748.9m to the School Aid Fund.

2017 – Multiple pieces of legislation were introduced in an attempt to begin the move towards legalizing online casino gambling in Michigan. Towards the end of the year, during the Supreme Court case, provisions for sports betting were starting to appear in some pieces of legislation.

2018 – On 14 May, the Court reached a decision. In a 7 – 2 vote it was agreed that one of the clauses in PASPA violated the Tenth Amendment, as it commandeered power from states to regulate their own gambling industries. This paved the way for all US states to decide whether or not to legalize sports betting. In the weeks after the repeal of PASPA a number of US sportsbooks launched across the country.

More sports betting bills were introduced but the main issue for the state government is finding a way to incorporate sports betting that does not interfere with the state and tribal compacts.

The 2018 legislative session in Michigan reconvened in September and is scheduled to end on 20 December 2018. If state lawmakers can agree on a suitable sports betting bill that covers regulation and taxation before the year is out then it is possible that Michigan sports betting could launch some time in 2019.