Michigan has many gambling options available to its residents. Perhaps not as open as Delaware or New Jersey, it still has a lot to offer!
There were high hopes for massive changes to gambling laws for Michigan in the year 2018. Lots of discussion of potential liberalization of online gambling with the overturning of the PASPA law by the US Supreme Court. But alas the ensuring years have led to disappointment, and arguably regression in opening up the online casino, sports betting and poker markets.
Having said that, a lot of local casino operators are preparing for when online will be formally legalized and regulated. And on a positive note, the land based gambling opportunities are plentiful and diverse.
- Proponents of legalizing sports betting hope to have sports betting available for the 2019 Superbowl.
- If Michigan does not legalize sports betting, there is a fear that Players will cross the border to Indiana to place bets, therefore losing potential tax revenue to the state.
- Ongoing debate is revolves around the proposed low tax rates to be applied on operators. Opponents of the current suggested tax rate, argue that the tax rate should be more aligned with New Jersey tax rates.
- Horse racing pari-mutuel betting permitted and offered.
- Charitable gaming in the form of casino style events must register for a “Millionaire” license. Gambling parties or bingo nights are permitted through strict regulation by the Michigan Gaming Control Board. Michigan is only one of a few US States that strong regulates charitable gaming.
- Social gaming is illegal and is strictly enforced against Players and Organizers. Penalties have been known to be charged for organizers of illegal gambling ring activities.
Best 3 Michigan Casinos Online
Michigan Online Gambling
Real money online gambling in Michigan remains illegal, even though there has been much discussion among state senators regarding the opportunities that online gambling brings. 2019 was touted to be the year legalization, however what has eventuated could be seen as further set backs rather that progressing forward.
Should online casino and sports betting be legalized, some Senators have raised concerns of cannibalizing the state lottery revenue which importantly supports community programs. Until this impasse is breached, online gambling remains firmly locked in the doldrums.
Unsurprisingly, you will not be able to find any Player prosecuted for online casino or poker activity. The ability to enforce the law is extremely high effort with the act of online gambling probably see on par with jaywalking. Although there is a small risk of being prosecuted, there is no precedence of law enforcement agencies taking such actions.
As a result, many offshore online casinos accept US Players from Michigan.
Online bingo is legal and also offered by offshore online site. There is one local online site belonging to the Fire Keepers Casino Hotel.
Michigan ranks as the 11th in the US for playing at offshore online casinos. Wagering an estimated $21.2 million per year, it ranks just above Arizona and behind Washington. The state with the largest wagering for offshore online casino is California at $180 million.
Overview of Michigan Casinos
There is a wide range of land based gambling opportunities in Michigan. Sports betting has yet to take off having been put forward for legalization in 2018 but stalling. However many of the existing casino providers have begun to prepare sports book terminals in anticipation of sports betting changes being pushed through early 2020.
The land based casinos in Michigan are mostly tribal with three commercial private operators, two of which are Las Vegas massive size, whilst the third is a smaller slots and bingo parlor. Michigan has approximately 22 casinos in which you’ll find more than 35,056 slots and gaming machines. There are a total of 783 table games.
The minimum age for gambling in Michigan is 18 for charitable, lottery and bingo, whilst it is 18 or 21 depending on the type of casino game. The minimum age for sports betting is 21.
FireKeepers Casino Hotel
11177 East Michigan Avenue, Battle Creek, Michigan
FireKeepers Casino located in Battle Creek, Michigan has a 107,000 square foot casino gambling floor with 2,900 slots, 90 table games, live poker and bingo rooms, and eight restaurants bars and lounges. Good food, good service, good prices and a good place to have fun.
Little River Casino Resort
2700 Orchard Highway, Manistee, Michigan
The tribal casino offers over 40,000 square feet of gaming space, four eateries including Heron on the River, an RV park with 95 spaces and nearly 300 guestrooms for those that choose to stay in the hotel. The buffet the food and service are excellent. You can’t go wrong with Little River Casino Resort.
MGM Grand Detroit
1777 Third Street, Detroit, Michigan
The lavish property boasts 100,000 square feet of gaming space with almost 4000 slots and video poker machines, 90 table games, and a poker room. Top notch service and gambling experience with a wide variety of gaming to choose from.
Greektown Casino Hotel
555 East Lafayette Boulevard, Detroit, Michigan
Visitors will find 100,000 square feet of gambling space hosting nearly 3,000 slots and video poker games, 85 classic casino game tables, a dedicated high-limit room with over 90 hi-limit slots and dozens of casino table games and a 13-table smoke-free poker room. Gambler’s paradise they call it!
MotorCity Casino & Hotel
2901 Grand River Avenue, Detroit, Michigan
There is 100,000 square feet of gaming space with more than 2900 slot machines, 59 gaming tables, a 12 table no smoking poker room. The staff is experienced and very productive.
Island Resort Casino
Hwy 2, Harris, Michigan
Island Resort and Casino has a 50,000 square foot casino gambling floor with 1,200 slot machines, 26 table games, poker and five restaurants. The Island Resort hotel has 275 rooms, golf course and RV park with campground. Great atmosphere, drinks are priced Right, good place for a fun night.
Odawa Casino Resort
1760 Lears Road, Petoskey, Michigan
The 50,000 square foot casino floor offers about 1,200 slots, dozens of table games and a six table poker room. There are also dedicated blackjack and VIP rooms. Reasonable food and drinks at decent prices.
Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort
6800 Soaring Eagle Boulevard, Mount Pleasant, Michigan
Soaring Eagle’s 210,000 square feet of gaming space offers 3,330 of the latest slot machines, including video poker and video keno, progressives, along with 60 gaming tables featuring a wide variety of games, including Blackjack, Craps, Roulette and much more. Friendly staff, well appointed room, good food options.
Kewadin Vegas – Sault Ste. Marie
2186 Shunk Road, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan
The 39,000 square feet establishment offers 2,000 gaming machines with a large variety. A small casino, but very nice setting and good service.
Michigan Gaming Control Board
The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) is responsible for regulation, monitoring of controls and policy of gambling in Michigan. It audits the three Detroit casinos, not only in regards to finance, taxation and operationally, but also regarding casino equipment, third party vendors and employees.
The MGCB is also responsible for charitable gaming, through the Millionaires program. The framework implemented by the MGCB requires non profit organizations to subscribe to Millionaire licenses. If a non profit organization does not register for a license and hosts a Millionaire event, they may be charged with penalties. A Millionaires license will allow and permit gambling events that include casino table games and poker tournaments. Only qualified organizations will be issued a license. An organization may include churches, schools, senior citizen community groups, and war veteran support groups.
The Michigan Lottery was founded in 1972 and is one of the older lottery commissions in the US. It offers an immense variety of games, possibly more than any other state. Keno, Powerball, Mega Millions, Luck for Life, Fantasy 5, Daily 4, Daily 3, pull tabs… the list goes on and on. The lottery raises over $600 million in proceeds a year, of which the net earnings are directed to educational and public works.
In addition the lottery offers an app for both Apple and Android smartphone users. The app allows players to check results, purchase lottery tickets and play the online games that the lottery is permitted to issue.
Gambling Laws and Legislation
Michigan has permissive gambling laws with online lottery games, skill games, horse and greyhound racing, and fantasy sports all being legal. It is likely that online gaming and gambling will soon follow as state lawmakers have, for several years, recognized the potential revenue in the online sphere.
In addition to the above, currently legal in Michigan are gaming on tribal land, licensed Native American casinos, licensed horse racing (live horse racing, on-track simulcasting, and on-track pari-mutuel wagering), card games at a senior citizen housing facility, bowling leagues with prize not exceeding $1,000.00, redemption games, bingo, state lottery, and millionaire parties (i.e. organized poker events.) Pool selling, registering bets, and gambling in stocks, bonds, grain, and produce are all prohibited as is social gaming, with law enforcement taking the unconventional position of prosecuting not only organizers but also players. Gambling is regulated by the Michigan Penal Code Ch. 750, §§ 301-15; MCLS § 750.301 et seq.; MCLS § 432.1 et seq.
Sports Betting: Except for fantasy league wagers, sports betting remains illegal in Michigan; however, online sports betting has strong support in the state and looked to be statutorily approved in 2018 except for a last-minute veto of the bill. Lawmakers have proposed a bill to create the Sports Betting Act on September 4, 2019 (HB 4916) and a bill to create the Lawful Internet Gaming Act on March 7, 2019 (SB 186) to address the legal sports wagering issue in Michigan. Interested individuals may want to follow this and any other pending Michigan legislation on this topic.
Race Betting: Like in many states, horse betting (though not pari-mutuel betting) is legal in Michigan at its racing tracks, except for Hazel Park (H), Northville Downs (H), Pinnacle Race Course and Sports Creek. No off-track betting facilities exist in the state. Currently only BetAmerica accepts Michigan wagerers.
Online Gambling, Poker & Gaming: No laws strictly prohibit online gambling and gaming in Michigan. Online lottery gambling is expressly permitted. This is a change from the state’s position two decades ago when it was illegal to use unlicensed online platforms. Although the operation of gambling games is prohibited by MCLS § 432.202, this arguably does not apply to offshore platforms or to individual players. Thus, due to the unregulated nature of online gambling and gaming in the state, individuals wishing to participate in online gambling, including poker and other such games of skill, and who are at least eighteen years old can expect to safely place bets online through licensed and regulated domestic and offshore platforms.
A Lawyer’s Opinion
Michigan is a mixed bag when it comes to gambling. On the one hand, traditional, land-based casinos and the lottery are permitted and heavily utilized while many other forms of gambling and gaming are prohibited. See 750 MCL § 301-315a.
Sports Betting: Though legislation is pending (H.B. 4916,) sportsbook making, including betting on fantasy sports, remains prohibited. Individuals who wish to make online sportsbooks, thus, must do so through platforms operating outside of the state.
Race Betting: Like in many states, horse betting is legal in Michigan at its racing tracks and racinos as well as other venues that allow pari-mutuel betting. Off-track betting is permitted at the state’s off-tracking betting facilities, both of which also offer slots and video machine gambling. Online race betting is not specified, though many platforms do accept bets from Michigan residents aged eighteen or older.
Online Gambling: Though there is legislation pending (H.B. 4311,) the state has yet to pass an online poker or gambling bill, and, thus, similar forms of gambling remain unregulated. Thus, individuals wishing to participate in online gambling, including poker and other such games of skill, and who are twenty-one or older, must place bets online through licensed and regulated domestic and offshore platforms operating outside of the state.
Online Gaming: Social online gaming through online portals like DoubleDown is accessible to Michigan residents.
Yes, there are offshore online casino providers that accept many US Players. These providers, however, strictly regulate which US States are permitted to gamble and therefore acceptance is dependent on where you reside. Michigan players are accepted by the following online casino providers which GambleDex strongly recommends: Bovada, Slots.lv and Vegas Casino Online
The minimum age to gamble online in Michigan is 21, whilst online bingo and lottery is 18.
The state laws in Michigan are relatively explicit in determining online gambling as illegal. This includes all forms of gambling: casino games, sports betting and poker.
To this day, there has been no precedence of any Player being prosecuted for online gambling. The risk is therefore extremely low.
Wikipedia: List of casinos in Michigan.