It took more than one year since the Legislature and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer legalized internet gambling and sports wagering in Michigan. Still, the age of internet gaming and sports betting is finally arriving in the Great Lakes State. In what could be one of the highest-grossing online sports betting markets in the country, Michigan will also be one of the first states with legal, real money, online poker.
We have created a definitive guide with everything you need to know about betting in Michigan.
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The Michigan Gaming Control Board has issued provisional licenses for the following sportsbooks. Many of Michigan’s tribal casinos are putting together plans to launch their own retail sportsbooks as well.
Here’s a more thorough breakdown of the various sportsbooks operating in Michigan:
Barstool Sportsbook: Barstool has partnered with Penn National to enter the sports betting market. Penn National owns a 36 percent stake in Barstool Sports. The casino company opened its first Barstool-branded sportsbook in November at Ameristar Casino Resort in Black Hawk, Colorado. The first Barstool app was launched in Pennsylvania, and early reports have been very promising.
TwinSpires (BetAmerica): A Churchill Downs-owned sports wagering and iGaming company, BetAmerica partnered with the Hannahville Indian Community to launch the retail sportsbook. Bettors will find a bar and grill on-site and both window and kiosk service to place bets. The company specializes in horse racing and online casino gaming but also offers sports betting. The retail sportsbook operates 24/7, includes more than 30 large-screen televisions, and features the Upper Peninsula’s largest high definition video wall.
BetMGM: MGM is set up to be a major player in the Michigan betting landscape, owning its own proprietary resort and casino. They are also the official betting partner of the Detroit Lions and Red Wings. The BetMGM Sports Lounge at MGM Grand Detroit opened for business in March 2020. You’ll find 60 HDTVs and a full-service bar, as well as betting windows or self-service kiosks to place your bets. They offer a wide range of markets to bet on. BetMGM will also offer the MGM Grand Detroit Tunnel Club at Ford Field.
BetRivers: The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians partnered with Rush Street Interactive to launch BetRivers in Michigan. One of the top highlights for BetRivers is the iRush Rewards program, where you can earn points just for placing bets.
DraftKings: Now offered at Bay Mills Resort & Casino with retail sportsbook bearing the DraftKings name. The Detroit Pistons also announced pacts with DraftKings and FanDuel.
FanDuel: The FanDuel retail sportsbook at one of Detroit’s three primary casinos. MotorCity’s sportsbook opened with rave reviews in March 2020. The two-story venue features dozens of HDTVs, a dedicated sports ticker, and a VIP area. The Detroit Pistons also announced pacts with DraftKings and FanDuel.
FOXBet: There’s betting window service every day, as well as 24/7 access to self-serve kiosks. There’s also betting kiosks at the satellite location in Mackinaw City.
Golden Nugget: Golden Nugget is best known for its properties in Las Vegas, but it is also the leading online casino brand in New Jersey. A partnership with Ojibwa Casino, which is owned and operated by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, will soon be making its way to Michigan. Golden Nugget Casino offers some of the more generous bonuses and promotions in the US legal online casino market.
Kambi: The Malta-based sports betting technology company struck a deal to provide sports betting services to the Four Winds Casinos, which are run by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. Four Winds is consistently ranked as one of the top gaming and entertainment brands in the Midwest. Four Winds Casinos selected Kambi for its high-quality on-property and online product. Kambi will install its suite of on-property sports wagering products in Four Winds’ casino locations in New Buffalo, Dowagiac, and Hartford, Michigan, along with offering an online product.
Parx: The Stage 131 Sportsbook opened in Oct. 2020. Food and drink service are available, and there are plenty of TVs and kiosk and window service for wagering. The Parx Casino brand also has its own horse racing track.
PointsBet: PointsBet is launching its introduction into iGaming as part of its deal with the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians in the Upper Peninsula near the Wisconsin border. That partnership is the company’s first Native American tribal market access deal. In addition to mobile sports betting and negotiations to operate the Northern Waters retail sportsbook, the deal will be PointsBet’s first online casino offering anywhere. PointsBet is also the official betting partner of the Detroit Tigers, making them the first official partner of Major League Baseball. There will be betting integration on the app and in the stadium at Comerica Park.
Dacey’s Sportsbook: FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek opened the state’s first tribal casino sportsbook called Dacey’s Sportsbook, in partnership with Scientific Games.
William Hill: Leelanau Sands Casino is one of the first Northern Michigan casinos to offer sports betting. The Onyx Sportsbook by William Hill opened in September 2020. Visitors will find HDTVs throughout, a full-service bar, and an outdoor patio. Bets can be made at their self-serve kiosks or at Onyx Sports Book by William Hill during casino hours.
WYNNBet: Secured a deal through software provider GAN, which has access through Kewadin Casinos, who own the most locations of any brand in the Upper Peninsula. Kewadin Casinos are owned and operated by the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Wynn will be well-positioned as a major player in the state of Michigan following its commencement of online gaming activities.
Michigan Sports Betting History
Betting on horse racing has been legal in Michigan since 1933. Horse racing was once a prominent figure in the Michigan state betting scene. From 2006-16, gambling revenue at Michigan tracks fell from $22.1 million to $4.2 million. The number of tracks went from 10 to two in that same time. Before introducing the Michigan Lottery and casinos, Michigan horse racing revenue peaked at $443.1 million. Northville Downs celebrated 100 years of live racing in 2017 and is the only remaining horse racing track in the state. The track still hosts two racing meets each year. Michigan residents can bet horse races online through advance deposit wagering, which launched June 2020 with TVG, the first to go live. TwinSpires (BetAmerica), owned by Churchill Downs, also joined in Sept. 2020.
The Michigan Lottery and laws governing charitable gaming have also been around since 1972. The Michigan Lottery officially launched with the start of the 50 cent Green Ticket game in November 1972. In 1984, the Bay Mills Indian Band opened the first tribal-sanctioned casino on Brimley’s tribal land. Kings Club Casino is the first tribally-owned casino in the US. The first Big Game, now the Mega Millions, ticket sold in Michigan in 1996. It brought the first multi-state lottery game, in conjunction with Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Virginia, to Michigan for the first time. In the same year, Michigan voters also approved Proposal E, which authorized the construction of three licensed casinos in Detroit (MGM Grand, Greektown Casino, and MotorCity Casino Hotel). The MGM Grand and MotorCity Casino both opened in Detroit in 1999, while Greektown Casino opened in 2000.
Daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests have been operating in Michigan since 2006. The first form of legal online gambling technically took place in Michigan in 2014, when the iLottery officially launched. This allowed players to buy tickets for Instant Keno and scratch-off game equivalents like Cashword and Pot O’ Gold from a computer, mobile phone, or tablet device. By January 2015, the Michigan Lottery said close to 87,000 players had registered for online lottery accounts. Online sales had generated $3.7 million for the state. In February 2015, the Michigan iLottery saw its first $1 million winner from a $20 online scratch-off game. In May 2015, the Michigan Lottery announced more than 133,000 online accounts had been created, and 300,000 instant tickets were selling online every day.
In-person sports betting begun in Michigan just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March of 2020. FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek opened the state’s first tribal casino sportsbook called Dacey’s Sportsbook, in partnership with Scientific Games. Like the rest of the world, all were forced to shut down. The casinos and their sports betting lounges were closed for just over four months. They attempted to reopen at reduced capacity, then closed again through the holidays in 2020, resulting in big drops in gambling tax revenues for the state and the city of Detroit. The introduction of legalized online gambling is anticipated to make up for the continued tax losses. The three Detroit casinos reported about $639 million in aggregate revenue for 2020, down a whopping 56% from 2019.
You can find a detailed timeline of events from Michigan’s betting history at PlayMichigan.com.
Michigan Sports Betting at a Glance
Here’s what you need to know about Michigan’s current sports betting landscape:
- The minimum age for online gambling and sports betting is 21. You must be 18-years-old to participate in a fantasy sports contest. Age requirements vary for entering and betting at tribal casinos.
- The tax rate and the tribal payment rate for internet sports betting is 8.4%.
- Since launch, Michigan’s three retail sportsbooks took $130.8 million in bets with $18.3 million in revenue.
- Online wagering is expected to make up as much as 90 percent of Michigan’s betting handle.
- Pooled parimutuel online gambling, in which player pools extend across states, is now legally allowed but won’t officially begin in Michigan until the state has reached interstate agreements. Richard Kalm, executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board, said this could be allowed by the end of 2021, per the Detroit Free Press.
- If you have an account with a fantasy sports provider, you may be able to participate outside of Michigan, subject to any applicable account restrictions.
- Only existing licensed casinos — the 24 tribal casinos and three Detroit casinos within Michigan — are allowed by law to offer gambling and sports betting over the internet.
- The administrative rules will address the types of games an internet gaming operator may offer. Authorized games may include, but are not limited to, poker, blackjack, cards, slots, and other games typically offered at a casino.
- The tax and payment rates paid by the casinos for general internet gambling — not including sports — will range from about 20% to 28%, based on adjusted gross receipts.
- The Michigan Gaming Control Board will not regulate onsite sports betting at tribal casinos, covered under federal law and the Tribal-State Class III Gaming Compacts between the tribal communities and the State of Michigan.
Michigan Sports Betting FAQs
What kinds of sports wagers can I make at Michigan casinos?
Michigan sportsbooks will offer a wide range of bet types, including (but not limited to):
- Straight bets
- Single-game bets
- Teaser Bets
- Prop bets
What sports can I wager on at Michigan sportsbooks?
The tribal casinos may offer a different variety of sports than the Detroit casinos, but this is an active list of what is offered at the Detroit casinos per PlayMichigan.com.
- Auto racing (NASCAR, Formula 1, IndyCar)
- Australian Rules Football
- Baseball (Major League Baseball, NCAA, Nippon Professional League in Japan and KBO League in South Korea, World Baseball Classic, Chinese Professional League)
- Basketball (NBA, Division 1 NCAA men’s and women’s basketball, WNBA, FIBA World Cup, EuroCup, EuroLeague, NBA Draft, several foreign leagues)
- Bowling (PBA)
- Boxing (IBF/WBA/WBC/WBO)
- Football (NFL, FBS NCAA football, Canadian Football League)
- Golf (PGA, LPGA, European Tour, Champions Tour)
- Hockey (NHL, NCAA, several foreign leagues)
- Lacrosse (NCAA and Major League Lacrosse)
- Mixed Martial Arts (UFC, Bellator, Professional Fighters League)
- Olympics (Winter and Summer Games)
- Rugby League and Rugby Union
- Soccer (Major League Soccer, English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Italy Serie A, German Bundesliga, Europa, UEFA Champions League)
- Softball (NCAA)
- Tennis (Association of Tennis Players men’s, Women’s Tennis Association)
Find more FAQs on Sports Betting, Online Betting, and Fantasy Sports from the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
More State Overviews
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New Jersey Sports Betting
New York Sports Betting
Delaware Sports Betting
West Virginia Sports Betting
Nevada Sports Betting