Is Sports Betting in Michigan Legal?
Anyone over 21 can place a bet at licensed online and retail sportsbooks in Michigan. There is no legal requirement to be a state resident – as long as you are inside state lines.
The legal changes started with the Supreme Court overturning an act known as PASPA. For many years, that act banned sports betting at the Federal level. It was successfully challenged, with jurisdiction over betting returning to the states in 2018.
In December of 2019, 3 gambling expansion bills were signed. These include HB 4916, which covers Michigan sports betting. This set up a process for the Michigan Gaming Control Board to issue licenses. Each of the 26 Michigan casinos can apply for a license. This will allow them to open a retail sportsbook and offer online gambling too.
Here are some details from the bill:
- Sportsbooks will be taxed at 8.4%, with the commercial casinos also paying a 1.25% city tax.
- Licenses will cost $100,000
- The minimum age for legal betting is 21
- High school sports and events where the majority of participants are under 18 are excluded
- Sports leagues can request that Michigan sportsbooks use official data feeds. There is a clause that this needs to be on ‘commercially reasonable terms’.
When Will Online Sports Betting Launch in Michigan?
It’s not clear when Michigan sports betting will launch.
No exact date has been set, however, plans are in place to hopefully have one sportsbook up and running in time for March Madness.
We don’t know if that’s a retail sportsbook and online betting site or just one of the two options. Other forms of gambling are expected to launch during the summer / fall of 2020.
Which Michigan Casinos Will Have Retail Sportsbooks?
With 26 casinos covering Michigan, you’ll be able to find a sportsbook nearby. Most of the casinos are expected to apply for a license. Here are the venues expected to apply, along with their location.
- Bay Mills Resort and Casino, Brimley
- FireKeepers Casino Hotel, Battle Creek
- Four Winds New Buffalo
- Four Winds Hartford
- Four Wind Dowagiac
- Greektown Casino Hotel, Detroit
- Gun Lake Casino, Wayland
- Island Resort and Casino, Bark River
- Kewadin Casino – Christmas
- Kewadin Casino – Hessel
- Kewadin Casino – Manistique
- Kewadin Casino – Sault Sainte Marie
- Kewadin Shores Casino – St Ignace
- Kings Club Casino – Brimley
- Leeanau Sands Casino – Suttons Bay
- Little River Casino – Manistee
- MGM Grand, Detroit
- MotorCity Casino Hotel, Detroit
- Northern Waters Casino Resort, Watersmeet
- Odawa Casino, Petoskey
- Ojibwa Casinos, Marquette
- Ojibwa Casino, Baraga
- Saganing Eagles Landing Casino, Standish
- Soaring Eagle Casino, Mt. Pleasant
- Turtle Creek Casino, Williamsburg
What Online Sportsbook Brands Are Available in Michigan?
Instead of developing their own online betting platforms and apps, the Michigan casinos will partner with established betting brands. With a population of 10 million, Michigan will attract the biggest and best national brands.
Here are some of those expected to announce partnerships with the local license holding casinos:
- FanDuel: Best-known for their Daily Fantasy Sports site, FanDuel have already created full sportsbooks in NJ and PA. They also sponsor retail sportsbooks.
- FOX Bet: This betting brand is a joint venture between the FOX Sports TV channel and StarsBet (part of the company that created PokerStars). Expect themed promotions tied to the popular TV anchors.
- William Hill: This company have been running Nevada retail sportsbooks for years. They have the experience and technology to be up and running fast online.
- DraftKings: Another DFS operator which has crossed over into full sports betting. You’ll be able to link your DFS and betting accounts, while still taking advantage of the sportsbook bonus deals.
- Bet America: This brand has been operating a pari-mutuel horse racing betting site for years. They have full sportsbooks in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
- Bet MGM: The MGM Grand Detroit is the obvious partner for the Bet MGM sportsbook. In NJ, MGM created an app / website in partnership with GVC.
- 888 Sport: Gambling giant 888 have the advantage of an integrated casino, sportsbook and poker site, making them an attractive partner for a MI casino looking to enter all 3 markets.
- Pointsbet: This brand is big in Australia and are rolling out across the country. They offer regular bets, plus the novel ‘Pointsbetting’ which pays more if you beat the spread by a wider margin.
What Michigan Teams Can I Bet On?
You won’t be restricted to betting on the big MI pro teams – though bets involving them are bound to be popular. Detroit is the only city in the country that has teams in the top-tier of all 4 pro leagues within its city limits.
Here are the key teams to look out for when the online sportsbooks go live.
- Detroit Lions: The Lions are part of the NFC North Division of the NFL. They have been around since 1930 – relocating to Detroit in 1934. This team have won 4 NFC championships, though have yet to make it to the Super Bowl.
- Detroit Tigers: 4 times World Series winners, the Tigers represent baseball at the highest level. This team is part of the American League Central Division. The tigers play their home games at Comerica Park, Detroit.
- Detroit Red Wings: This NHL team has a history going all the way back to 1926. They have won the most Stanley Cup championship of any US based hockey franchise. This team recently moved to the new Little Caesars Arena.
- Detroit Pistons: This Michigan NBA team play in the Eastern Conference Central Division. They share a home stadium with the Red Wings. This team have won 3 NBA championships, the last of these victories was in 2004.
Things don’t stop with the big pro teams of course. Michigan has a thriving sports scene in the minor leagues – plus some highly-rated college teams. Look out for the following:
- Grand Rapids Danger (American Basketball Association)
- Kalamazoo Growlers (College Baseball)
- Battle Creek Bombers (College Baseball)
- Great Lakes Loons (Minor League Baseball)
- Birmingham Bloomfield Beavers (United Shore Pro Baseball League)
- Lansing Capitals (Independent Basketball Association)
- Grand Rapids Griffins (American Hockey League)
- AFC An Arbor (National Premier Soccer League)
- Lansing United (United Women’s Soccer)
Sports Betting in Michigan: How Online Sportsbooks Work
There are two was to access online sportsbooks. You can download an app on your smartphone (or iPhone) or tablet – or access them via a website.
You can access the websites and place bets via your mobile devices. These sites will recognize that your screen is small and adapt their navigation to fit. For the best experience on phones, downloading the apps is recommended.
For Apple devices, you can download the new Michigan sportsbook apps directly from the Apple App store. Android users need to do direct to the brands of the sportsbooks. Google won’t allow gambling apps (even completely legal ones) in their ‘Play’ store. It is quick and easy to get the apps from the website of the sportsbooks. Simply visit the sites with your Android phone or tablet and follow the prompts. You might need to click some messages warning you that you are downloading from an ‘unknown source’.
Apps include geo-location technology. This ensures that you are within MI state lines – a legal requirement. This means you’ll need to allow the sportsbooks to track your location in order to bet.
These contain all the cashier, account, bonus tracking and betting functions that you need to bet online.
Three Sections: Navigating Around Online Sportsbooks
MI sports betting websites and apps share a core structure. While the designs and details of the navigation are different – there are 3 main sections, plus account and cashier areas in all of them.
Once you have a placed a couple of bets, getting around the apps will become a breeze. Below is an overview of the main areas of online sports betting sites:
- List of Sports: Most books will put the pro leagues at the top of their list, along with live (in-play) betting. This can be in text or icon format. You’ll find a full list either by scrolling, or via a separate link for the ‘A-Z’ listing.
- Matches and Bets: The main view shows the upcoming pro league matches in the sport you selected. Here you can choose filters and navigation options to narrow down your search. These include college and international matches. You’ll see the popular single match bet odds listed when you find your game. To list other wagers, click on the ‘more bets’ link. Bets can be added to your bet slip by clicking on them.
- Bet Slip: The final step in placing a bet is to manage your bet slip. You can safely add a lot of bets to this slip, removing those you don’t want, and setting the bet amount and confirming for those you do. Parlays, teasers and round-robins can also be set up on your bet slip.
The cashier area covers your deposits and withdrawals. You’ll be able to check your progress towards clearing any sportsbook bonuses, plus your personal information and history, via your account page.
Types of Bet You Can Place at Michigan Sportsbooks
You’ll be able to bet on upcoming matches and place season-long bets in many different ways. This section covers the most popular bets. Individual sports have their own bets too.
Single match bets are the most popular. There are three lines highlighted when you first see a match in the online sportsbooks, these are the moneyline, point spread and totals bets.
The standard format for listing odds is in relation to a $100 bet. You can bet any amount you like. If you see a positive number, that is the return on a $100 bet. For example, +220 means you’d get $220 if you win, plus your stake back. Negative numbers show how much you’d need to bet to win $100. Favorites are listed with negative numbers. For example, odds of -200 mean you’d need to bet $200 to win $100 more (again, your stake is returned).
Here is how they work:
- Moneyline: You will see odds for each team to win. The underdog will have a positive line and the favorite a negative.
- Point Spread: Here the sportsbooks will add points to the underdog, aiming to make the match even. You can bet on either team, with the favorite having to beat the underdog by more than the points / goals listed.
- Totals: This involves betting on the sum of points or goals for both teams at the end of the match. You can take the under or over.
Bets on Multiple Matches
You can bet on more than one match in 3 different ways. These are parlays, teaser bets or round robins. Sportsbooks will often run promotions based on multi-team bets. These can boost odds for wins or return your stake if you lose by a single game.
Here is how the different multi-team bets work:
- Parlays: These bets can involve 2 or more teams. To win money, all of your selections need to win. The returns from match 1 will be staked on match 2 and so on. This is a popular way to turn a small stake into a big win.
- Teasers: Sometimes known as ‘alternative spreads’, this form of parlay gives you wide spreads on your matches. This reduces the chance of an upset, though the returns will not be as big as for a regular parlay.
- Round Robin: Here you ‘box’ your selections, with part of the stake going on each combination of matches. You’ll win most when every selection wins, paying out all the different multiples. If one selection loses, you will still get returns on the others.
Props, Period Betting and Futures Bets at MI Sportsbooks
There are many more bets available at both retail and mobile sportsbooks in Michigan. Prop bets vary widely by sport. These bets are on player performances or other factors which are not match results. Props can be entertaining, for example the exact length of the national anthem at the Super Bowl.
Period betting involves making separate bet on each half, quarter or other period in a match.
Futures bets are usually on season-long outcomes. This could be player of the year (or most points scored), or backing a team to make the play-offs, or even win the World Series / Super Bowl / Stanley Cup and so on.
Live (In-Play) Betting is Coming to Michigan
Michigan online sportsbooks unlock new ways to bet. The most popular of these is in-play betting. This involves placing bets on matches which are already underway. Feeds will keep the odds updated instantly as the on-field action changes. You can place many of the single-match bets and props covered above while you are watching a game.
Betting Markets: What Sports Can You Bet On?
There are very few restrictions in the Michigan sports betting bill when it comes to the type of sports you can wager on. High school sports, and games where most participants are under 18 are off-limits to the sportsbooks.
All the brands will offer a huge range of markets on the major pro leagues, soccer, golf and boxing / MMA. The depth of coverage for international and niche sports does vary significantly between the brands.
Below is a run-down of the main sports and leagues covered by MI sportsbooks.
- Football: The NFL gets the lion’s share of the betting action, with the season kick-off the busiest time at sportsbooks around the country. You can also bet on college football at Michigan online sportsbooks.
- Basketball: Betting markets focus on the NBA, with the EuroLeague available at many books too. College basketball reaches fever pitch each spring, when March Madness happens.
- Baseball: The huge number of matches every season means you’ll never be short of a bet. MLB and minor leagues are covered. You can make season long bets on whether your team will make the play-offs or World Series.
- Hockey: You can bet on the NHL conferences and minor league action both sides of the border. Play-off time sees many different prop bets appear in addition to the usual single-match wagers.
- Soccer: This is an international market, with the English Premiership, Champions League and World Cup all featuring alongside MLS games. The possibility of drawn / tied games internationally makes the betting markets different from the major league sports.
- Golf: The majors are where the biggest betting action occurs, though there are tournaments taking place all year round. You can bet on the Masters, Ryder Cup, PGA and more.
- Combat Sports: Boxing and MMA are becoming popular betting markets, especially when the celebrity bouts come around.
- Tennis: Another sport which has a lot of tournaments around the world. Tennis comes to everyone’s attention when the US Open, Wimbledon and other ‘Majors’ take place.
Other popular sports you can bet on include Rugby, Cricket, Australian Rules Football, Cycling and Snooker.
Taking Advantage of Bonuses at Michigan Sportsbooks
With the online sportsbooks opening in 2020, there will be a lot of competition for your business. This makes it the perfect time to take advantage of the welcome bonuses and special promotions, to give your betting bankroll a welcome boost.
Offers to look out for include no-deposit free bets, matched welcome bonuses, no-lose first bets, boosted odds on major sporting fixtures and more. Regulated sportsbooks are fair with their bonuses – though it always pays to read the terms. Things to look out for include the length of time your free bets are valid for, how many times you need to wager your wins before your money can be withdrawn, and whether there are minimum / maximum odds.
Welcome bonuses are a great way to get started, though it is the loyalty rewards and promotions which will bring you the most benefits long-term.
Promotions can include insurance against losses in overtime, boosted odds on big games or free bets based on your action. You’ll also find mobile sportsbooks offer incentives for trying out their in-play betting services.
With online casinos and poker also available in Michigan, you will also find cross-over promotions on brands that offer this.
How to Deposit at Mobile Sportsbooks in Michigan
It is easy to find your mobile betting account – and easy to withdraw your wins too. You can choose to use your credit card in the same way you’d make any online purchase – or use one of the many alternatives listed below:
- Credit / Debit Card: The cards of most major banks will work for your sportsbook deposits.
- Branded Debit Card: Books including DraftKings have introduced their own branded debit card. You fund this via your regular card, then use it for both deposits and withdrawals.
- Bank Transfers using ACH: You might know this method as ‘eChecks’. If you get verified, it is a way of instantly depositing and easily withdrawing.
- Bill Pay: Sports betting accounts can be treated like utilities, paying at your bank will Bill Pay.
- Bank Wires: This traditional deposit option is slow, though many people prefer it for larger deposits
- PayPal: Electronic wallets like PayPal, Skill and Neteller are secure online accounts for secure purchases online.
- Cash: You’ll be able to make deposits at the cage of the casino associated with the sportsbook.
- PayNearMe: You can take cash to your local 7-Eleven store, along with a barcode from your sportsbook’s cashier.
Location of Retail Sportsbooks in Michigan
Until the licensing process is completed, we will not know which of the Michigan casinos will have retail sports betting facilities. The three big commercial casinos in Detroit will certainly have sportsbooks – with most of the tribal casinos also expected to open one.
Here are the potential locations for retail sportsbooks.
|Name||Address||Hours of operation
|Bay Mills Resort & Casino||11386 W Lakeshore Dr, Brimley, MI 49715||24 hours
|Dancing Eagles Resort||N5384 US-45, Watersmeet, MI 49969||N/A
|FireKeepers Casino Hotel||11177 East Michigan Ave, Battle Creek, MI 49014||24 hours
|Four Winds Casino||58700 M-51, Dowagiac, MI 49047||24 hours
|Four Winds Casino||68600 Red Arrow Hwy, Hartford, MI 49057||24 hours
|Four Winds Casino||11111 Wilson Rd, New Buffalo, MI 49117||24 hours
|Greektown Casino Hotel||555 E Lafayette St, Detroit, MI 48226||24 hours
|Gun Lake Casino||1123 129th Ave,|
Wayland, MI 49348
|Island Resort & Casino||W399 Hwy US 2- 41,|
Harris, MI 49845
|Kewadin Casino||N 3 Mile Rd, Hessel, MI 49745||9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
|Kewadin Casino||N7761 Candy Cane Ln, Christmas, MI 49862||9:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.
|Kewadin Casino||5630 W, US-2, Manistique, MI 49854||9:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.
|Kewadin Casino, Hotel and Convention Center||2186 Shunk Road,|
Sault Sainte Marie, MI 49783
|Kewadin Shores Casino & Hotel||3015 Mackinac Trail,|
Saint Ignace, MI 49781
|Kings Club Casino||12140 W. Lakeshore Drive,|
Brimley, MI 49715
|10:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
|Northern Waters Casino Resort||5384 Highway US 45 North, PO Box 129,|
Watersmeet, MI 49969
|Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge||2521 N West Bayshore Drive,|
Suttons Bay, MI 49682
|8:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
|Little River Casino Resort||2700 Orchard Hwy, U.S. 31 and M-22,|
Manistee, MI 49660
|MGM Grand||1777 Third Street,|
Detroit, MI 48226
|MotorCity Casino Hotel||2901 Grand River Avenue,|
Detroit, MI 48201
|Odawa Casino||1760 Lears Road,|
Petoskey, MI 49770
|Ojibwa Casino||105 Acre Trail,|
Marquette, MI 49855
|Ojibwa Casino||16449 Michigan Avenue, M-38,|
Baraga, MI 49908
|Saganing Eagles Landing Casino||2690 Worth Road,|
Standish, MI 48658
|Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort||6800 Soaring Eagle Boulevard,|
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858
|Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel||7741 M-72 E.,|
Williamsburg, MI 49690
You can expect multiple big screens showing the day’s action, dining and bar facilities and staff to advise you on how to place your bets from the retail sportsbooks. If Michigan follows other states, the books will be open from 10am to 11pm on weekdays, with extended opening hours at weekends and on busy match days.
Other legal betting states
Final Thoughts on Legal Sports Betting in Michigan
2020 saw sports betting go live in Michigan. This followed the signing of Bill 4916 in December 2019. Retail and online sports betting licenses are available to all the tribal and commercial casinos in the Great Lakes State.
These casinos have partnered with many of the biggest national and international sports betting brands. These include FOX Bet, DraftKings, FanDuel, William Hill and others. These partnerships will allow apps and website sportsbooks – and some will also include branded retail sportsbooks.
You’ll be able to bet on the pro sports leagues and college action in a variety of ways including single match bets and parlays. With mobile sports betting, a new way of betting on matches which are already underway – in-play betting – is available in Michigan.
Michigan residents will have a big choice of brands. You can take advantage of their welcome bonuses including no-deposit free bets and matched deposit bonuses to give your betting bankroll a great start. Promotions, odds boosts and loyalty schemes will then keep your bankroll topped up.