Is Online Sports Betting Legal In Michigan?
Michigan launched the first legal online sports betting apps on January 22, 2021.
Legal Michigan sports betting is the result of a sweeping change to sports betting following a landmark US Supreme Court ruling just three years ago. When the federal law barring sports gambling was struck down, there were 14 states that self-identified as “likely to legalize sports gambling” within two years. Michigan was one of those states, with state leaders citing licensing and tax revenues as a primary reason.
The state formally legalized sports gambling in Michigan on December 20, 2019, along with online casinos and online poker. The Michigan Department of Treasury estimates that legal sports betting will generate $19 million in new revenue to the state.
When Did Sports Betting Launch In Michigan?
Retail sports betting launched in Michigan on March 11, 2020, with an initial focus on betting in retail casinos. Betting will be monitored and regulated by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), a body appointed by the state legislative body.
The first online gambling apps, including online casino betting and online sports betting launched on January 22, 2021. By the end of March, approximately a dozen sports betting apps were legal in the state.
Top Sportsbooks In Michigan
Here are our editors’ favorite Michigan sportsbooks along with their bonus offers.
BetRivers was the first sports betting site to launch in Illinois and was among the first to launch in Michigan. Partnered with Little River Casino in Manistee, BetRivers is a top name in sports betting. BetRivers is known for its strong new player bonus offers, competitive odds, and ongoing promotions and bet boosters.
The WynnBet brand is associated with the luxurious Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas. Operating in Michigan as a license partner of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, the app is still relatively new and is only live in four states (Colorado, Michigan, New Jersey, and Virginia). It offers Michigan players an attractive welcome promo, on par with FanDuel’s promo, of $1000 as a risk-free bet. The app itself is an excellent choice, offering top-of-the-line odds (no pun intended) and a decent user experience.
William Hill Sportsbook
These guys have been aggressive in pursuing market share and they have appeared in every state that’s rolled out sports betting in the last 18 months. William Hill offers a sophisticated Android and iPhone app, as well as a very polished desktop app that serves as your own betting console. William Hill is partnered with Leelanau Sands Casino.
FanDuel has been praised for the ease of its mobile app, which can be downloaded on an iPhone or Android device. FanDuel offers betting in all major sports as well as fantasy sports. Wherever you find DraftKings, you’ll usually find FanDuel competing with them. That’s good for you, the consumer, as more sportsbooks means more competitive rates, more betting lines, and more bonuses and payouts. Increased competition in the industry has led to innovations and a better product. FanDuel is partnered with MotorCity Casino in Detroit.
As sports betting spread across the U.S., PointsBet has earned a reputation as the favorite of experienced bettors. Their mobile interface is simple and easy to use. They also offer more prop bets and obscure sports, domestically and even internationally, than other sportsbooks. PointsBet offers a sportsbook in Michigan in partnership with Northern Waters Casino.
BetMGM Sportsbook, owned by MGM Resorts, offers its sports betting app in more than ten US states. Its app is highly acclaimed and routinely rated as the best sportsbook app on the Apple Store. It offers industry-leading odds along with a wide range of odds boosters and other promotions. The only possible downside is the welcome bonus of $600 risk-free, which is simply average for the market. In Michigan, BetMGM operates as the licensing partner of MGM Grand Detroit.
Currently, DraftKings provides their betting services for sports in more than a half dozen states. They should be an active provider in Michigan once sports betting opens up in the state. DraftKings offers sportsbooks via their website or a mobile app, available on both Android devices and iPhones. DraftKings is well-known for its daily fantasy sports offerings. They have been making strong efforts to grow their market share in online and mobile sports betting. DraftKings applied for a license as a sportsbook in Michigan and operates as a partner of Bay Mills Casino & Resorts.
Golden Nugget Sportsbook
Although the Golden Nugget brand is perhaps better known for its casino, it also offers a pretty decent sportsbook, and Michigan is one of the few states in which it’s offered. While the app itself is solid, offering competitive odds and features, it doesn’t offer the best bonus around. The $250 risk-free bet is better than nothing, but most sportsbooks offer a bit more. In Michigan, Golden Nugget operates in partnership with the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, which owns the Objibwa casinos in Marquette and Baraga.
FOX Bet Sportsbook
Similar to PointsBet, the folks at FOX Bet have already applied for a license to offer their sportsbook in Michigan. They will operate in partnership with Odawa Casino. They offer many of the same sports: college football and basketball, the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, NHL, and even professional soccer and golf. It’s anticipated that bettors will also be able to use their mobile app to bet on NASCAR.
The Barstool Sportsbook, a product of Penn National Gaming, offers a sports betting app with a live entertainment feature on par with FOX Sports. New players in Michigan are eligible for a state-specific welcome bonus of up to $1,000 as a risk-free bet, which isn’t bad as far as what’s available on the market. The app is one of the best in the industry, and its market depth is also impressive. Penn National Gaming operates in partnership with the Greektown Casino-Hotel.
TwinSpires, formerly known as BetAmerica, was one of the first ten sports betting apps to launch in Michigan. It offers an excellent $500 risk-free day as a welcome bonus to new players. Overall, the site is a solid product, although some users seem to think that the app could be better. It’s a great choice for anyone looking for competitive odds, a wide range of betting market options, and easy deposit/withdrawal. In Michigan, TwinSpires is partnered with Island Resort & Casino.
Four Winds Sportsbook
Four Winds Sportsbook & Casino is the most recent sports betting app to join the Michigan market. It was officially approved by the Michigan Gaming Control Board in February 2021, becoming the eleventh app to receive a license to operate in Michigan. Operated by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi and powered by Kambi, the sportsbook is still relatively new. It offers an enticing welcome package that includes a 200% deposit match bonus up to $200, a choice between $20 casino free play or a $20 free bet, and a free million dollar spin.
MI Sports Betting Apps
Here is the list of all Michigan sports betting apps we anticipate have launched or will launch in 2021:
- BetRivers Sportsbook
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- William Hill
- Golden Nugget
- Barstool Sportsbook
- FOX Bet
- TwinSpires (formerly BetAmerica)
- Parx Casino Sportsbook
- Firekeepers Sportsbook – Michigan-0nly sportsbook
- Four Winds Sportsbook – Michigan-0nly sportsbook
What Sports Can I Bet On In Michigan?
Now that sports betting is available in Michigan, the following sports are available for betting:
A full slate of games for the National Football League, including the Detroit Lions. Professional football has traditionally been one of the three most popular sports among sports bettors, along with college football and horse racing. Michigan bettors will be happy to have Super Bowl betting available.
Major League Baseball
Bettors in Michigan will be able to bet on Major League Baseball. This includes the hometown team, the Detroit Tigers.
Betting on the NHL (National Hockey League is available through online sportsbooks, and on mobile devices. The Detroit Red Wings are very popular in the state.
Fans are able to bet on the Detroit Pistons and game action in the National Basketball Association.
The fall means college football. That means excitement on Saturdays in Michigan, which is home to several of the most popular teams in the sport. Ann Arbor (University of Michigan) and East Lansing (Michigan State University) are host to NCAA Football games with tens of thousands (or more than 100,000 in the case of the Wolverines) in attendance.
In recent years the University of Michigan and Michigan State University have experienced tremendous success on the court with their basketball teams. With sports betting legalized in the state, fans are able to bet on the outcomes of those games, as well as any action in the NCAA for men’s and women’s teams. The annual March Madness tournament will be a popular event for sports betting in the state.
How To Bet On Sports In Michigan
Where Can Sports Fans Bet On Sports In Michigan
Michigan law allows for sports betting online, at select physical locations such as casinos and institutions with gaming licenses, and in approved mobile applications.
There are three Detroit locations are set up to offer sports betting:
- Greektown Casino-Hotel
- MGM Grand Detroit
- MotorCity Casino Hotel
During 2020, several other casinos launched retail sportsbooks, although all casinos and sportsbooks in Michigan were subject to closures on and off during 2020 due to COVID-19.
Michigan is also home to more than 300 clubs and organizations with special gambling licenses, such as fraternal organizations like the VFW, Eagles, and Elks. It’s speculated that many of them will also be offering some sort of sports betting, possibly via gaming stations or online sportsbooks. These organizations, though they require a membership to join, by law must allow any eligible citizen to be on the premises for legal gambling.
The convenience of online wagering via smartphones will explode the gambling market in Michigan. Currently, about a dozen states allow online sports betting, with another dozen considering legislation to expand the states where betting is permitted.
How To Register At Michigan Online Sports Betting Sites
To register with online sports betting sites, you’ll need valid identification to prove your eligibility. These online sportsbooks also require a funds deposit into your online betting account. While you may be able to bet within minutes of creating your account, your funds may not be verified for 24 to 72 hours. Before you transfer any winnings from your account, the sportsbook will require an ID verification, typically via a scan of your state or federally-issued identification card.
What Bonuses Are Available On Michigan Sports Betting Sites
There are generally three types of bonuses offered via online sportsbooks sites:
- First Loss Refunds
For this type of bonus, you get back a certain amount of money on your first bet if you lose that bet. For example, if you lose your first bet for $250, you get that $250 refunded to your account, for use in future betting.
- Matching Bonus
In a matching bonus, the sportsbook adds money to your account for every dollar you place in your online sports betting account. For example, if you deposit $500, the sportsbook may offer a matching bonus to place $500 in your account as well. This matching money is usually not available for withdrawal, but only eligible to be used for bets.
- Playthrough Bonus
In a playthrough bonus, the sportsbook rewards you for being an active bettor. For example, if you deposit $1,000 in your account, the sportsbook may reward you with a percentage bonus once you bet an amount, such as 3x or 10x your initial deposit. Typically, there is an expiration on this bonus, such as 30, 60, or 90 days.
For details on bonuses available for specific sportsbooks, visit our guide to Michigan Online Gambling Bonus Offers.
What Are Legal Online Sports Betting Sites
What Is The Difference Between Legal And Illegal Sports Betting Sites
Before the spread of sports betting across America since 2018, many illegal sportsbook websites emerged. Consumers should be cautious when seeking a sportsbook to bet on sports in Michigan. You should only trust legal betting sites that have applied for and received a license from the governing body, the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
Illegal sports betting sites are not obligated to secure your money or investigate fraud or disputed bets. Your private information may not be secure on such websites, and you may be in danger of identity theft or scams.
Please be careful when creating an online betting account on a website or through a mobile app. How credible is the website? Do they provide documentation of their legitimacy? Are they well known nationally, and are they operating in other states that have legalized sports betting? Consult consumer advocacy organizations to research any problems before creating an account with a sportsbook.
Or, focus your efforts on legal online sports betting sites that are licensed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board. Motown Sports does not recommend any illegal or offshore booking sites. It’s just not worth it.
Are Legal Online Sportsbooks Safe And Fair
The legalization and normalization of sports betting in many states have resulted in a much safer and more regulated playing field (no pun intended). Bettors are wise to stick to the most popular and trusted sportsbooks or bet at licensed casinos.
The most popular online sportsbooks, like DraftKings and FanDuels, are trusted and known entities in the sports betting industry. They have legitimate track records in the marketplace and they provide customer service to their users. Sports betting is a safe, fun activity, and in many ways, it’s no less safe than shopping at reputable retailers online.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sports Betting in Michigan
When did online sportsbooks launch in Michigan?
Retail sportsbooks started to launch in early 2020 in Michigan, although they were subject to periodic COVID-related closures during 2020. Michigan online sports betting apps launched on January 22, 2021.
How old do I have to be to bet on sports in Michigan?
You must be 21 years of age to legally bet on sports in Michigan, either in person or online. Citizens 18 years old can participate in fantasy sports betting. According to state law, you must have reached the age of 21 to create an internet wagering account for use in Michigan.
What kinds of sports bets are legal in Michigan?
According to the MGCB list of approved sports in its Sports Wager Catalog, Michigan bettors can bet on all types of professional domestic and international sports as well as college sports.
Can I bet on college sports in Michigan?
Yes, all college sports are available for wagers in Michigan, including bets on in-state college teams. Most Michigan sportsbooks offer lines on the most popular college games.
Can I bet on esports in Michigan?
Michigan has yet to make a determination on e-sports betting. An announcement will be made in 2021 on this issue. Currently, e-sports are not explicitly included in the MGCB’s list of approved sports.
Can I bet on high school sports in Michigan?
No. According to the Michigan Gaming Control Board, betting on high school or youth athletic competitions is prohibited.
What is the tax rate for online sports betting in Michigan?
Revenue from sports betting in Michigan is taxed at 8.4%. In Detroit, commercial casinos will pay an additional 1.25% tax levied by the city.
Is DraftKings offering sports betting in Michigan?
DraftKings was one of the first Michigan sports betting apps to launch in January 2021. They operate in partnership with Bay Mills to offer both sports betting and casino gaming.
Is FanDuel offering sports betting in Michigan?
FanDuel, like DraftKings, was one of the first sportsbook apps to launch in Michigan in January 2021. They partnered with MotorCity Casino in Detroit to operate a retail sports betting lounge as well as online sports betting and online casinos.