A Complete Overview of Online Gambling in Michigan

Michigan is a state that has considered gambling as one of its sources of tax revenue for decades. The first legal form of gambling in the Great Lake State was pari-mutuel horse race betting in 1933. This was later amended to include simulcast off-track betting from other tracks and even other states, as Michigan still has a thriving horse racing business. Then, in 1972, Michigan formed its lottery with all the profits going to charity. The same year, charitable gaming was defined and legalized, allowing bingo to exist legally.

In the 1980s, various Native American tribes in Michigan started opening bingo halls on their land, with higher stakes than any other bingo in the state. This snowballed into the 1987 victory of the tribes in the Supreme Court, and a new gaming law in 1988. However, the tribes were only allowed to place class 2 gaming devices, whereas class 3 would add table games and make them full-blooded casinos.

In 1994, a Canadian casino opened right across the river from Detroit and Michiganders began flocking to it in droves, creating a huge leak in the state finances. This resulted in a ballot two years later, which passed marginally and allowed for casinos to be built on Michigan territory under strict surveillance and obligatory revenue sharing. Two years later, four Native American tribes were also given licenses and in 1999, the first land-based casino in Detroit opened its doors to customers. Also, in this year, the tribal casinos were upgraded to class 3, making them actual casinos instead of high-stakes bingo halls. Also, lotteries were allowed to sell tickets over the internet.

When it comes to daily fantasy sports and esports, the state attorney general has stated that they are illegal, but fantasy sports sites still accept players from Michigan as there has been no legislation to back up the AG’s claims. Therefore, DFS are still in a gray area and all major DFS websites accept players from Michigan.

Online casinos are still not legal and neither is online poker. In 1999, online gambling was briefly made illegal, but the bill was revoked the same year. However, in March of 2019 the Michigan government passed a law allowing players to gamble online. This law is still not finalized and the process is ongoing, but hopes are very high right now.

Michigan Gambling Overview:

  • Year Michigan regulated offline and online gambling: 1996 for offline gambling, 2019 for online gambling
  • Michigan gambling age: 21 for casinos, 18 for charity gaming, lotteries and bingo.
  • Legal online casino games in Michigan: Pending
  • Number of commercial casinos: 41
  • Number of tribal casinos: 19
  • Top online casinos Michigan-wide: N/A

Gambling in Michigan: What’s Legal?

The one thing you should stay away from in Michigan is sports betting. This state has been involved in several busts of sports betting websites and actively prosecutes them. Everything else is pretty relaxed – you can go to one of the many casinos, enjoy simulcast and off-track (even out-of-state!) betting, enjoy your daily fantasy sports or esports. This state offers a lot for the casual gambler and has even made a few pushes to legalize online casinos! You can buy lottery tickets online, you can play bingo, keno, pull-tabs and raffles for charity and you can freely play at home as long as nobody is profiting from the pot or from hosting the game. Casinos in Michigan are exempt from the smoking laws. Try these casinos in Michigan:

Name Address Opening hours Games Dress code Phone number Website
MotorCity Casino Hotel 2901 Grand River Ave, Detroit 24/7 2100 slots, table games N/A +1 866-782-9622 www.motorcitycasino.com
Greektown Casino 555 E Lafayette St, Detroit 24/7 3000 slots, table games N/A +1 313-223-2999 www.greektowncasino.com
Little River Casino Resort 2700 Orchard Hwy, Manistee 24/7 1400 slots, table games N/A +1 231-723-1535 www.lrcr.com

Online Casinos in Michigan: What You Should Know

Michigan is about to make online casinos legal. Therefore, we would suggest that you wait a while before opening any accounts to keep yourself completely clean. Even if the bill currently in progress fails, they will certainly not make online gambling illegal. Right now, it’s in a gray area and you gamble online at your own responsibility.

Are Michigan Online Casinos Legal for Non-Michigan Residents?

  • N/A

What types of games do Michigan online casinos have available?

  • N/A

Can I play online casino in Michigan if I don’t live there?

  • N/A

Do offshore online casinos operate in Michigan?

  • Yes they do!

How to Choose the Best Online Casino in Michigan

There are no online casinos in Michigan yet. That may change by 2020. If you want to gamble online you’ll have to go to one of the states that have legalized it. The nearest one is Pennsylvania, but since it’s not very near, you may want to simply wait.

The Bottom Line on Michigan Online Gambling

Michigan is not the first state that comes to mind when you think of legalizing online casinos and gambling, but they have made more pushes than a lot of other states and are currently succeeding in their legalization efforts. This state loves its gambling, as we can see from the 40+ casinos they have as well as their relaxed laws and horse racing tracks. They will continue to expand into newer and better forms of gambling.