Few states rival Michigan when it comes to legal online sports betting and gambling options.
In 2019, the legislature passed a comprehensive gaming reform package to legalize mobile sports betting, retail sportsbooks, online casinos and poker sites, and ADW horse racing. Residents may also play the Michigan Lottery online and participate in daily fantasy sports contests from anywhere in the state.
Michigan sports betting began in March 2020 with the launch of the state’s first retail sportsbooks. Mobile sports betting began on January 22nd, 2021, with ten online sportsbooks approved to launch on day one.
Under Michigan’s online gambling and sports betting law, licensed commercial casinos and tribal gaming properties may operate retail sportsbooks, mobile betting platforms, online casinos, and poker sites.
Legal Michigan Betting Sites
Horse and Greyhound Betting:
Michigan is also home to a thriving land-based gambling industry that includes 23 tribal casinos, three commercial casinos in Detroit, and a single parimutuel horse racing track. The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) oversees the Detroit casinos and some aspects of tribal gaming compacts, but tribal gaming regulators largely oversee the Native American properties.
Best Michigan Online Sports Betting Apps
Mobile sports betting is legal in Michigan, and gamblers have many options to choose from thanks to laws that foster competition and innovation. The MGCB regulates sports betting and recently approved the launch of online sportsbooks beginning Friday, January 22nd, 2021.
The MGCB has approved ten mobile sportsbooks to date, and more are coming.
Below, we list the best Michigan sports betting mobile apps in terms of reputation, experience, variety of markets, line quality, promotions, and software.
Michigan Sports Betting Law
Michigan sports betting is legal at retail sportsbooks and via mobile sports betting sites and apps, thanks to a large online gaming package signed into law by Governor Gretchen Whitmer in December 2019. In addition to authorizing Michigan sports betting, the bills also legalized online casino games, poker, and daily fantasy sports.
Key points from the law include:
- Commercial casinos in Detroit and Class III tribal casinos may apply for sports betting licenses
- Each casino may contract with a third-party provider to launch one online/mobile sportsbook
- Establishes the Division of Sports Betting to regulate the industry and adopt additional regulations as needed
- Sports leagues may request the Division to prohibit certain types of wagers or events if there are valid integrity concerns
- Division has the authority to decide if official league data must be used to settle in-play wagers
- Establishes hefty new penalties for acting as an illegal, unlicensed sports betting provider – felony charge, up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000
- Sets a minimum age of 21 to bet on sports
Licensing costs and taxes:
- 4% state tax plus 1.25% municipal fee in cities that host casinos
- Sports betting license: $50,000 initial application fee, $100,000 successful licensing fee and an annual renewal fee of $50,000
- Supplier license: $5,000 licensing fee and $2,500 annual renewal fee
Legal Retail Sportsbooks in MI
Retail sportsbooks and mobile betting apps are licensed and regulated in Michigan. As additional sportsbooks launch, we will update this page with details on each.
Passing the MI Sports Betting Bill
No small amount of negotiations between pro-gaming lawmakers and Governor Whitmer was needed to legalize sports betting and online gambling in Michigan. The governor’s chief concern was that legalizing online gambling would divert revenue away from the lottery and in turn, hurt funding for the Michigan School Aid Fund.
In the end, lawmakers struck an agreement with Governor Whitmer to raise the proposed tax rate and allocate revenue generated by online gaming to the School Aid Fund and Responder Coverage Fund to assist first responders stricken with cancer while on the job.
Both sides found the compromise acceptable, and Governor Whitmer signed HB 4916 for sports betting along with two other bills for online gambling and daily fantasy sports. Now, Michigan casinos may apply for licenses to operate retail sportsbooks and online betting platforms.
Horse Racing Betting in Michigan
Michigan is home to one full-time racetrack and a handful of licensed horse racing betting sites. The Michigan legislature legalized advance deposit wagering in 2019 and several mobile racebooks have launched since.
MI Daily Fantasy Sports
Daily fantasy sports sites such as FanDuel and DraftKings have been operating for years in Michigan and nearly received formal legal status in 2018 with a piece of legislation that created a licensing process and established some basic consumer protection regulations.
That bill was vetoed on the same day in 2018 as the failed online gambling and sports betting bills, but lawmakers took up the issue once again the following year with the introduction of HB 4308.
Governor Gretchen signed the bill into law in December 2019 to formally legalize DFS, create a licensing process, and establish consumer protection regulations.
Key points from MI daily fantasy law include:
- Fantasy sites must apply for a license and pay an initial licensing fee of $20,000 to be followed by an annual $5,000 renewal fee
- Sets a minimum age of 18 to participate
- Fantasy sites must keep player funds segregated from operational funds
- Fantasy sites must submit to an annual audit to ensure ongoing financial viability
- Individuals may run fantasy contests without a license if those contests are held in private residences, limited to no more than 15 players, collect no more than $10,000 in entry fees in any calendar year and pay at least 95% of entry fees back out to players as prizes
- Scripts are prohibited unless the fantasy site makes such scripts widely available to all customers
- Fantasy sites must offer a process by which customers can self-exclude from participating in daily fantasy
- Highly experienced players must be clearly identified on each fantasy site and contests not open to highly experienced players must be offered. Highly experienced players are defined as customers who have won more than three prizes worth $1,000 each or who have entered more than 1,000 contests
Is Online Betting Legal in Michigan?
Online sports betting, gambling, and poker are all legal in Michigan, but only at gaming sites authorized by the MGCB. The MGCB has licensed numerous mobile sportsbooks and online casinos already, giving gamblers plenty of options.
Online horse racing betting and daily fantasy sports are legal as well. Michigan’s latest online gambling and sports betting bill also established a licensing process for fantasy operators, but that is basically a formality at this point as DFS operators have already been active in Michigan for years.
The MI Lottery also offers instant-play online gambling that provides a gambling-like experience.
Offshore sportsbooks and gambling sites should be avoided during the wait for legal online gambling. At one point, Michigan law considered it a crime to use the internet to play at unlicensed gambling sites. The provision of criminalizing online gambling was repealed by Public Act 185 in 2000, but offshore betting sites still pose a financial risk as they are unlicensed and unregulated.
Organizing unlawful gambling games remains expressly illegal in Michigan. MI Comp L § 432.218 calls for up to 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000 for organizing an unlicensed gambling game:
(1) A person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 10 years or a fine of not more than $100,000.00, or both, and shall be barred from receiving or maintaining a license for doing any of the following:
(a) Conducting a gambling operation where wagering is used or to be used without a license issued by the board.
(b) Conducting a gambling operation where wagering is permitted other than in the manner specified in section 9.
Michigan Online Lottery
Michigan is one of just a handful of states with a full-service online lottery available to anyone 18 or older and located within state borders. Governor Rick Snyder expressed support for online lottery sales in 2013, and the lottery bureau got to work.
In late 2014, the Michigan Lottery launched its online platform to little fanfare, but word got out, and Michigan’s iLottery has experienced growth every year since. In 2017, the Michigan lottery raised nearly $78 million for state coffers.
The Michigan online lottery platform offers a full lottery experience from home. With an online account, customers can play 50+ online lottery games and buy tickets to all major drawings. Powerball, Mega Millions, Lotto 47, and Fantasy 5 tickets may all be purchased online for exactly the same amount it would cost to buy them at your local gas station.
Since going live, the Michigan online lottery has produced some impressive results for players. Within months of the Michigan lottery going online, it produced its first $1,000,000 winner. MLive.com reported at the time that an anonymous player won a $1 million jackpot while playing Diamond Payout, which is an instant scratch game that’s still available today. Numerous other reports from local media outlets detail other major wins in excess of $100,000.
You can try the Michigan Lottery online and claim a $100 bonus at:
Michigan Gambling Sites
Online gambling and poker are legal in Michigan. HB 4311 was approved in both chambers in late 2019 and was later signed into law by Governor Whitmer.
Under the new law, Michigan casinos may operate one online gambling and/or one online poker site. Key points from the bill include:
- Minimum age of 21 to play online
- Online casino games and poker to be regulated by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, Division of Internet Gaming
- Online gambling application fee of $50,000, successful licensing fee of $100,000 and annual renewal fee of $50,000