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A complete guide to online gambling in Michigan

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Checked by Lorella F.Melanie H.

Since MI gambling sites were legalized in 2019, the Great Lakes state is fast becoming one of the biggest players on the online casino and sports-betting front, and Michiganders now have a decent variety of gambling options and establishments.

Understanding the legalities and choosing a site that suits you best can be time-consuming, so our experts have created a guide to online gambling in Michigan to make the job quicker and safer.

Is online gambling legal in Michigan?

Online gambling is legal in Michigan for those over 21. The state legalized casino games, sports betting, and poker rooms back in December 2019 with the Interactive Wagering Act.

Online sportsbooks were then launched in March 2020, followed by online casinos and poker rooms in January 2021. The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) oversees all online gambling activities in the state, ensuring that all are conducted fairly and responsibly.

Here are some things for players to keep in mind:

Since the first licenses were awarded to MI gambling websites, many brands have joined the rush to offer a variety of gambling and betting options to Michiganders. The good news is that most gambling sites in Michigan offer bonuses and promotions that rival counterparts in other states. But there’s a lot more to an ace gambling experience than just a decent bonus.

Here, our experts have gathered together the cream of the Michigan crop to bring you those sites that rank highest across the board.

Casino Logo Odds rating Bonus Go to casino Button Show more T&C
1
BetMGM casino review
87/100 Expert rating by Ian Z. 91% Playscore based on 100% up to $1,000 + $25 Free Play
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Good to know

  • 20+ software providers
  • 24/7 support
  • Play over 700 games

14 payment methods

PayPal
VIP Preferred
Play+
Visa
MasterCard
Discover
American Express
PayNearMe
Cash at Casino Cage
Bank Transfer
Skrill
TAPPP
GAME ON
Apple Pay
2
BetRivers casino review
86/100 Expert rating by Claire S. 85% Playscore based on Bonus Money reload up to $500
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Good to know

  • Community chat with rewards
  • Native app for Android
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9 payment methods

Play+
MasterCard
Visa
VIP Preferred
PayPal
Cash at Casino Cage
Check
Venmo
Trustly
3
Caesars review
85/100 Expert rating by Ian Z. 86% Playscore based on 100% up to $2,500 and 2,500 Reward Credits on a $25+ wager
Play now

Good to know

  • Caesars Rewards loyalty program
  • Quick registration
  • Over 800 games

11 payment methods

Visa
MasterCard
PayPal
Play+
Apple Pay
PayNearMe
VIP Preferred
American Express
Discover
Bank Transfer
Cash at Casino Cage

Different forms of gambling in Michigan

Players in the Great Lakes state take their games seriously, evident by the popularity of other gambling options even before the legalization of all forms of MI online gambling in 2019.

The oldest is undoubtedly the state lottery in its offline form, millions in winnings paid out since the first lottery ticket was sold in 1972. Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) also takes up a big chunk of the attention when it comes to online gambling in Michigan since it became legal in October 2018, with a full regulatory framework drawn up in 2020.

Lottery ticket and numbered balls

Lottery

Lottery is a big deal in Michigan, and since the online version became legal on August 11, 2014, its popularity continued to explode. Lottery clubs, which see various players forming a syndicate and splitting the wins, have become the norm and are also viewed as an efficient way for the winners to keep their anonymity. Which, given that some players have landed wins in excess of $5 million, can be an understandable desire.
Fantasy sports betting on a desktop next to sports-themed graphics

Fantasy sports

The DFS market enjoyed a full two years of unregulated legality after it was given the green light by lawmakers in 2018. It took them till 2020 to formalize a regulatory framework, during which time existing providers were pretty much allowed to operate without a license. DraftKings and FanDuel are the go-to options for DFS punters in MI.
Bingo card and numbered balls

Bingo

Bingo falls within the MI gambling framework and is regulated by the MGCB. However, whereas the legal gambling age for MI online casinos is 21, the minimum age to take part in bingo games – as long as they don’t require a casino registration – is 18. Most legal online gambling sites in Michigan offer bingo options for 21+ players, but outside of that, the options are actually rather limited.
Player enjoying social casino games and rewards on a smartphone

Social casinos

Available in most US states, social casinos are a great alternative to real-money casino gaming. No deposit is necessary to play, and you can benefit from a variety of rewards, contests, tournaments, and other social activities on top of an excellent selection of casino games. Note that while the terms “sweepstakes” and “social” are often used interchangeably, there is a difference! Michigan hasn’t allowed any form of online sweepstakes since 2024.

Michigan gambling and safety

Online gambling was legalized in Michigan in December 2019, but the regulatory framework wasn’t finalized until January 2021, with the first MI gambling sites being awarded an official license that same month.

Seeing that authorities took a year to create a strong infrastructure, it’s safe to say that the bar for legalized online gambling in Michigan is set pretty high, and that obtaining an MGCB license is a solid indication of an operator’s trustworthiness.

MGCB license requirements include a highly secure, almost unhackable connection via SSL encryption, an easily accessible responsible gambling page and real-time customer support.

Having said that, Time2play experts aren’t satisfied with the minimum license requirements. We look for additional Michigan-approved seals of trust like BMM Testlabs and Gaming Laboratories International — the approval of these organizations shows us that operators have gone above and beyond the minimum standards in an effort to protect players. Award-winners like BetRivers, or those that submit to additional RNG auditing like FanDuel, get extra points.

Gambling age in Michigan

Michigan has put together a two-tiered system for the legal gambling age, with the minimum age varying depending on the type of activity.

18 and up:

21 and up:

Important notes

The table below splits MI gambling by type along with the minimum legal gambling age in Michigan.

VerticalLegal age offlineLegal age onlineLegal since
Casinos2121January 2021
Social casinosN/A21January 2021
Sportsbooks2121January 2021
Betting appsN/A21January 2021
Poker2121January 2021
Lottery1818August 2014
Fantasy sports1818May 2018

Michigan online gambling laws

With the legalization of online gambling in Michigan, doors opened for residents to enjoy online casino games, sports betting, and poker from the comfort of their homes. Let’s explore the legal landscape of online gambling in Michigan within the different sectors.

Michigan online casinos — legal since 2021

It’s been an exciting ride for Michigan online gambling, with operators in the Great Lakes state scrambling to catch up with other states since legalization in 2019.

A global pandemic and two state-wide shutdowns put the brakes on the process, until January 2021 finally brought with it the mass licensing of 15 MI online casinos and gambling sites. In contrast, fantasy sports contests have been legal since May 2018.

Today, there are a total of 16 Michigan gambling sites, offering an assortment of online casino games and poker. One fun fact about online gambling in Michigan is that poker games are offered separately on specific sites.

Michigan online betting sites — legal since 2021

Online sports wagering joined the fray for online gambling in Michigan immediately upon legalization, but went through the same hiccups as online casinos. Although the official green light for Michigan online sports betting given in December 2019, it would take another 13 months for the first sports MI gambling sites to go live.

Clearly, it’s what the Great Lakes state had been waiting for as, within 10 days of the first legal online bet, over $100 million had been laid down in wagers. Interestingly, Michigan sports betting sites are able to legally offer wagering on college sports, although the line is drawn at high school sports. This is unlike the situation within NJ betting, where a referendum that makes provision for such wagers keeps getting shot down.

Michigan online poker — legal since 2021

Real-money online poker joined the rest of the MI online gambling scene the moment the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) gave the official seal of approval and granted the first licenses in January 2021. 

The first online poker room to go live in MI was PokerStars, bang on the dot before January was over. BetMGM Poker MI followed fast on its heels, with mere hours in between, turning what’s usually a dreary month in one of the coldest US states into a second Christmas for poker enthusiasts. 

Things pretty much reached a stalemate after that, only one new poker license has been granted — to Caesars’ WSOP. Our experts have done the work to check which site offers the best poker all-round experience to determine the top ranking.

History of MI gambling laws

The history of gambling laws in Michigan spans three decades, but is deeply intertwined with the legalization and advancement of tribal casinos.

Tribal gaming accounts not only for the majority of the MI market, but plays a significant role in driving legislature, providing substantial contributions to rule-making and regulatory efforts in Michigan.

Presently, only three MI operators aren’t affiliated with tribes: ESPN BET, BetMGM, and FanDuel.

Let’s take a look at some of the key events that affected the industry and how the state’s legal gambling situation has changed over time.

A handshake in front of a signed document
1972

Approvals

The state lottery was launched after a constitutional amendment was approved by voters.

Player tipping their tophat off
1983

First community casino

The first tribal community casino was opened by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community.

A gold trophy with a medal
1996

Detroit casinos open

The state approved the launch of the first three land-based commercial casinos in Detroit: MGM Grand, MotorCity and Greektown.

A gavel next to a document
1997

Public Act 69 of 1997

The Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act was signed. The commercial-casinos cluster in Detroit is now regulated by the MGCB.

Magnifying glass next to casino terms and conditions
2016

First online gambling bill tabled

The bill was brought forward by the Republican Mike Kowall, and covered both commercial and tribal casinos. However, it failed to make it through the senate.

A bar graph with a fluctuating arrow
2018

Second bill falls through

Republican senator Brandt Iden proposes a new version of the bill with a lower tax rate of 8%. The bill makes it all the way through senate but ends up vetoed by Governor Snyder among fears that lottery revenue would be negatively affected.

Player holding a phone with sports betting options
2019

Gambling and sports betting bills approved

Iden once again presents his proposals, this time with two separate bills for online casino and MI sports betting. Both laws were overwhelmingly approved in December and Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the Lawful Internet Gaming Act and the Lawful Sports Betting Act.

A notification bell signalling an alert
2020

The pandemic

The cluster of three commercial casinos in Detroit opened Michigan’s first in-person sportsbooks. Pandemic restrictions kick in, and they have to temporarily shut down. FireKeepers Casino opens Michigan’s first tribal casino sportsbook called Dacey’s Sportsbook.

Two hands shaking in approval
2021

First MI online gambling licenses granted

On January 22, eight online casinos and 10 sports betting sites launched in Michigan. On July 12, FireKeepers Casino and NYX Digital got the green light to go live, and on July 30 Gun Lake/Parx Interactive were cleared for the Michigan sports betting license.

Stacks of cash and gold coins
2022

$1.4 billion

In January, Michigan online casino gambling and sports betting operators reported a combined $1.4 billion total gross receipts for the previous year. In February, unregulated machines which were used for illegal gaming were removed across the state.

Gavel stomping on casino chips
2023-2024

No more sweepstakes

The MGCB issues cease-and-desists to US-based and international sweepstakes operators, pushing out giants like VGW and Stake. Casino-style sweepstakes are now deemed a form of an unlicensed online lottery. The future of strictly social casinos remains unknown.

How we rate gambling sites in Michigan

Time2play experts have devised a thorough rating system to rank top online casinos. This system is based on objective criteria and aspects that spell the difference between an amazing online gambling experience and a mediocre (or even bad) one. All these elements affect the final expert score on our online casino reviews.

We take the strictest approach with respect to licensing, safety and security, and cast a critical eye on things like game variety, software providers and, of course, the quality of Michigan online gambling promotions.

Below, we delve deeper into our criteria of how we determine which sites make it on our list of safe casinos – to help you make a more informed choice.

Licenses and other seals of trust

All top-rated MI gambling sites that received the Time2play seal of approval are legal and licensed by the MGCB, which very conveniently publishes a public list of licensed online casinos, sportsbook operators, and poker parlors.

If you don’t see it on this list, it means that the site is not kosher. But we’ve also done the legwork for you so you don’t need to go hunting. You can take it for granted that all Michigan online gambling sites you find on Time2play are fully licensed; if they weren’t — our experts wouldn’t go anywhere near them.

Over and above the basic license, we give our top scores to online platforms that guarantee fairness and security by means of SSL-encryption, and those that have players’ welfare at heart with an effective responsible gaming platform.

Michigan-approved seals of trust, like the Gaming Laboratories International logo, will get our attention more than those without such seals. Finally, sites with multiple states licenses, such as DraftKings and Caesars, also score higher because it means that they’ve passed the standard for several authorities.

Products

Our top-ranking MI online gambling platforms offer a huge variety of popular games and options to enjoy nearly every gambling activity. Although there are limitations (fewer game providers and payments, for example), Michigan’s sportsbooks and casinos still offer a competitive selection of titles and features.

If we’re talking online casinos, an operator like BetMGM casino with 700+ online slots will score higher than a site that only offers a couple of hundred. Likewise, a sports betting platform like FanDuel, which has significant market options, would score better than Golden Nugget sportsbook, with a mere 17 sports to bet on.

When evaluating operators on a state-level, we compare like with like, but we also take into account the operator’s offer in other states. If there are significant differences that are not tied to regulatory restrictions, you’ll know that the operator can have more in store for Michigan.

Live gambling

Even here, sadly Michigan is still trying to catch up with other states and the live casino options are not exactly amazing. Expect a reduced variety and quantity of live tables, but no compromise on quality — Evolution leads the charge as the most widespread live provider in MI. In-play betting, however, is unaffected and on par with every other state.

Gambling apps

Do Michigan online gambling platforms reviewed by our experts offer an experience comparable to the greatest mobile casinos in the US? We look for native apps that offer full functionality and work equally well on iOS and Android systems.

Even higher ratings go to platforms that offer their entire games library on mobile, like the Caesars casino app with its 800+ mobile games. Michigan gambling apps only receive a high rating if the answer is yes across all fronts. Extra points for special, mobile-exclusive promotions.

Payments

Ease of financial transactions and reasonably fast payouts play a big role in enjoying your online gambling experience to the max. To make it to the top of the charts, MI operators have to offer a diverse range of payments (ideally at least seven), encrypted transactions, diligent KYC protocols, and faster-than-average withdrawal processing.

Variety is a great indicator of a hassle-free payments experience. With a greater range of options comes greater control over fees, transaction time, and security. This is precisely why you’ll see reputable and established operators, like BetMGM and DraftKings, rated and recommended highly by Time2play reporters.

Platform

No-one wants to waste time navigating a platform that requires you to jump through hoops just to register. Is it fast and easy to register? Is the UX design user-friendly and intuitive? Is the experience smooth both on desktop and mobile? Is it simple to claim your bonus, and are T&C easily visible?

If you’ve answered yes to all these questions, there’s a good chance that the site will rank high on our toplist. When you register at BetRivers casino, for example, you’re done in 2–3 minutes, and you can claim the bonus at the same time — that’s the standard we look for.

Promotions

A generous and fair welcome bonus is a must for our top scorers. Our experts expect to find at least a 100% match deposit up to $200 to welcome new players in MI, or the equivalent of $150 or more in risk-free bets on the sportsbook side. If the operators also throw in some free spins, they definitely get some brownie points.

Apart from that, bonus conditions for Michigan online gambling promotions need to come with fair wagering requirements, preferably under 15x, decent cashout limits and reasonable expiry dates.

Gambling responsibly in Michigan

Although gambling can be a fun pastime for many, it can become addictive for some. If you’re concerned about your gambling habits, there are online resources to help you manage your gambling, including counseling, therapy, local resources, and assistance with setting operator-based restrictions like account limits and self-exclusion.

Here are some organizations in Michigan that can provide support:

FAQs

Is online gambling legal in Michigan?

Absolutely! Since December 2019, residents of the state have been able to enjoy online casino games, sports betting, and poker from the comfort of their homes.

Do I have to be in Michigan to gamble online?

While you don’t need to be a resident of Michigan to place a bet online, you must be physically located within the state’s borders. The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) uses geolocation technology to verify your location before you can access online gambling sites or apps.

So, if you’re visiting Michigan, you can enjoy some legal online gambling fun! But if you’re out of state, you’ll need to wait until you’re back within Michigan’s borders to play.

What is the legal gambling age in Michigan?

Players must be 21 years of age or older to gamble online in Michigan. This applies to both residents and visitors within the state lines. Make sure you have a valid ID to verify your age when signing up at an online gambling platform.

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