Michigan Gambling Law Explained
Michigan Gambling Laws In a Nutshell
Are Online Casino Sites Legal in Michigan?
Yes, online casino gambling is legal and regulated in the state of Michigan. Casino gambling arrived in Michigan in the 1980s when the Bay Mills Indian Community opened the Kings Club Casino. Fast forward to 2019, and Governor Gretchen Whitmer passed the Lawful Internet Gaming Act (LIGA) and Lawful Sports Betting Act (LSBA), opening the door to legal sports betting and legal online gambling sites in the Great Lakes State.
It took another few months for commercial casinos like MGM Grand and MotorCity Casino to launch retail sportsbooks, and over a year for online gaming sites and online sportsbooks to arrive. That milestone came on 22 January 2021, when the online gambling era arrived in Michigan. Michigan’s online casino and sports betting market went live with the launch of eight online casinos including DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, BetRivers and William Hill. Today, the state ranks alongside the likes of New Jersey and Pennsylvania as one of the gambling capitals of the USA.
Michigan Online Casino Laws
The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) oversees gambling operations at the commercial casinos in Michigan and, to a lesser extent, at the tribal casinos. The MGCB states that gambling operators can each launch a single casino brand in the state and demands that they apply for their license in affiliation with Michigan land casinos.
There are also ground rules for players — you have to be at least 21 and located within state lines to gamble at online poker rooms and casinos in Michigan. Legal operators use geolocation technology to identify a player’s location via Wi-Fi and IP addresses. As such, it’s near impossible to get around this restriction even when using VPNs and IP masking. Gambling at offshore sites is not permitted, and players who do so risk running foul of the law.
Are MI online casinos safe?
Yes, Michigan’s legal and regulated online casinos are safe to use thanks to strict conditions which are overseen by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB).
All of Michigan’s online casino games that use random number generators are tested and periodically inspected to ensure they are fair and working correctly. On top of this, customer funds are kept separate from an online casino’s operating capital. This means that if an online casino ever went bust, your funds would be protected.
As Michigan’s online casinos are all regulated, they are required to provide customers with responsible gambling tools to help monitor for signs of problem gambling. Online casinos in Michigan also process deposits and withdrawals with reputable payment partners that will not serve or work with an offshore or unregulated casino.
Lastly, if anything goes wrong while playing with a legal and regulated online casino, you have recourse through the state regulator as well as the legal system if necessary.
While all of Michigan’s online casinos are fully licensed and take steps to protect players, it’s always important for you to take responsibility for your own gambling, and never bet more than you can afford to lose. The National Council on Problem Gambling offers support and a range of resources should you, or a loved one, be concerned about problem gambling.
You can contact the National Problem gambling helpline via:
- Phone: 1-800-522-4700
- Text: 1-800-522-4700
- Online chat
Can I Gamble at Offshore Casino Sites in Michigan?
No. Offshore casino sites are based overseas, outside of Michigan’s jurisdiction, which means they are illegal in the state. These sites are not licensed or regulated by the Michigan Gaming Control Board; this means they aren’t subject to the same licensing conditions as regulated sites.
Unregulated sites may not have adequate security or player protection measures in place. It’s pretty easy to sport an overseas gambling site, as the domains often end in .EU or .AG. But it’s not just these domains you should be wary of; even some sites under a ‘.com’ domain may be operating illegally.
We’d always advise checking a site for the seal of the Michigan Gaming Control Board before signing up to play. If you’re unsure if the site you’re looking at is, regulated you can check on the Gaming Control Board’s website or you can call them directly for confirmation, at 313-456-4100.
However, if you’re visiting an online casino from Compare.bet you can rest assured that it is legal and regulated in Michigan. We only review and recommend legal and licensed casinos.
Why play at a Licensed Online Casino?
Why play at a Licensed Online Casino?
Michigan law makes it illegal to gamble with out-of-state or offshore operators, but reasons to avoid them don’t end there. By sticking to a licensed online casino all your transactions will be protected by industry-standard encryption, you’ll play at games that are regularly checked for fairness, and have access to tools that can help prevent problem gambling. What’s more, in Michigan income from state-licensed gambling goes toward the School Aid and First Responder Presumed Coverage Funds.
Unlicensed casinos can guarantee you none of these protections. It should also be stated too that the MGCB has no regulatory oversight for offshore or out-of-state operators, so little help is available should anything go wrong.
How to Identify a Legal Casino in Michigan
Here is how to feel confident that an online casino is legal and safe to use.
- All sites listed on Compare.bet are legal and hold licenses to offer online casino gaming in Michigan.
- Legal online casinos clearly state that they are subject to regulation by the MGCB. To confirm, you can contact the MGCB or visit their office on Detroit’s West Grand Boulevard.
- A .com domain doesn’t necessarily mean an online casino site has a license to operate in Michigan, but it’s a good starting point. URL suffixes such as .eu and .ag indicate that a site is unregulated in the state.
Which Online Casinos can Michigan Residents Play At?
Here’s a quick rundown of legal online casinos in the state. Be sure to keep a close eye on our list of recommended sites for any updates.
Golden Nugget CasinoJanuary 22, 2021
||January 22, 2021
||January 22, 2021
||January 22, 2021
||January 22, 2021
|William Hill Casino
||January 22, 2021
||January 22, 2021
||January 22, 2021
||January 29, 2021
||February 1, 2021
|Four Winds Casino
||February 15, 2021
Michigan’s Land-Based Casinos
Detroit is home to all three of the state’s commercial casinos. There’s also a selection of tribal casinos throughout the state. Below is a list of the licensed casinos in Michigan where you can gamble in person.
|Greektown Casino Hotel
|MGM Grand Detroit
|MotorCity Casino Hotel
|Bay Mills Resort Casino
|Four Winds (Dowagiac/Hartford/New Buffalo)
|Gun Lake Casino
|Island Resort & Casino
|Kewadin Casino (Christmas/Sault Ste. Marie/Hessel/Manistique)
|Kewadin Shores Casino & Hotel
|Kings Club Casino
|Leelanau Sands Casino
|Little River Casino Resort & Hotel
|Northern Waters Casino Resort
|Odawa Casino (Petoskey/Mackinaw City)
|Ojibwa Casino (Baraga/Marquette)
|Saganing Eagle Casino & Resort
Getting Started an MI Online Casino
How to Play Real Money Online Casino Games
Ready to play? It couldn’t be easier to play real money games at Michigan online casinos. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started.
Compare Michigan online casinos
Browse our list of online casinos in Michigan. All the sites we recommend tick the right boxes with the MGCB, so you can look forward to playing real money games that are both safe and fun.
Click through to your chosen site’s sign up page, where you can pop in your details, register a new account, and claim your bonus. Casinos will require you to pass KYC identity checks before you can play real money casino games online.
Deposit funds and claim bonuses
If there’s a no deposit bonus available, you can claim it right away. Otherwise, you’ll have to fund your account to claim your welcome bonus and get started with the casino games. There are several ways to do this, including using debit cards and e-wallets like PayPal.
Play casino games
Once you’ve unlocked your bonuses and loaded up your account, it’s time to play! Many of the top online casinos offer free play demo games, so you can get the hang of things before you bet with your own money. When you feel confident, it’s easy to switch over to real money games.
What Games Can I Play at Michigan’s Online Casinos?
Online casinos in the Great Lake State have a variety of games on offer for customers. From traditional slot games to poker and other table games, there’s something for everyone in Michigan. Let’s check out the key categories.
With immersive gameplay and dazzling graphics, slots are among the most popular games to play at online casinos. The options are endless, too, with most Michigan casinos mixing classic slots like Starburst with newer hits like NetEnt’s Bloodsuckers. Progressive jackpots, free spins, and bonus games ensure a steady stream of thrills.
Classic Casino Games
Classic games like baccarat, craps, and roulette had already stood the test of time at land-based casinos long before online gaming was ever a thing. Players who favor strategy over luck can also try table games like blackjack and poker.
Live Dealer Games
There’s plenty to be said for enjoying a night at a brick-and-mortar casino, but live dealer games bring the action to you. The action is beamed from ritzy, casino-style studios, where the impeccably dressed staff spin roulette wheels and deal out cards. While live dealer games aren’t currently available in Michigan, keep an eye out as this may change in the near future.
Slots and poker might be the most popular online casino games, but that’s not all you can play in Michigan. The best online casinos in the state allow customers to play a variety of games such as:
- Stepper slots
- Let it ride
- Live dealer games
- Video poker
- Virtual sports
Can I play on a mobile casino app?
Yes, the law permitting online casinos in Michigan also applies to mobile casino gaming. This means that you are able to enjoy the likes of blackjack, keno, and video poker wherever you might be — so long as you’re within state lines, of course.
You can access the best Michigan online casinos through the browser on your phone or tablet, but it’s a good idea to see if a casino has a mobile betting app too. Many legal casinos in Michigan do, and these iOS and Android apps are tailored to specific devices, offering faster load times and sleeker functionality than their web-based counterparts. Plus, you can turn on push notifications to ensure you never miss out on the latest promos and bonuses.
Michigan Online Casino Bonuses
Bonuses and promotions are a tried and tested way for online casinos to attract new players and keep existing ones. They can be a great boost, but always check if wagering or playthrough requirements apply. If so, you’ll have to bet your bonus amount a certain minimum number of times before you can make a real money payout. Nonetheless, here’s the lowdown on some of the most common promos you’re likely to find at Michigan’s online casinos.
First Deposit Bonuses
Nearly all of Michigan’s online casinos will offer a bonus to customers making their first-ever deposit on the site. These bonuses vary between casino operators and can include matched deposit bonuses, where the casino will match your initial deposit, as well as other bonuses such as free spins on selected slot games. In the case of a matched deposit, for example, 100% match up to $250 will means that a first deposit of $50 will bag you a further $50 to bet with.
It’s worth remembering that in most cases you will need to meet certain wagering requirements before you can withdraw the bonus funds as cash.
Sometimes, online casinos will offer existing customers a matched deposit bonus. This is called a reload bonus. These are more or less the same as a first-time deposit bonus but are typically far less generous in the matched percentage.
Some online casinos will offer customers a period of risk-free play. These are mainly offered to new players and will see the operator cover the losses of a new player for either a set amount of time or up to a certain amount of cash.
For example, an online casino may run a promotion that will cover your losses up to $100 for a 24 hour period. If after the initial 24 hours your account is down by $50, these funds would then be reimbursed as bonus credit, taking your wallet back up to the amount you started playing with.
No Deposit Sign Up Bonuses
No deposit bonuses are easy to understand. All you need to do is register a new account and opt-in to receive your bonus, usually by ticking a box or entering a promo code. The bonus may be provided in the form of betting credits or free spins
Make sure to double-check the terms and conditions, as these bonus funds may have wagering requirements, game restrictions and a cap on winnings attached.
Given the popularity of online slots, it’s hardly surprising that a free spins promotion is a common type of casino bonus. Free spins might come as a standalone bonus but will more likely come bundled with promos like matched deposits.
The top online casinos in Michigan will keep members sweet with ongoing promos known as reload bonuses. This means your further deposits may be rewarded with free spins and matched bonuses.
Bonus Terms and Conditions
Michigan’s online casino bonuses usually require players to complete wagering requirements before any bonus winnings can be converted into real cash.
For instance, when redeeming a spin bonus on a slots game, you may be required to wager any winnings at least 20 times before you can withdraw any profit. Wagering requirements are designed to limit your chances of earning withdrawable cash using bonus funds awarded by the casino.
In most cases, you’ll need to deposit a minimum amount before you can claim a casino bonus or promotion. The minimum deposit will vary from casino to casino, though at some sites you may even come across a no deposit casino bonus. As mentioned above, these incentives don’t require you to pay a cent to get the benefits.
MI Gambling Payment Methods
MI Casino Payment Methods
Online casinos in Michigan accept a variety of different payment methods for making deposits and withdrawals, which means there’s an option for everyone.
Here is a quick rundown of the payment methods accepted by most of Michigan’s online casinos.
Debit and Credit Cards
Debit cards are among the easiest ways to add money to your account and a popular choice with gamblers. They’re widely accepted, so you shouldn’t have any trouble using this method, especially if you have a Visa or Mastercard. Credit card payments are often permitted, with withdrawals typically available for both debit and credit cards.
Bank transfers move money electronically from the account of one financial institution to another. Types of bank transfers include ACH (eCheck) payments, Online Bill Pay, and bank wire transfers. Bank wires are the slowest of these options, so might be unsuitable if you need funds fast. Players can request withdrawals via eCheck, wire transfer or even paper check from many online casinos.
Prepaid visa cards like Play+ provide a swift way to deposit funds. They work as a middleman between your bank and the casino, so you can be assured that your personal banking details are safe. You can request withdrawals to your Play+ card, though you should check the terms and conditions of other prepaid cards carefully.
You can make account transactions in person by visiting the land-based partner of your chosen casino. Just head to the cashier’s cage to make your deposit or withdrawal. Assuming you make your deposit in cash, your funds will be available to play with immediately. If you like doing things in the flesh, the PayNearMe service also enables cash deposits to your online gambling account through numerous retail outlets.
Digital wallets like PayPal, Neteller, and Skrill bolster the choice of deposit methods at many online casinos. E-wallet payments are processed quickly, and your bank details won’t need to be shared online. Just check that making a first deposit made using an e-wallet won’t render you ineligible to claim certain welcome bonuses.
||Cash deposit at select retail stores
|Online bank transfer
|Cash at a casino cage
||Play+ prepaid card
If you manage to win some cash playing at an online casino, you’ll probably want to cash in on your winnings. So, when you’re picking out an online casino, it’s usually a good idea to check out the accepted withdrawal methods, as these will also vary from site to site. Check the withdrawal limits and processing times – some take a little longer than others, depending on your chosen banking option and who you’re betting with.
It’s also important to review the actual withdrawal process. At some casino sites withdrawing is simple, but others have more stringent processes. For example, some operators require you to go through a lengthy security verification process before cashing in your winnings.
Verifying the identity of users ensures that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way and minimises the chances of underage gambling taking place.
Customer Service at MI Casinos
Check Out the Customer Support Options
When trying to find the casino that’s right for you, something that is always worth checking out is the level of customer service available at different operators. Some online casinos will have 24/7 customer support services via phone, email and live chat, which can be handy if you have an urgent question or need assistance. However, not every online casino offers such robust customer service. If the level of customer service is important to you, it would be a good idea to check this out before making a deposit.
History of Gambling in MI
The Journey to Legal and Regulated Online Casino Gambling in Michigan
1933 – The 1933 Racing Act authorizes pari-mutuel horse racing. It presents the first opportunity for legal gambling in Michigan.
1984 – The Bay Mills Indian Community opens what is now called Kings Club Casino in Brimley. It is the first tribal casino to open in the US.
1993 – A number of Michigan tribes sign a state compact, granting them official rights to operate casinos across Michigan.
1996 – Voters in Michigan authorize three commercial casinos in Detroit.
1999 – MGM Grand Detroit opens. It is the state’s first commercial casino.
2019 – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer creates the Lawful Internet Gaming Act (LIGA) and Lawful Sports Betting Act (LSBA). Together they legalize mobile and online casino gambling as well as land-based and online sports betting.
2021 – Legal online casinos arrive in Michigan.
For more updates on online casino gambling in Michigan, be sure to check back with Compare.bet.
Problem Gambling Support in Michigan
Michigan online gambling is supposed to be a source of fun and entertainment. Some players, however, may find that it negatively impacts their everyday lives. You can find support from the Michigan Association of Problem Gambling and the National Problem Gambling Hotline, with support staff ready to offer advice and treatment options.
The Michigan Association of Problem Gambling
1128 Wethersfield Dr. S.
National Problem Gambling Hotline: 1-800-522-4700
Play at an Online Casino in Michigan Today!
Now that you’re all caught up on Michigan’s online casino offering, it’s time to sign up and try your luck. Check out our carefully curated list of the very best online casinos, where you can easily compare the top MI casinos. Compare, sign up and start betting today!
You will often find that many welcome bonuses will come with game restrictions. This means that you’ll only be able to use the bonus funds on a specific set of games. It will be clearly stated in the terms and conditions which games you can use your bonus cash on, however, so make sure you check those before signing up.
Absolutely. Using a mobile casino app not only keeps you up to date with the latest promotions, but you can also sign up to the best using them. The same can be said for mobile optimised sites, but if a native app is available, we would recommend downloading it for a better gambling experience.
Yes, all forms of gambling winnings are taxable. The Michigan Department of Treasury states that all gambling winnings made in the Great Lakes State must be reported for the purposes of tax. Additionally, nonresident taxpayers who earn any winnings from casinos or race tracks in Michigan will be subject to that state’s individual income tax.
Alongside online and in-person casino gambling, Michigan offers legal sports betting, the Michigan Lottery, Daily Fantasy Sports, licensed charity gaming, and pari-mutuel wagering.