Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Michigan?
While online sports betting is not yet legal in Michigan, a number of factors make us optimistic that a legal sports betting market is coming soon.
The landmark US Supreme Court decision in May of 2018 that repealed the decades-old ban on sports betting has enabled each state to create their own laws on the matter.
So far a handful of states have already joined Nevada in introducing legal sports betting and all signs point to Michigan moving steadily towards joining that group.
Michigan Legal Sports Betting at a Glance
Michigan has a strong gambling tradition and the introduction of legal sports betting would not be the alien concept it has been for some US states. By repealing the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) the Supreme Court has opened the door for Michigan to make a decision that makes sense for the state and lawmakers there have already indicated they are interested in the tax revenue opportunity.
But it’s not going to happen overnight. Since the federal ban was removed by the US Supreme Court decision, Michigan has proceeded slowly.
There has been legislation passed which makes the legalization of sports betting more likely. There have also been discussions about taxes and the inclusion of integrity fees to the sports leagues. Although an official sports betting bill has not yet been voted on, Michigan is showing very promising signs.
On this page you’ll find everything you need to know about sports betting in Michigan.
We explore the history of gambling in the state and what the current situation for sports betting looks like right now. We check in on whether it’s legal to bet on fantasy sports in Michigan and take a quick look at the most popular teams and sports we expect Michiganians to put the most action on.
Finally we’ll give you our predictions for what to expect in the short, medium and long-term future of sports betting in Michigan.
To find out more about other parts of the country, check out our state by state guides to legal US sports betting.
The History of Online Sports Betting in Michigan
Even though sports betting is illegal in Michigan, residents are already familiar with other forms of gambling. The early 1990s saw Michigan enter into a number of pacts with the state’s Indian tribes, leading to over a dozen tribal casinos in the state.
That number steadily grew over the years, with Detroit becoming a hub for gambling resorts. Today there are 30 active casinos in Michigan.
Other forms of gambling are possible in Michigan too. The establishment of a state lottery was approved in 1972. The lottery has continued to evolve since then, with Michigan joining a new multi-state system in 1996. By 2002 the Big Game, as it was known, was comprised of nine states. In 2014 a bill was passed to make the lottery available online too, a good sign for the future of online sports betting.
Pari-mutuel betting has been legal in Michigan since 1993. Today the state has seven racetracks. Live poker is also popular in casinos throughout the state, with well over a hundred tables in play. Charitable gambling is legal.
Unlike some states where gambling is only allowed in certain areas, the casinos and tracks in Michigan are well dispersed throughout the state.
All of this paints the picture of a state that loves gambling in lots of different forms. Michigan Rep. Robert Kosowki was actually laying the groundwork before PASPA was repealed by attempting to introduce sports gambling legalization bills in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Although the bills failed, they did get the ball rolling for legalization when the federal ban was eventually overturned.
The Current Online Sports Betting Situation in Michigan
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act had been in place since 1992, acting as a near nationwide ban on sports betting. In May 2018, the Supreme Court voted to overturn PASPA, opening the door for sports betting legalization across the US.
The removal of PASPA does not automatically make sports betting legal, rather it gives each state the chance to decide on sports betting legality for themselves.
Plenty of states have wasted no time. Many states have already passed bills to legalize sports betting, with many more quite far along in the process. Despite Michigan’s history with gambling, the state is taking its time with the opportunity that PASPA’s removal has presented.
Thanks to the efforts of Rep. Kosowki in the previous few years the potential for legalized sports betting has been in the Michigan air for a while now. The noises coming from the state since the removal of PASPA have been positive. Lawmakers spent much of 2018 engaged in a process of education around sports betting.
June 2018 saw a number of bills passed relating to online gaming, which have an effect on sports betting. By the end of 2018, the main debate was around the potential of integrity fees being paid to major sports leagues as part of any legalization of sports betting.
All of this represents the building of momentum in the Wolverine state. There is still work to do, not least reaching an agreement with the tribes in the state, but there are lots of reasons to be optimistic.
Which Online Sports Betting Sites are Legal in Michigan?
Right now, there are no online sports betting sites that are legal to use in Michigan. However, the state has shown a willingness to incorporate online elements to the gambling already available in Michigan. As legalization grows closer, hopefully online sports betting will be included.
It is possible that some unregulated sites can be accessed from within Michigan. However, these sites are not strictly legal and should best be avoided. Since they aren’t licenses in America and not subject to our laws and regulations, it’s tough to resolve issues with your account or funds if something goes wrong.
Since the future of online sports betting is bright in Michigan, we strongly advise waiting for the 100% safe and legal options which are coming soon.
What Sports Can You Bet on Online in Michigan?
At the moment, you can not legally bet on any sports in Michigan. However, the legalisation of sports betting looks to be drawing nearer.
When it finally arrives, it will be to a state with a rich sporting tradition. Here is just a taste of the most popular teams and sports we expect Michiganians to bet on:
Unsurprisingly, all of the professional sports teams in Michigan are based in Detroit. The Detroit Lions have been a member of the NFL since in 1930 and have been located in Detroit since 1934.
The Lions had already made the playoffs 18 times and won the National Championship four times before the Super Bowl even came into existence. Ford Field, the home of the Lions, takes its name from the car manufacturer, perhaps the most iconic brand associated with Detroit.
Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbour, where the Michigan Wolverines college football team plays out of, is the second largest stadium in the world with a capacity of 107,600. The program also has the most all time wins in college football history.
The Detroit Pistons began life in Fort Wayne, Indiana before moving to Detroit in 1957. Since then, they have represented Michigan in the NBA. The Pistons have three NBA Championships, the most recent one coming in 2004.
College basketball is also popular in the state, with the Wolverines and Michigan State University teams both competing in the NCAA Big 10 Conference.
The Detroit Tigers can be found in downtown Detroit representing the state in the MLB. The Tigers picked up four World Series titles between 1935 and 1984. The franchise has been in existence for over 120 years.
Baseball is popular in Michigan, with minor league teams scattered throughout the state including the West Michigan Nightcaps in Grand Rapids and the Lansing Lugnuts out of Lansing.
The Detroit Red Wings represent Michigan in the NHL. The Red Wings were founded in 1926 and are one of the Original Six teams of the league. The Red Wings are also the most successful NHL team based in the US, with an extremely impressive 11 Stanley Cup victories. Only the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens have more.
With a couple of other hockey teams around the state, it’s little wonder hockey fans and commentators alike refer to Detroit as Hockeytown. It's a no-brainer that fans in Michigan will be excited to bet on the NHL.
Perhaps the most successful son or daughter of Michigan is Serena Williams, owner of an astonishing 39 Grand slam titles across a series of events. Her sister Venus is not too far behind with 23.
Soccer is fairly popular in Michigan, although the state does not currently have a professional team competing in MLS.
Unsurprisingly, given the motor history of the state, motor sports are also popular. The Michigan International Speedway hosts NASCAR races, and formerly hosted a Formula One World Championship Grand Prix.
All in all, Michigan has a diverse array of sports. The state has the highest number of golf courses in the US, roller derby is popular and skiing and snowboarding are available in the winter.
Michigan has a sport for everyone and we expect a lot of people to start betting on them all when legal options become available.
Is Betting on Fantasy Sports Legal in Michigan?
The end of 2018 saw a huge victory for fantasy sports player in Michigan. Legislation was passed to create a regulatory framework for fantasy sports contests in the state. Until then, there had been thousands of fantasy players betting real money in the state, but they had been doing so in something of a legal grey area.
Companies offering fantasy sports will now have to pay a licence fee and submit to the regulation of the state, in exchange for offering fully legal fantasy sports.
Michigan’s legalization of fantasy sports can be considered very positive for the future of sports betting.
Is There No Deposit Sports Betting in Michigan?
It may be the case that some unregulated offshore sites offer no deposit sports betting. These sites can be accessed from Michigan but they are not actually legal in the state.
When legal sports betting arrives, sites will offer lots of the same bonuses and promotions that are common in other markets. This will include things like welcome bonuses, free bets and even no-deposit bonuses.
What Is the Future of Online Sports Betting in Michigan?
The removal of PASPA was a defining moment in the history of gambling in the US. The Supreme Court effectively gave each state the chance to access a multi-billion dollar industry. Plenty of states have wasted to time, and while Michigan isn’t exactly leading the charge towards legalization, it’s not too far behind.
The immediate future for Michigan involves educating lawmakers on exactly what legalized sports betting would entail, and then coming to agreements with the many Indian tribes in the state who are heavily involved in the casino gambling industry.
Rep. Robert Kosowski has so far submitted a number of bills on the subject, but none have yet been voted on. The general sentiment expresses so far is also very positive for the inclusion of online betting with any legalization of sports betting.
When passing the legislation that regulated fantasy sports, Rep. Brandt Iden in Michigan explicitly stated that legal sports betting was next on the agenda.
The major questions still to be answered in the near future are centered around regulation, integrity fees and agreements with tribes. The fact that all of these questions are even being considered so closely suggests that legalization in Michigan is not far off.
With the House of Representatives set to meet again in early 2019, we can expect an updated bill which addresses all of these issues to be in front of them not long after that date.
Will Online Sports Betting Ever Be Legal in Michigan?
Things are looking promising. The discussion that are currently ongoing in the Wolverine State are less about whether sports betting should be legalized, and more about how it will work when it is.
We expect big developments in Michigan’s legal sports gambling market during the first half of 2019 with the first betting options following soon after.
Legal Sports Betting Coming Soon to Michigan
Every day seems to bring news of another US state introducing a bill to legalize sports betting. Across the country opinions are changing and states are recognizing the massive financial opportunity up for grabs.
In terms of its overall attitude to gambling, Michigan is definitely one of the more progressive states. That bodes very well for how quickly we should see things move forward.
The Wolverine State has a rich gambling tradition and lawmaker are well aware of the money that can be generated for public funds by legal and regulated gambling. Throughout 2018, momentum has been slowly building. As the debate among legislators continues and the discussions with Indian tribes are completed, Michigan is moving into 2019 in the position to get a legalization bill ready to go.
After the success of bills involving online gaming and fantasy sports in 2018, the future looks bright for sports betting fans in Michigan.
Make sure to check back on this page for major developments as they happen. When legal sports betting is introduced, we’ll have reviews and special bonuses for the best online casinos for you to use to place your bets.