Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Michigan?
Yes, legal sports betting has arrived in the State of Michigan since Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the Lawful Sports Betting Act into law in December 2019. With her signature, sports betting became legal in Michigan making it the 20th state to do so.
As a result, online sports betting is now legal in Michigan. But you may have a wait ahead of you if you want to place bets since no sportsbooks have received licenses yet.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board has announced that they hope to bring on site sports betting licenses to the three Detroit casinos as early as Spring 2020, But they will not be issuing licenses for mobile sports betting until at least early 2021. So, although sports betting is legal there are currently not many options for placing sports bets in the state.
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Michigan Sports Betting News
- The Current Online Sports Betting Situation in Michigan
- The History of Online Sports Betting in Michigan
- Which Online Sports Betting Sites Are Legal in Michigan?
- Michigan Casinos Eligible to Offer Sportsbooks
- Michigan Sportsbook Sponsorships
- What Sports Can You Bet on Online in Michigan?
- The State of Sports in the Lake State
- Is betting on Fantasy Sports Legal in Michigan?
- How to Bet on Sports Legally in MI
- What is the Future of Online Sports Betting in the Lake State?
- In the Footsteps of New Jersey – How We Got Here
- Michigan Online Sports Betting FAQs
- Michigan Problem Gambling Help Resources
|Quick Facts about Online Sports Betting in MI|
|Median household income:||$54,909|
|Sports betting legal since:||December 20, 2019|
|Annual sports betting revenue:||TBA|
|Licensed sportsbooks:||Lawmakers are anticipating the first physical sportsbooks to open for business in early 2020 with their online sportsbooks anticipating licensing in early 2021. Until then the only legal onsite sports betting will be at the various Native American Casinos.|
On this page, we’ll take a deep dive into sports betting legislation in the Great Lake State.
The Current Online Sports Betting Situation in Michigan
We’re happy to report that sports betting is legal in Michigan. However, there are not yet any licensed sportsbooks within MI, but you are allowed to place bets with offshore betting sites giving you an option to place online sports bets until there are local options.
When Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the bipartisan Lawful Sports Betting Act into law she made Michigan the twentieth state so far to legalize sports betting.
“My top priority in signing this legislation was protecting and investing in the School Aid Fund because our students deserve leaders who put their education first,” said Whitmer. “Thanks in part to the hard work and leadership of Senator Hertel and Representative Warren, these bills will put more dollars in Michigan classrooms and increase funding for firefighters battling cancer. This is a real bipartisan win for our state.”
The new law is projected to bring in an additional $4.8 million into the School Aid Fund. The law also is designed to help the state’s First Nation communities by equalling the playing field between the three large Detroit casinos and the over twenty tribal casinos by allowing each entity to run one online sports betting platform each.
In a state that has a large and robust tribal community the new law is designed to help since their casinos are a much relied upon revenue resource.
Let’s look at the major developments in bullet form and then we’ll dig into the details:
MI Sports Betting Laws Summary
- Although online sports betting licenses have not yet been issued in the state, MI law does not outlaw the use of offshore betting sites if they are not located within state lines. No part of MI law states that it is illegal for residents to bet on sports online outside of Michigan.
- Betting is not allowed on high school sports unless the majority of participants have a minimum age of 18 years.
- Sports betting revenue will have tax rates of 8.4% for mobile and retail locations with Detroit casinos paying an additional 3.25% city tax going to the states tax revenues.
- Three physical casinos and over 20 tribal casinos can offer sports betting at their locations and online once they are licensed.
- The fees to offer sports betting are steep including $55,000 applications fee, $100,000 for the license itself and $50,000 annual renewal fee.
- Additional legislation created the Fantasy Contests Consumer Protection Act in 2018, establishing the legal framework to regulate daily fantasy sports betting in the state.
- Betting on all collegiate sports is allowed under the new law.
- The Michigan Gaming Control Board oversees sports betting in the state and is responsible for issuing sportsbook licenses.
The History of Online Sports Betting in Michigan
Regulated sports betting in The Great Lakes State didn’t happen overnight. Here’s a blow-by-blow legal history of how we got here.
The early 1990s saw Michigan enter several pacts with the state’s Native American tribes, leading to over twenty tribal casinos in the state ran by several tribes.
Other forms of gambling are possible in Michigan too. The establishment of a state lottery was approved in 1972. The Michigan 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 Michigan 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.
But the ball really got rolling in 1996 with the passage of the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act, which was narrowly approved. The Act had nothing to do with sports betting but laid down a framework that would eventually be expanded at the end of 2019 when the Governor’s signature legalized sports betting in the state.
The 1996 bill allowed for the creation of three Detroit casinos and was partially motivated by the grand opening of a casino across the water in Ontario. The idea being to keep gambling money in the state instead of letting it go across the water where it would be lost revenue.
June 2018 saw several bills pass relating to online gaming, which had 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.
But everything changed in 2019 with the Governor’s signature on the Lawful Sports Betting Act. The Act legalized Michigan sports betting both in retail and mobile sports settings, allowing each of the states 26-odd casinos to have sports betting as well as one online gambling access point each.
Which Online Sports Betting Sites Are Legal in Michigan?
The law allows for each casino in Michigan to operate one online sportsbook or “skin”, making for a total of 26 possible sportsbooks in the state.
These casinos will likely pair with major online sportsbooks like, bet363, DraftKings, and WilliamHill that are already widely trusted and established.
As of yet, there are no operating online sportsbooks in Michigan, and it is unlikely that they will roll out before at least Spring 2021.
With three Detroit casinos, including MGM Grand Detroit, and over twenty Native American casinos, and with the law stating that each one shall be able to make its own online sportsbook there is bound to be a large amount of competition and choices soon to come.
However, it is legal to bet with offshore sportsbooks in Michigan. Offshore meaning that as long as the sportsbooks are not located in MI territory then they are allowed to operate since MI law states that sportsbooks can operate in MI only if they are licensed.
Utilizing these offshore sites, while not being against the law, can be dangerous. Since they aren’t licensed 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 that are coming soon.
Michigan Casinos Eligible to Offer Sportsbooks
The map below shows the location of the casinos in Michigan that are eligible to receive sportsbook licenses.
Michigan Sportsbook Sponsorships
Sportsbook sponsorships are agreements between licensed sportsbooks/casinos and individuals, sports teams and leagues. Some states are more friendly to sportsbooks sponsorships than others and currently, only a couple of states allow them despite lobbying to the contrary.
Despite having a robust sports scene in the state, Michigan will likely not have any sponsorships due to the fact that sportsbooks in the state are an expansion to the previously approved laws that state that sportsbooks must be applied for by one of the casinos already present and that they may not have more than one sportsbook each. It is unclear if this will even leave room for partnerships or not.
Also, sportsbook sponsorships are more the exception and not the rule with very few entities opting in for sponsorships.
What Sports Can You Bet on Online in Michigan?
Almost all sports are available for betting in Michigan, including major leagues like MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL. For the most part, college sports like NCAA are available too, but there are some exceptions. High school sports can be bet on only if the majority of participants are over the age of 18.
- LOL (League of Legends eSports)
- EL (Euro League Fantasy Basketball)
- Fantasy football
We should also mention that it is possible to bet on daily fantasy sports in the state of Michigan, where the most obvious choice is FanDuel, a sportsbook specializing in daily fantasy sports. Internet gaming is the future and the future is bright for Michigan,
The State of Sports in the Great Lake State
The Michigan sports scene is very robust with multiple major league teams and many junior teams and collegiate teams. With the rise of legal Michigan sports betting now a reality after the state government’s new sports betting bill officially legalizes sports betting in the state. It will be some time before local betting apps fill the niche of online sportsbooks but when they do it will be a great day for Michigan sports.
Unsurprisingly, all 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 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 but hasn’t seen the world series since 1984.
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 popular in Michigan, although the state does not currently have a professional team competing in MLS.
Michigan is also friendly to horse racing, with several well-known tracks in the state including Northville Downs, and Triple Force Race Track.
Unsurprisingly, given the motor history of the state, motorsports 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 when they are available in the winter.
If you’re only just starting out and would like to learn more about sports betting, we encourage you to read our sports betting guide.
Is Betting on Fantasy Sports Legal in Michigan
The end of 2018 saw a huge victory for fantasy sports players in Michigan. The 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 daily fantasy sports will now have to pay a license fee and submit to the regulation of the state, in exchange for offering fully legal daily fantasy sports.
Michigan legalized daily fantasy sports betting with the passage of the Fantasy Contests Consumer Protection Act in 2018, establishing the legal framework to regulate fantasy sports betting in the state.
At the moment betting on daily fantasy sports is only possible through the use of offshore betting sites and visiting the native American casinos that offer physical sportsbooks.
How to Bet on Sports Legally in MI
Although sports betting is currently legal in Michigan the sportsbooks have yet to open either physical or online.
If you’re a sports betting beginner, make sure to check out our guides to betting for tons of valuable information.
The second way to place bets is to physically go to a casino or sportsbook. There are lots of different options including the ones we listed above that are an affiliate with the online betting sites.
Going to a live sportsbook is a great experience since you can watch the games with a big group of other gamblers. The atmosphere is electric, and it adds a different dimension to the gambling experience.
Using offshore sportsbooks to place bets is not illegal in MI.
What Is the Future of Online Sports Betting in the Lake State?
The future of online sports betting, and online gambling in Michigan is bound to be a bright one. The system that legislators have set in place ensures that a robust marketplace of sportsbooks will be in competition with each other. This competition will likely drive the user experience.
The Wolverine State has a rich gambling tradition and lawmakers 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 Native American tribes are completed.
Look in the coming months for retails sportsbooks to begin opening followed by the rollout of their online partnerships in early 2021 when Michigan sports betting sites are expected to go live. Michigans betting scene is likely to be one of the most robust in the nation when legal betting comes to local casinos by Spring 2021, meaning you’ll be able to bet on local legal online sportsbooks in the near future.
In the Footsteps of New Jersey – How We Got Here
In May 2018 the US Supreme Court overturned a long-standing federal ban on sports betting and gave each state the authority to create their own laws governing it.
The decision has opened up a multi-billion-dollar opportunity in the US, and many states have wasted zero time jumping on board.
More and more states are joining Nevada in offering fully legal and regulated sports betting all the time.
Plenty more states have been debating the issue and preparing legalization bills. Indiana is currently in this latter stage of the process.
The movement towards legalized sports betting was led by the state of New Jersey after a poll conducted found that over 90% of residents approved of legalization.
However, legalization met legal troubles and the case went all the way to the Supreme Court that eventually sided with New Jersey and legalized the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA)
This decision left it up to individual states to decide for themselves to allow sports betting within their territory. To learn more about New Jersey’s legal struggles to gain the right to sports betting click here.
Michigan Online Sports Betting FAQs
Here are answers to the Michigan sports betting questions we’re asked most frequently:
Is sports betting legal?
Yes. Sports betting is legal in Michigan, with the rollout of physical sportsbooks in Detroit coming Spring 2020 and mobile betting licenses coming early 2021.
If you can’t wait for those developments, then it is not against the law to place bets using offshore sportsbooks.
Do you pay taxes on sports betting in Michigan?
Yes. Tax rates of 8.4% is applied to all income from gambling, which is relatively low compared to other states.
Where can I bet on sports?
At the moment, MI residents can place sports bets with sportsbook operators outside of the state. The lawmakers thought process is that these offshore sportsbooks are under the jurisdiction of gambling authorities in their home regions therefore they are regulated.
Also, some Native American casinos are offering sports betting at physical sportsbooks. With over 20 Native American casinos across the state there is most likely one near you.
What sports can I bet on in MI online?
Michigan’s new sports gambling laws allow wagering on all pro sports and most collegiate sports. It also allows for betting on e-sports and fantasy sports.
What sports are illegal to bet on?
Betting on high school sports is not allowed if the majority of participants are under the age of 18.
Is it illegal to bet using offshore sports betting websites?
No, offshore betting is actually encouraged in Michigan at the moment since the approval to legalize sports betting has just occurred there is not a market of localized sportsbooks available if you are a Michigan resident. Lawmakers have gotten around this by allowing the giving shore betters the legal go-ahead to operate in the state, at last until there is a robust market of local sportsbooks.
What other states is sports betting legal in?
Online gambling is currently legal in New Jersey, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, while other forms of sports betting are currently legal in West Virginia, Delaware, Rhode Island, Mississippi, and New Mexico.
For more information on nearby Indiana sports betting check out our Indiana state page here.
Michigan Problem Gambling Help Resources
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has created a Get Help page in order to bring resources to those who are suffering from problem gambling.
The Michigan Problem Gambling Helpline is toll-free, confidential and discreet with trained counselors available 24 hours a day. The line is available to Michigan residents, 1-800-270-7117
Other resources are also available including the Gamblers Anonymous support group. Visit the website for more information on these programs and others if you or a friend/family member is struggling with problem gambling.
- Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB)
- Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act
- Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act (Wikipedia)
- Michigan Legislature, House Bill 4916
- Michigan Legislature, House Bill 4060
- New Jersey Sports Wagering Law, P.L. 2018, c. 33
- Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association (Supreme Court Opinion)
- National Center for Responsible Gambling
Updated: February 12, 2020