Michigan joined the growing legal sports betting industry in the United States, becoming one of the largest states with it. Michigan was able to get sports betting launched less than four months after legalizing the industry. Unfortunately, Michigan sports betting launched just as the COVID-19 pandemic was sweeping through the US, ultimately shutting things down.
Retail and mobile sports betting are both legal in Michigan. Bettors must be located within the state and be at least 21 years old for mobile action. Most retail sportsbooks in Michigan have a 21 minimum age. There are a few in the Upper Peninsula that accept bets from those who are 18 years of age or older.
The History Behind Legal Sports Betting in Michigan
The Michigan sports betting industry dates back to 2015 when government officials were looking to legalize sports betting. Representative Robert Kosowski introduced a pair of bills in 2015, but neither bill was able to make it out of committee.
Kosowski doubled down a year later, changing some of the language in an effort to get sports betting legalized. Those bills failed to make it out of committee either, but the sports betting discussion was underway.
In 2017, it was Representative Brandt Iden who was able to get things going in the right direction. An expanded gambling bill made it out of committee that year, and that bill included language that would legalize sports betting.
A year later, it looked as if the state was ready to legalize sports betting in 2018, but former Governor Rick Snyder was not on board. Bill H 4926 passed through both houses of the legislature, but Snyder vetoed the bill, killing any chance for sports betting.
A change in governor was needed to pursue Michigan sports betting seriously, and that occurred in 2019. Governor Gretchen Whitmer supported legalizing sports betting, and she quickly signed a bill when it landed on her desk in December 2019.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board was put in charge of the sports betting industry, and that group worked quickly to get sports betting launched. The industry officially launched in March 2020, and things have gone well since.
Financial History Behind Legal Sports Betting in Michigan
Even though Michigan has had sports betting since March 2020, the state has reported sports betting numbers for just three months. The entire industry was shut down from April to July as the COVID-19 pandemic was sweeping through the state.
In March 2020, the sports betting handle totaled just over $593,000, with a revenue of more than $105,000. This was a slow start, but only a couple of sports betting operators were ready to go in the month.
Things started to open back up in August, and the state saw a huge boost in both betting handle and total revenue. In August, the state posted a sports betting handle of more than $15.7 million. The state brought in close to $2 million in revenue during August.
September was expected to be a huge month for the sports betting industry in Michigan, which was the case. Total handle set a new record in September, posting more than $33 million during that month.
Michigan also posted some huge revenue numbers during September, bringing in more than $4.3 million. October numbers will be announced at some point in November, and it could be another record-setting month for the industry.
Online sports betting did not stay a huge success in Michigan. Casino sites are also legal in the state. Many operators focus on casino games over sports betting in marketing, which seems to keep that revenue below the national average per capita.
Sportsbook Apps in Michigan
Any of the sports betting operators that offer retail sports betting in the state can also offer mobile betting. Some of the biggest names in the industry already offer retail sports betting in Michigan, and these big names will launch mobile apps as well.
Here is a list of mobile sportsbook apps expected to launch in the state of Michigan at some point:
- Caesars Sportsbook
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- Eagle Sports
- ESPN Bet
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- Golden Nugget
- SI Sportsbook
There are other mobile sports betting licenses available in the state as well, but it’s unclear what sportsbooks will be approved for these. Several left the state, including Fox Bet and TwinSpires.
Retail Locations for Michigan Sports Betting
There are just three commercial casinos in Michigan, and all three of these properties are expected to dominate the sports betting industry. Each of these locations could apply for a sports betting license, but tribal casinos were also allowed to apply.
When tribal casinos were given a chance to apply for a sports betting license, many big-name sports betting operators worked to form a partnership with these properties. This was great news for Michigan, but it was a crushing blow to the commercial casinos.
Detroit is home to all of the commercial casinos in Michigan, and that city will likely emerge as the leader in the industry. Tribal casinos will post some impressive numbers when it comes to overall betting handle, but the commercial casinos will dominate the retail side of things.
The MGM Grand, MotorCity Casino, and Greektown Casino are the three commercial casinos in Michigan, and all three have already partnered with a big name in the sports betting industry. Bettors looking to physically place bets while in the state of Michigan will likely visit these locations.
Below is a current list of physical Michigan sports betting options.
- Barstool Sportsbook
- BetMGM Sportsbook
- BetRivers Sportsbook
- Caesars Sportsbook
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- Fanatics Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- FireKeepers Casino
- Four Winds Casino
- Parx Casino
- Soaring Eagle Ascend Sportsbook
Sports Teams to Bet on in Michigan
Several other states have a much better sports tradition, but Michigan should not be sold short. This state is home to several popular professional sports teams, and college teams are extremely popular as well.
Since betting on the National Football League is extremely popular in the United States, the Detroit Lions are by far the most popular team in Michigan. The Lions have not been extremely successful in recent years, but this team helps drive sports betting in the state.
The state has three other professional sports teams. All of the professional teams are located in Detroit, but their popularity extends throughout the state. The Detroit Pistons (NBA), Detroit Tigers (MLB), and Detroit Red Wings (NHL) are the other pro teams in Michigan.
Since betting on college athletic events is allowed in Michigan, the college teams will help drive up the numbers. Michigan is home to several popular sports teams, but the two most popular compete in the Big Ten Conference.
The Michigan Wolverines and the Michigan State Spartans draw betting action, especially during football and basketball seasons. Both teams have a strong tradition of being near the top of the conference in each sport. Note that live betting and props are not permitted on college sports in Michigan.
Michigan is close to other states that feature some legendary sports teams. With all of these popular teams, it is no secret that the state is positioned to become a huge player in the US sports betting industry.
FAQ for Sports Betting in Michigan
When was the Michigan sports betting industry legalized?
Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a sports betting bill into law in December 2019 after months of debate from lawmakers. Michigan joined a handful of other states in the Midwest that legalized the industry in 2019.
When did the Michigan sports betting industry launch?
Retail sports betting in Michigan officially launched on March 11, 2020, but the industry was shut down just a few days later due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Online sports betting is also live and legal in the state.
What group regulates the Michigan sports betting industry?
The Michigan Gaming Control Board regulates the sports betting industry. This group is in charge of reviewing all sports betting license applications and dealing with customer complaints or concerns.
Who can apply for a Michigan sports betting license?
All of the commercial and tribal casinos are eligible to apply for a sports betting license in Michigan. Online operators must partner with one of these locations to offer sports betting in the state.
What is the legal betting age in Michigan?
The legal age to place a bet on sports in the state of Michigan is 21 years of age.
Can I place a bet online in Michigan?
Online sports betting is licensed and legal in Michigan.
Can I bet on the Michigan Wolverines?
Yes, betting on college sporting events is allowed in Michigan, with a few exceptions. Sportsbooks cannot offer in-game or prop betting for college sporting events at this time.
Do I have to live in the state to place a bet?
No. But you do have to be physically inside of the state to place a bet.
Best Legal Michigan Online Casinos
Though you might not think of Michigan as a gambling hub, it was one of the first states to introduce online casinos as a complement to their online sportsbooks. Now, what was once a gambling desert has become a state with a wide array of real-money online casino gaming options. Below, we will touch on a few of our favorite Michigan online casinos. What’s more, you will notice that many of the online casinos are the same brands that offer Michigan sports betting.
FanDuel Michigan Online Casino
For most people, FanDuel is a name most commonly associated with sports, whether that be sports betting or daily fantasy sports (DFS) competitions. This is undeniably true, however, FanDuel is also an online casino operator that is growing in popularity. You will be hard-pressed to find a Michigan online casino that has more to offer than FanDuel.
Concerning game selection, FanDuel has everything you could want and more. As is the case with many online casinos, their selection of slots numbers in the multiple hundreds. What’s more, the slot games you will find at FanDuel are the same ones that exist on the floors of brick-and-mortar casinos all over the country. It may not number in the hundreds, but the table game selection at FanDuel is robust as well, with every game you would expect and more.
Perhaps the best part of FanDuel’s offering is the existence of live dealer online games. With blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and two different forms of casino poker to choose from, there is a live dealer game for players of all types. Infinite blackjack is a game we especially love because it does not require one to find a seat at full tables. Instead, you can come and go as you please and play as much (or as little) blackjack as you would like.
If you are new to FanDuel’s Michigan online casino, they have a promotion where your first 24 hours of casino play is a loss rebate, of up to $1,000.
DraftKings Michigan Online Casino
Like FanDuel, DraftKings got its start in the DFS realm and has since transitioned into a powerhouse gambling hub. In addition to the DFS competitions and Michigan sports betting, DraftKings also operates an online casino.
With a 100% deposit match bonus worth up to $2,000, few other Michigan online casinos can compete with what DraftKings offers new players. If the welcome bonus isn’t enough, the fact that DraftKings offers an immense number and selection of games should be.
At any given point in time, DraftKings Michigan online casino will have upwards of 700 slot games from which to choose along with nearly 100 table games. This is all great, but the selection of live dealer games is what makes DraftKings top tier. Live dealer blackjack (including Infinite Blackjack), roulette, and baccarat all exist in abundance. The most unique aspect of DraftKing’s live dealer games is the ‘Game Shows Lobby’ where you can play many games inspired by popular TV game shows.
BetMGM Michigan Online Casino
BetMGM is a name that hardly needs an introduction. With properties both all over the United States and all over the world, MGM was a household name long before DraftKings and FanDuel even existed. With that being said, it should come as no surprise that they offer one of the best online casino experiences in Michigan.
In terms of the overall offering of games, there are games and game types for everyone. Not only does BetMGM boast one of the biggest selections of online slots, but their table game offering is so expansive there will be at least two or three game types you have likely never heard of. On top of all of this, their live dealer offering is second to none. The reason we say this is because BetMGM offers live dealer games from not one, but two different providers; Evolution and Ezugi. This means that there are more games available for players at all times.
If you are a new player who is looking to sign up and play at BetMGM Michigan online casino, you can rest assured knowing that there is a healthy promotion on offer. The bonus on offer is a 100% matching bonus worth up to $1,000. This means that your first casino deposit will be doubled, so if you deposit $300 you will have $600 to use at the online casino.