Michigan has a very lenient and forgiving view on all things gambling related. People living in the state will be able to participate in charitable gambling, pari-mutuel wagering and state-owned lotteries. Likewise they can visit commercial, tribal casinos and racetracks to bet on horse races. The only thing missing from the casino landscape in Michigan is online gambling and online sports betting. However, with the state’s progressive stance on gambling and casino, several attempts have been made to legalise and regulate the online casino market, even making is past the state legislature, only to be struck down by the governor of Michigan himself. However, state legislators will not back down easily and the state will continue with its progressive stance on gambling and sports betting.
Online Casino and Gambling in Michigan
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Is Online Gambling Legal in Michigan?
Not yet, but the state legislators of Michigan are fighting with tooth and nail to pass a bill that makes online gambling legal. Michigan is soon to become the fifth state within the US to legalise online gambling, according to various news sources. Back in December 2018, the future was looking bright for punters living in Michigan with the H 4926 bill passing seamlessly and without resistance through the senate.
The H 4926 bill outlined the legalisation of online gambling, allowing for online operators to apply for a licence and offer casino games to players living within the state borders. The bill passed with a majority of 33-5 in the Senate, seemingly without resistance. The bill also described how tax revenue should be divided, allowing for major improvements to infrastructure and the educational system. Disaster struck when the bill was vetoed by Michigan’s governor Rick Snyder, putting the passing of the bill to a full stop. Funnily enough, the governor was set to depart his office end December 2018, and making it look like he vetoed the bill simply out of spite before his successor Gretchen Whitmer, a democrat.
If passed, any online casinos in possession of a licence will be able to offer staple casino games such as poker, table games, video poker, slot machines, roulette and blackjack to all players over 21 years of age. Not only will the H 4926 bill allow for a massive increase in tax revenue, it will also allow players to gamble in a safe and regulated environment. Michigan’s legislators are not set to back down any time soon and will make an attempt to pass the bill for a second time in early 2019. Until then there is still hope for online gambling to become available in the state of Michigan.
Michigan is a great for people who love to frequent land-based casinos. With 26 different locations all across the state, punters do not need to travel far to reach their destination. Michigan offers both commercial casinos and tribal casinos, all boasting high-end facilities and a great atmosphere. Most of the casinos in Michigan also double as a resort or hotel, allow patrons to stay overnight in luxurious The commercial casinos are flashy and fitted with all the necessary amenities that are needed to make a great casinos. The largest commercial casino you will find is based in Detroit is MGM Grand Detroit and has a whopping 4,000 slot machines available and more than a 100 table games. The most popular commercial casinos are:
- Firekeeper’s Casino
- MGM Detroit
- Motorcity Casino Hotel
The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 allows casinos to be build on Native American land. Every tribal casino is licensed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board. These tribal casinos make up the majority of available brick-and-mortar casinos within the state. Here you will find all the popular casino games such as roulette, blackjack, craps and much more. Some of them completely fitted with high-end restaurants and also function as a luxury resort, the tribal casinos in Michigan will truly satisfy all your gambling needs. Among the most popular tribal casinos in Michigan you will find:
- Four Winds Casino
- Soaring Eagle Casino
- Bay Mills Resort and Casino
With the three combined, you will find thousands of square feet of floor space, more than 7000 slot machines and over a hundred table games. All slot machines are audited by the Michigan Control Board, making sure they pay out not less that 88% back to the player.
Poker has been extremely popular all across the United States until the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act obliterated the online poker scene overnight. While it does not make online poker, or online gambling in general, illegal but rather prohibits the transactions made online. This means that the only place where poker players can kick back and enjoy a thrilling round of the game, is at dedicated poker rooms and casinos fitted with poker tables. Luckily most of the large casinos mentioned above do offer poker rooms and often hold poker tournaments with decent prize pools.
There are a total of 15 poker rooms available, all evenly spread throughout the Upper Peninsula, the Lower Peninsula and Detroit City.
Ever since the Supreme Court has struck down the PASPA bill, the road is paved for states to legalise sports betting and sportsbook. Ever since 2015, the state has been pushing to make sports betting legal, but to no avail. For month Michigan did not seem be successful to move towards a decision until late December 2018, where the state legislators proposed the H 4926 comprehensive gambling bill, that not only would legalise online casino, but would also legalise sports betting altogether. Again, as stated before, the bill was vetoed by the Michigan governor.
While online sports betting is at a stand-still at the moment, players can still participate in pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing on any of the two race tracks available in the state.
Daily Fantasy Sports have been long since a topic of discussion in many states. Being a skill-based sports game played over the internet, DFS have always been prohibited through the Federal Wire Act and the UIGEA bill.
While restricted, it is not illegal to play DFS and many large operators like DraftKings and FanDuel continue to offer their services in a large part of the US, including Michigan. However, due to the legal situation surrounding paid-entry DFS, the operators can decide to stop serving a certain state overnight.
Like many states, Michigan also has a state-owned lottery. Under the Michigan Lottery Act of 1972, the state was allowed to operate a state-owned lottery system. A large portion of the profit made from lottery revenues goes to the educational system in Michigan.
Players can choose from several lotteries, including interstate and international lotteries. Most popular lotteries are: Daily3, Daily4, Lotto 47, Lucky For Life, Mega Millions and Powerball.
The legal minimum age to gamble at a land-based casino is 21 years of age. When playing the lottery, the person needs to be at least 18 years old in order to purchase a ticket. Likewise for pari-mutuel wagering, where the person needs to be 18 years old in order to bet on horse racing.
The Michigan Gambling Control Board is the government agency that oversees the gaming industry within the state’s borders. The agency is responsible for auditing slot machines and table games, as well as authorising licences for commercial, race tracks and tribal casinos to operate in Michigan.
Charitables games such as bingo, raffles and lotteries are overseen by the Michigan Lottery.
If you feel like you are gambling a bit to much or struggle to control your gambling habits, then you may contact the MDHHS helpline for problem gambling. You can contact them on the toll-free telephone number 1-800-270-7117. The lines are open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
Michigan boasts a very hospitable and progressive environment for gamblers and casinos alike. The state’s willingness to pass a bill that allows both online gambling and online sports betting only proves that statement. 2019 will be the year that will give us a conclusion on whether or not the state will join Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware in terms of having a regulated online gaming market or not. Until then, there are plenty of land-based casinos to visit in order to have a good night out.