Michigan is now a full-service sports betting state! Michiganders and visitors to the state can place sports bets on their mobile devices, their computers, and several different retail locations around both peninsulas.
Because Michigan is such a populous state, it is no surprise that some of the world’s top sportsbook operators have beat a path to the Great Lake State. Companies like BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel all have a sports betting presence in Michigan now, and they are far from the only ones.
Top sports betting apps in Michigan
The online launch in January 2021 marked the endpoint of a process that began in December 2019. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed into law two bills, S4916 and H4311, which legalized sports betting both online and in casinos. Incidentally, the two bills also legalized internet poker, online casino games and online fantasy sports.
In short, Michigan is quite the destination for placing a bet now. By coming to this page, you have found the premier source for news and information about sports betting in the Great Lake State. We also have excellent bonus offers that, in some cases, cannot be found elsewhere. So, read on and find out all the wonderful things that are happening in Michigan.
You can now sign up and play with the following operators in Michigan:
- BetMGM Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- William Hill
- PointsBet Sportsbook
- Twin Spires (formerly Churchill Downs)
- Barstool Sportsbook
Compare the best sports betting apps in Michigan
Michigan holds the distinction as the state with the highest number of sportsbook apps to launch on the first day of service. Multiple MI betting apps debuted in January 2021.
BetMGM Sportsbook is, unsurprisingly, the sportsbook arm of MGM Resorts International, one of the world’s largest gaming companies. The operator enters Michigan as a result of its natural partnership with MGM Grand Detroit.
BetMGM distinguishes itself as a top sportsbook through a combination of variety and flexibility. In addition to a host of betting markets that you can choose, BetMGM also offers the Edit My Bet feature, which allows you to alter the terms of your wagers while they are still active.
FanDuel Sportsbook is one of the top sportsbooks in the world. Its latest debut in Michigan comes thanks to a deal with MotorCity Casino in Detroit.
FanDuel has risen to the apex of the industry due to a couple of significant factors. For one thing, its site is clean, fast, and quite easy to navigate. FanDuel also goes above and beyond when it comes to promotional opportunities for players.
DraftKings Sportsbook was the first online sportsbook to debut in the US outside of Nevada. The company continued its strategy of early launches in Michigan, where it was one of the first online sportsbooks to open its doors. DraftKings is partnering with the Bay Mills Indian Community in Michigan in order to operate.
DraftKings introduced many innovative concepts to the American betting public when it launched in New Jersey in 2018. Among those are the Cash Out option, which has become an all-but-standard feature for most online sportsbooks in the country. DraftKings also employs a betting carousel on its app, which recommends betting options to players based upon their preferences and wagering history.
William Hill is one of the oldest and most venerated sportsbook companies in the world. In some area, like Nevada, its betting shops are seemingly on every street corner. Its foray into Michigan is in cooperation with the Grand Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.
What William Hill brings to the table is experience and stability. Because the company has roughly a century of business under its belt, there are few bets that you cannot find onsite. In fact, due to William Hill’s European roots, you may be able to discover betting options for more obscure sports than on most other sportsbooks.
PointsBet Sportsbook is a relative newcomer to sports betting, both as an activity and to the United States. The Australian operator has an ongoing relationship with the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians in Michigan.
PointsBet’s hallmark is the unique type of wager which serves as the company’s namesake and signature. Points betting is a twist on the traditional spread bet in which the numerical difference between the spread and the outcome serves as a multiplier for both wins and losses.
BetRivers is the online sports betting wing of Rush Street Interactive, which owns and operates several casinos under the Rivers brand in the midwestern and northeastern US. The brand comes to Michigan under a contract with the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians.
BetRivers’ sports betting offering is perfectly serviceable and approachable. There are no major glitches on site, but there are also no major innovations to report, either. The most significant aspect of BetRivers is that it maintains a loyalty program specifically for sports bettors, and you can gain perks and prizes through your play there.
How Mobile Sports Betting Works in Michigan
Since you now know who the players are, let’s talk about how mobile sports betting works in Michigan. The first thing to know is that you can place bets absolutely anywhere in the state.
However, even though your phone is mobile, Michigan’s sports betting laws only apply within state borders. As soon as your mobile device crosses the state border you can no longer be able to place bets with your Michigan account.
Geolocation technology is now phenomenally accurate. If you do cross the state line, you will find that any bets you have placed beforehand remain current, but you can’t place any more bets until you have safely returned to Michigan.
Michigan sports betting data must be official
One area where Michigan has diverged from the norm is in giving sports the right to demand that sport betting operators use official data for settling their bets.
The sports leagues have advocated for these provisions in every state which has legalized sports betting. Few states have succumbed to the argument, and Michigan’s provisions contain several get-outs.
If the data is not offered to betting operators on commercial terms, the regulator can erase the requirement and allow operators to use other data sources. This forces the leagues to act sensibly in their pricing as they are in effect competing against alternative providers.
Taxes and fees for Michigan online sports betting are competitive
State politicians can sometimes get big eyes when looking at potential revenues from legalizing gambling. There’s no doubt sports betting is big business and legislators want to get the largest possible slice of the pie. They have a monopoly power to grant or refuse licences, so why not squeeze as hard as possible?
Two reasons why not. Experience in other jurisdictions shows that there’s a sweet spot for tax rates that generates the maximum revenues. There’s a second sweet spot which provides the most attractive offer to bettors to entice them away from offshore alternatives.
The good news is that Michigan has taken this evidence on board–Michigan tax rates for sports betting are competitive.
The basic sports betting tax rate is 8.4 percent on adjusted gross sports betting receipts. The three Detroit casino pay an additional 1.25 percent city tax. For the first five years, money given to customers for free-play promotions may be deducted from the gross receipts before taxes are levied.
Nevada’s tax rate is 6.75 percent, so Michigan is in the ball park. Even New Jersey’s rates are higher given that it has an 8.5 percent rate for live sports betting and 13 percent for mobile and online wagers.
Online poker and casino games are not so lucky. Governor Whitmer was much less inclined to sign the bill authorizing these games, so insisted on higher taxes.
Michigan tiers tax rates for online poker and casino
Taxes on casino and poker games will be:
- 20% on revenues up to $4 million
- 22% on revenues from $4 million – $8 million
- 24% on revenues from $8 million – $10 million
- 26% on revenues from $10 million – $12 million
- 28% on revenues of $12 million+
At the lower revenue figures these are at the top end of the tax sweet spot. At the higher end, these tax rates will reduce the proportion of players migrating from offshore sites and reduce the potential tax take for the state.
Things could be worse. Pennsylvania has a basic sports betting tax rate of 34 percent. On balance Michigan looks to have made a sensible compromise.
How old do I have to be to place sports bets in Michigan?
The state licensed casinos in Michigan have a minimum age limit of 21. The two new laws enshrine this in legislation for both retail and online sports betting.
The tribal casinos vary. Some allow gambling for 18 or 19 year olds, others keep to the standard 21. Specifically:
Minimum age 18
- Leelanau Sands
- Turtle Creek
- Island Resort
- Ojibwa II
- Lac Vieux
- Soaring Eagle
Minimum age 19
- All Kewadin casinos including; Casino Christmas, Casino Hessel, Casino Manistique, Shores Casino
- Odawa Mackinaw City Casino
- Odawa Petoskey Casino
How do I download Michigan online sports betting app
Michigan online sports betting gets rid of the need to physically visit the casino. Because of internet sports betting, you can set up an account online in minutes.
To set up an online account you go to the sign up page using any of the links you’ll find on TheLines review pages. Make sure to copy down any bonus codes that you see, then press the button to Play Now. Once you do, you’ll have the option to download in either Apple (iOS) or Android formats. Choose the correct one.
For Apple users, it’s pretty straightforward from there out. The installation will proceed as normal. However, Android users need to turn on their phone’s ability to accept downloads from unknown sources before they visit their site. Then, they can download the file and install it.
Once the app is installed, you’ll need to proceed to the registration area. Look for a large button in the top right of the display. Personal details are legally required to avoid any under age gambling. You then choose a screen name and password and you’re ready to go.
If you happen to set up your account using your PC, your account will automatically work on your mobile device. Simply download the app and sign in using your new user name and password.
Many of the new sports betting operators will offer special deals for new customers. Check the offers out before you open your first account.
How do I make a deposit?
Obviously you need money to place your first bets. Thankfully, sports betting operators accept deposits from many different methods. The new laws actually specify a minimum number of methods that the casinos must provide.
Your deposit is linked directly to your account, so you can always see your account balance online. When you make a bet the money is debited from your sports betting account. When you win, the operator credits your account.
Common deposit methods include:
- Bank cards—Credit cards and debit cards are very easy ways to deposit funds online. There are still some banks which won’t allow gambling transactions, even when they are completely legal. If you have a problem, check with your bank and/or use one of the alternative methods below.
- Prepaid cards—Many casinos and other payment providers offer pre-paid cards. The three main casinos are all likely to offer their own branded versions with additional benefits for making deposits.
- Bank transfers—Michigan law mandates that casinos and online operators allow the use of ACH transfers (echecks). These are very quick to use and avoid any charges from a third party provider. Wire transfers are best for depositing large amounts.
- Electronic Wallet—Big e-wallet brands include PayPal, Skrill and NETELLER. After setting up an online account these services offer effortless deposits and withdrawals. Depsoits from an ewallet are processed instantly so there’s no wait to play. Withdrawals take a little bit longer as the casino is required to verify age and identity before making payments. The delay can be seconds or minutes so still a fast way to cash out. Most payments businesses offer an associated pre-paid card to make purchases or withdraw cash from an automated teller.
- Cash—The casinos will accept deposits for your online account if you make them in person at the casino cage. You can also use services such as PayNearMe which is available at most local 7/11 stores,
- Check or money order—People are moving away from checks but they are still popular with many and can be used to fund your online sports betting account.
How do I withdraw my winnings?
Unless you have paid with cash at a PayNearMe service, you can usually use the same method to withdraw as you used to deposit. If not, the normal way to get your cash out of your online account is with an echeck.
It’s worth saying that easy withdrawals are a major benefit of using the legal state regulated gambling services. You may have heard the horror stories of customers at the black market offshore sites who have lost money when they have gone bust. Losing all your money when the site fails is not fun, but even if your site remains active, a common problem offshore sites have is that it takes them a long time to pay out winnings,
Can I use my casino VIP scheme online?
It depends on the app you choose. Many Michigan sports fans that already have a VIP account at one of the casinos are familiar with the various benefits of the programs.
The new laws require online sports betting operators to operate in partnership with a casino. This creates the opportunity to merge the benefits of online play and bets made at the casinos.
M Life Rewards from MGM is an example of online/offline synergy. Online sports bettors can earn points which can be used for benefits from the M Life scheme.
One of the reasons casinos are now in favor of internet gambling is that they have seen the benefits for their retail operations. In particular, younger sports bettors and poker players who wouldn’t otherwise visit a casino may do so to take advantage of a promotion they see online.
Can I use my online account outside Michigan?
Michigan sports betting laws only apply inside the state borders. If you cross the border into another state you can no longer bet legally with a Michigan licensed operator.
If you already have an internet sports betting account in another state such as New Jersey, you cannot bet with that account in Michigan. However, regardless of where you are, you will almost certainly be able to access your account and banking details.
Will the Michigan sports betting odds be competitive?
The tax provisions of the new law make it easy for casinos and online sports betting operators to offer competitive odds for sports fans.
The Michigan system means several operators will compete for every sports fan who wants to bet, and that means competing on price.
Odds should be no different from those offered in Vegas. What bettors should notice is when odds vary from one Michigan operator to another. The big business of sports betting uses sophisticated algorithms and data for setting the odds of any event. The systems differ from operator to operator, so sometimes you can get better odds at a different online account. It costs nothing to check, so if you are a regular bettor it is worth establishing several online accounts.
What sports can I bet on in Michigan?
The new Michigan sports betting laws leave it up to the regulator to determine valid sporting events for betting. The law does specify that bets can’t be placed on sports events involving minors, so no high school football, but almost all other sports may be offered.
The list of sports available in other jurisdictions typically includes:
- Auto Racing
- Mixed Martial Arts
- Track and Field
For the less popular sports, wagers are only offered on major competitions. These might include the Olympic Games, and the World Cup for rugby.
What types of sports bets can I make in Michigan?
Again, the law doesn’t place restrictions on the types of bets that can be placed. Modern technology allows for some quite innovative options. The most popular of these include:
- Moneyline bets —Moneyline bets are the simplest form of bet. You simply bet on which team will win a specific game.
- Totals bets — With a total bet the winners don’t matter. The bet is on the total score of the game. Also called an over-under bet you predict the score of both teams added together. The bookmaker quotes a line and you take either the over or the under.
- Spread bets — In a spread bet you are betting that the gap between one team’s score and their opponents is larger than a specific number. Spread bets act as a type of handicapping so that despite the odds, each team has the same chance of winning. You bet on the team you think has the best chance of beating the spread. If you bet on the favorite and they win by more than the spread, you win. If you bet on the underdog and they lose by less than the spread you win.
- Futures bets — Like all bets, futures bets are about the outcome of an event that has not yet happened. The difference is that futures bets are on events a long way off. A typical futures bet would be to wager on the two teams that will make the Super Bowl, or which team will win the league championships in football.
Some bet types depend on winning several bets in a row
- Parlay bet — A parlay bet links together several individual bets. In a typical parlay, you select the winner of several games that will be decided on the same day. You have to get every game correct to win your bet. Multiple legs to a parlay mean the odds of winning can get very long. On the other hand parlay bets allow you to win a lot of cash for a small initial wager.
- Round Robin — Just like a parlay chains together several simple bets, a round robin links together several parlay bets. First you create a list of the teams you choose for your parlays. Then you choose how many legs you want each parlay to have. If you choose eight teams for your round robin list and select three leg parlays, you are making bets on all possible combinations of three teams from the total of eight. Each combination is treated as a separate parlay bet, and within the round robin, your winnings are calculated independently. Unlike a parlay, you don’t have to win every leg of the Round Robin to win. If one of your combinations wins, you get paid those winnings regardless of what happens in your other parlays.
- Teaser — A teaser bet is like a parlay but the legs of the bet are restricted to totals bets or spread bets. The advantage is that the bettor can adjust the points spread or over/under a certain number of points. This reduces the odds, making the bet easier to win, but the pay-off is lower or vice versa.
In-game wagering & In-play bets
Legal state-regulated sports betting sites get access to real time sports data that means they can offer bets even after a game has started.
With in-game bets you don’t have to pick the winner before the game starts, you can wait and see how the teams perform before placing your bet.
As the game progresses, the sports betting operator can see what impact play has had on possible outcomes—in other words, the odds change as the game progresses. They can offer odds almost instantaneously on outcomes whose probability has changed since the game began.
If you have bet on one team to win and the play is going against them, then you can place an in-game bet to protect your losses.
Other in-game bets available might be on the score at the end of a half or which player will score the most.
Needless to say, these bets make watching games a lot more exciting and have become enormously popular wherever they are legal. You can end up caring about the performance of some player or team that no one else notices, so it can feel like a very lonely bet.
Will Michigan allow bets to be cashed out early?
One further advantage of the real-time data is that operators can now offer to cash out your bet before the final outcome is known. They can use their knowledge of how the probability of you winning has changed since the game began to offer price for you to close your bet early.
Of course you pay a fee for this service. Nevertheless, it can avoid much heartache to cash out a winning bet before the opposing team makes a miracle recovery in the final quarter.
What companies will be offering sports betting?
Of the remaining companies that have not been terribly active in Michigan yet, there are a few that are likely to show up, at some point.
- Golden Nugget
All three companies are still fighting for approval from the licensing board and should hear an answer before long.
Michigan sports betting allows live and mobile sports betting
Michigan bit the bullet and authorized both live and online sports betting. This might seem like a no-brainer, but in some states like New York, only live sports betting is allowed.
If legislators had decided to forego Michigan online betting, they would have made a big mistake. Without online, there is a much smaller incentive for bettors to abandon their offshore betting sites and return to the legal environment. State gambling tax revenues would be much lower and customer protections almost absent. State regulation of sports betting allows for provisions to help protect punters against problem gambling.
The casinos offering sports betting online are restricted to offering only one brand each. However, sufficient numbers of tribal casinos are likely to enter the market so that there should be a wide choice of brands for sports bettors to use.
That makes for competitive odds, lots of new customer promotions and a much healthier commercial environment.
Legal sports betting apps in Michigan
Michigan has followed the example of other states with licensed casinos and restricted sports betting to its licencees.
There are only three state licensed casinos, all of them in Detroit. All are luxury high end casinos offering an experience that would not be out of place in Las Vegas. It is likely that sports betting will begin first at the casinos and then go online a short time later. That’s how it worked in Pennsylvania which is managing gaming in a similar way to Michigan.
Not all tribal casinos are likely to offer a Michigan sport betting app or get into internet gambling, but enough will to provide serious competition to Detroit.
The Detroit casinos will all be in the market. They are:
William Hill Sportsbook & Greektown Casino Hotel
The Greektown Casino Hotel is a 30 story building containing 100,000 square feet of gaming space. The 344 foot high building includes a 400 bedroom hotel and a huge conference center.
The buildings are owned by Vici Properties. Penn National paid Vici $300 million to operate the casino business plus another $56 million a year in rent.
Penn National already has sports betting at several of its properties in other states. It has several sports betting partners, but Michigan law proposes to allow only one brand partner per casino.
Kambi provides Penn with sports betting technology, but the online brand Greektown will use will be William Hill.
BetMGM Sportsbook & MGM Grand Detroit
The MGM Grand Casino in Detroit turned 20 years old in July last year. When it opened in 1999 it boasted that it was the first luxury casino resort hotel outside Las Vegas.
Like Greektown, the MGM Grand has 100,000 square feet of casino space. That’s enough for 3,500 slots as well as casino game spaces. The resort includes 401 bedrooms and a 30,000 square foot conference area.
Owners MGM aim to be active in every possible state sports betting market, including Michigan. To this end they have struck a strategic partnership with British company GVC. GVC may be familiar through some of its brands, Sportingbet and PartyPoker.
The two companies have a joint venture called Roar Digital. Roar will use the playMGM and betMGM brands for sports betting and casino games. As Michigan has legalized online poker, PartyPoker will soon return to the state.
The enthusiasm for MGM’s sports betting ambitions is set out by the fact that the Grand already has a sports betting lounge.
The Moneyline Sports Lounge is close to the hotel valet entrance, opposite the TAP restaurant. The room is non-smoking and open to anyone 21 and over. The Moneyline features a 60-foot wide screen, which can show one game or multiple games at the same time.
FanDuel Sportsbook & MotorCity Casino Hotel
The Motorcity Casino Hotel is a luxury casino resort on Grand River Avenue in Detroit. The business is owned by Marian Ilitch of IH Gaming (Detroit Entertainment, LLC).
She and her late husband founded Little Caesars Pizza and as could be expected, there’s a branch in the casino’s restaurant area.
The resort also has 100,000 square feet of casino space, but there are fewer slots than at the MGM Grand. Nevertheless, 2,800 slots should provide enough variety for every taste. 59 table games are available as well as two poker rooms.
The Greektown has plans for a new sports lounge. Customers can expect large banks of monitors displaying the latest betting info as well as live games. VIP areas, a bar and luxury seating are a guaranteed to be features.
Sports betting at Michigan Tribal Casinos
There are 12 Native American gaming tribes in Michigan operating a total of 23 licensed casinos.
Not all the casinos are likely to offer sports betting but there is scope for quite a few to offer online sports betting, casino and poker.
Some have already begun negotiations with sports betting providers and two deals have already been announced.
The Lac Vieux Desert (LVD) Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians has a struck a 20 year deal with PointsBet. Australian company PointsBet has deals with casinos giving it access to 10 states. It has operations up and running in New Jersey and Iowa with an Indiana launch next on its schedule.
The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians has a deal with The Stars Group which will operate under its FoxBet brand in Michigan. Interestingly Stars thought it had Michigan market access sewn up after striking a deal with Penn National. That deal gave Stars the rights to use a second skin for Penn’s Greektown Casino. Unfortunately the new law only allows one brand or skin per licensee, so Stars had to find another partner for its Michigan ambitions.
What other forms of internet gambling will be available in Michigan?
Michigan’s new laws are not just good news for sports fans. Online poker, online casino and online fantasy sports will all also be available. Online lottery is already available and the new laws restrict lottery games to the lottery and casinos may not offer them.
The wide variety of gambling is a sensible choice for Michigan. One of the problems highlighted by the regulator in France is that any internet gambling system that fails to offer a wide choice of games leaves a space for the black market.
Players and bettors who can only get their main game at an offshore site, take all their business offshore. On the other hand, if the legal system offers the games players want, then they have no reason not to switch.
Online poker players will get PokerStars and PartyPoker. Other brands like the WSOP and 888 are almost certain to join the market.
Online casino and slots players will soon find thousands of new slot titles and tens of varieties of table games to choose from.
Where will Michigan gambling tax revenues go?
Michigan’s gambling taxes are largely hypothecated to specific government services.
- 30 percent of gambling taxes go to the city in which the licensed casino is located. This is for use in:
“(i) The hiring, training, and deployment of street patrol officers in that city.
(ii) Neighborhood development programs designed to create jobs in that city with a focus on blighted neighborhoods.
(iii) Public safety programs such as emergency medical services, fire department programs, and street lighting in that city.
(iv) Anti-gang and youth development programs in that city.
(v) Other programs that are designed to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life in that city.
(vi) Relief to the taxpayers of the city from 1 or more taxes or fees imposed by the city.
(vii) The costs of capital improvements in that city.
(viii) Road repairs and improvements in that city.”
- The next 65 percent of revenues goes to the state fund.
- The final 5 percent goes to the Michigan agriculture equine industry development fund.
Of the 30 percent going to central state funds, $500,000 will go to the compulsive gaming prevention fund. A full $2 million goes to a fund to support first responders who have been injured.
All remaining funds, after administrative expenses go directly to the state school aid fund to be spent on education.
All in all, it’s a good time to be a sports bettor in Michigan. The state’s new sportsbooks are hungry for every new player and have plenty of incentives to draw you in. There are few things more exciting than seeing things for gambling starting to come together. It’s great to think that they are finally happening in Michiga.