Michigan gambling laws are slowly changing in favor of betting. So, if you’re looking to get into Michigan sports betting, read on for a guide on what to expect.
Legal MI Sports Betting
At first, it looked like MI sports betting wasn’t going be legal any time soon. Michigan is notoriously strict on gambling and tends to prosecute illegal gambling operators heavily.
However, House Bill 4926, which made it to the governor’s desk in 2018, allows provisions for sports betting.
Unfortunately, Governor Rick Snyder shot it down in one of his last acts as governor. Belying his knowledge on the subject, he believed it would “encourage gambling” – despite legalizing online lottery games in 2013.
Luckily, it’s not all bad news. There's evidence that Gretchen Whitmer, the current MI governor, is likely to pass HB 4926. Michigan sports gambling would be a huge boon to the local economy, and lawmakers know it.
Plus, BetAmerica is already taking online horse racing bets for folks 18+ in Michigan, offering great promotions and bonuses.
That said, sports and casino betting will be 21+ when legalized. Simply, the structure is in place for Michigan online sports betting. All that's left is to pass the house with the governor’s approval.
What to Expect When Michigan Sportsbooks Go Live
If you take a look at what sportsbooks have offered in other states, you’re in for a treat. Sportsbooks all over the country are offering their players some great promotions and bonuses, and in many cases have iOS and Android apps.
Android users can typically find apps for their favorite casinos and sportsbooks on the operator’s website, as Google Play strictly doesn’t allow real-money gambling apps.
When Michigan sports gambling finally goes fully legal, check back here for comprehensive looks at the best Michigan sportsbooks, operators, promotions, apps, and more. For now, the only legal online betting you can do as an 18-year-old in Michigan is either to play the ponies on TVG or to play scratch games and daily picks on the Michigan Lottery.
However, as there is already a state-based system in place to handle gambling, it’s only a matter of time before we see Michigan online sports betting.
Bet on Sports in MI
BetAmerica is the only operator performing Michigan online sports betting of any kind. However, right now they only offer legal online bets for horse racing. Remember, you’ve got to be 18+ and physically in Michigan to play.
Using BetAmerica as a benchmark, we expect Michigan sports gambling to cover everything from NCAA football to the NBA to NASCAR. BetAmerica even offers MMA betting to its users in NJ. So, when Michigan sportsbooks finally do become 100% legal, we expect all of your favorite sports to be covered.
Which Casinos will Offer Michigan Sports Betting?
As far as we can tell, commercial casinos like the MGM Grand Detroit or the Greektown Casino Hotel will be among the first to offer MI sports betting. This includes both online or at a physical sportsbook.
Naturally, MGM has the clear upper-hand in terms of experience. However, other commercial casinos in Michigan should have no problem implementing an online gaming experience.
FireKeepers casino and Island Resorts also have great brick-and-mortar destinations with celebrated customer service. Look for their online operators as soon as law changes open up the market.
Tribal casinos don’t seem to yet offer any kind of online experience in Michigan or elsewhere. This may be due to the precedent set by US Judge Anthony Battaglia of California. He ruled in 2015 that online games offered by the Iipay Nation were in violation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.
Laws are quick to change, though. HB 4926 has a provision allowing online casino games for all casinos in Michigan, tribal or otherwise. That said, similar cases in states like Iowa have gone the opposite way. There, judges decided that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 allows tribes to conduct gambling on their land without federal approval.
As such, it seems the tide is turning for US legal gambling, and Michigan sports gambling may be soon to follow.
We also expect BetAmerica to be one of the first online operators to offer MI sports betting. They’re running some pretty great promotions on a regular basis, including a deposit match bonus of up to $100 and a calendar of new promotions every month!
Michigan Sports Betting – Final Thoughts
Making sense of the back and forth legal battles between Michigan lawmakers and the governor was a challenge under Snyder. Now, the Michigan House is ready to pass bills under a new governor. Thus, we expect that 2019 will be a new chapter in the book of Michigan sports gambling.