Michigan Sports Betting

  • It’s legal! Casinos are now looking to partner sportsbooks.
  • Michigan Gambling Commission is preparing timetable for operationalization. To Be Confirmed and will take time.
  • Minimum age is 21.
  • In the state of Michigan, we anticipate an amount of $185.1m to be wagered in the year 2020 (as per H2 Gambling Capital, H2GC.com)

Top 3 Michigan Sportsbook Online

  1. Bovada
  2. MyBookie
  3. BetOnline

Sports Betting Legality

During December 2019 the Michigan State House proposed 9 bills which were passed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. This was a historical moment, since prior to this, several attempts to legalize sports betting were unsuccessful.

The passing of the 9 bills included online gambling, which means both sports betting AND online gambling are now legal.

The law that governs all forms of gambling, the “Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act of 1996” has now been amended to formally recognize sports betting and online gambling as legal.

The distribution channels of sports betting has been legalized for mobile betting and in-person betting.


Michigan Online Sports Betting

With the advent of the 9 bills being passed in December 2019, online sports betting is now legal. Online sports betting is permitted and will be regulated and governed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB).

No time frame has been set yet by the MGCB as to when online sports betting will become available.


Michigan Sports Betting Apps

With the advent of the 9 bills being passed in December 2019, mobile sports betting apps are now legal. Sports betting apps are permitted and will be regulated and governed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

This is great news for sports bettors, because if given the choice, the preferred option is placing a bet via a mobile app rather than in-person.

Michigan sports betting apps must be geo-tagged, meaning that the GPS and data connection tracking functionalities must be enabled. It is by law that only players that are physically within the borders of Michigan will be permitted to place a bet. Therefore, in order to ensure that the player is within Michigan the geo-tagging must be active.

I know you now must be thinking of ways to hack the system. How to trick the GPS, create a private VPN and other tricky ways of deceiving the Geo-tagging system. Well guess what, it’s impossible. Players from New York have been attempting every way imaginable to hack it but no one has yet to crack it. So don’t even try.

No time frame has been set yet by the MGCB as to when online sports betting will become available.


Michigan Sports Betting Locations

Once operational, you will be able to place a sports bet online or via a mobile sports betting app.

You will also be permitted to place an in person bet at licensed commercial and tribal casinos and racing tracks.

There are 3 licensed commercial casinos which all located in Detroit.

The three Detroit casinos are:

  • Greektown Casino,
  • MGM Grand, and
  • Motor City Casino.

Greektown Casino

555 E Lafayette St, Detroit, Michigan

Located in the hub of Detroit is this grand casino and hotel, that blends the old with the new. The hotel is a monumental sky scraper – contemporary grand and unbelievably high! The hotel has over 400 rooms spanning across 30 floors. When viewed from the outside, whether day or night, the unique architectural design truly makes Greektown Casino stand out from afar.

The casino on the bottom floors of the hotel maintain the facade of the historic classic early 1900’s, with an expansive gambling floor over 100,000 sq feet within. The gaming on offer is truly comprehensive, providing slot machines, casino table games and live poker.

Slot Machines – they’ve got them all. From the classic to the contemporary, with comfortable leather seats, some offering plug in chargers. Non smokers, take note, you may find that there are limited slot machines in the non smoking area.

Casino Table Games – tell me the game you want to play, and I will say yes they got it. They got:

  • blackjack
  • poker
  • roulette
  • craps
  • baccarat
  • pai gow poker
  • three card poker
  • plenty of poker rooms
  • and a whole lot more.

Poker Room – If you are looking for serious fun, then you need to come to the poker room to play live poker. Not only will you enjoy playing against other players, you will be in comfort, surrounded by TV’s, complimentary drinks and waiters as your service.


MGM Grand Detroit

1777 3rd Ave, Detroit, Michigan

MGM Grand in Detroit is aptly named, because it is G.R.A.N.D – GRAND! Towering over 30 storey’s high, featuring over 400 rooms, the hotel is massive and glamourous. It has it all, from the spas, pool, gym and fine dining. You will be pampered beyond belief.

In addition to the accommodation, you will be spoilt with gaming action.

Slot Machines – there are over 3,000 slot machines, with the sound of jackpots ringing out all the time. Yes, the slots can seem tight for some, but there are those lucky winners that will come up trump. They have a good mixture of slot machines from the low denomination through to the high.

Casino Table Games – MGM Grand Detroit is a smoke free dream. Their ventilation system is state of the art and can’t be beaten for freshness. There are over 150 tables to play out, with a massive range of games.

Bad Beat JackpotFour Card PokerPerfect Pairs BlackjackTri-Lux Blackjack
Big SixFree Bet BlackjackPai Gow PokerTwo Way Monte
BlackjackHigh Card FlushRouletteUltimate Texas Hold ‘Em Poker
CrapsHigh Tie BlackjackSingle Zero Roulette
Criss Cross PokerLet it Ride PokerSpanish 21
BaccaratMississippi Stud PokerThree Card Poker

Sports Bar – The new sports bar – or lounge as MGM likes to call it – is now officially open. And it is huge! Over 60 TV’s, fantastic seating, a great selection of local craft beers. Excellent comfort food to dine with while you enjoy the sport. It will be pricey as you are in one of the most up market hotels in Detroit.

Soon to be available, once the Michigan Gaming Control Board issues licenses, will be sports betting kiosks, terminals and windows.


Motor City Casino Hotel

2901 Grand River Ave, Detroit, Michigan

Conveniently located at only a 10 minute walk to the Detroit Tigers home ground at Comerica Park. Over 300 luxurious rooms, 33 beautiful spacious suites, it is well worth it to stay at the newest of the three casinos in downtown Detroit. Maybe a little pricey, but you truly get what you pay for. They have a spa and fitness center, but no pool. All areas of the hotel are non smoking, with the exception of the casino floor where smoking is permitted.

The gaming selection isn’t as expansive as the other two Detroit casinos, but they still offer nearly 3,000 slots, 60 gaming tables and poker rooms.

Plenty of fine dining to be had, although some have complained that there isn’t enough variety to choose from. Perhaps picking at fine straws in my opinion.

Overall, a fantastic casino and hotel to come to, but be aware it may be expensive.


Firekeepers Casino Hotel

11177 E Michigan Ave, Battle Creek, Michigan

Firekeepers Casino Hotel has prepared their venue to attract sports bettors through renovating and creating a sports entertainment center. With a separate entrance to the casino, the sports center has created sports betting windows to accept and process bets.

In addition, Firekeepers have prepared electronic kiosks to also cater for younger players that prefer digital betting. These kiosks are terminals whereby a player can tap the screen to select different types of bets. Once selected they can print out a betting ticket.

Firekeepers is also developing an “all in one” app that connects players to casino games and sports betting odds. This app must be geo-tagged as required by law.


Tribal Casinos Sports Betting

Initially there was a reluctance for the support of tribal casinos to legalize sports betting. There were several concerns. One of them was that legalizing sports betting would erode the revenue at tribal casinos. How? By players attending to big sports betting venues run by the three commercial casinos in Detroit.

It was argued that, sports betting would not erode casino revenue, and that tribal casinos would also be able to offer sports betting. Hence, after lengthy debate, tribal casinos began to support the legalization of sports betting.

12 Michigan tribes have now signed an agreement with the State, placing 24 tribal casinos ready for launching sports betting


What is driving the legalization of Sports betting and online gaming?

A new Ontario casino is being built in Canada which is only an hours drive from the borders of Michigan. Michigan State politicians are concerned that players will transfer their gaming cross border Canada. As a result, fast tracking the legalization of sports betting and online gambling in Michigan is the goal in preventing losing players to Ontario, Canada.


Michigan Sportsbook Taxes and Licensing

  • Sports betting revenue is taxed at 8.4%
  • Detroit casinos pay an additional city tax of 1.25%

Sportsbooks can only have one online betting platform with each license costing $200,000.


Overview of Michigan Sports Bars

Michigan has plenty of sports bars that have quality sport viewing screens, cold ice beer and easy to eat comfort food. We cannot cover them all, but provide a review of the most popular ones for you.

Sports Bars in Michigan

Hockeytown Cafe

2301 Woodward Ave, Detroit, Michigan

Consistency is lacking for this bar, but it’s very popular because it is homage to the Red Wings. The entire bar is covered with Red Wings memorabilia and other Detroit teams, so if you are a huge hockey fan you will love this joint. Watch the games and drink the beer, but if it’s food that you are after then it can be a hit and miss. Sometimes, it will be great, sometimes it will be a bit rough on the palate. Service can also be a bit hit and miss as well, obviously a lot of staff turnover, and because it can become particularly busy mistakes will happen. But if you are willing to put up with this for the hockey, then it is great!

Harry’s

2482 Clifford St, Detroit, Michigan

If you are looking for a pre and post game sports bar, then it’s got to be Harry’s. Cannot be any more convenient, with free parking if you arrive early, it’s just around the corner from Little Ceasers Arena. It can get very busy, so be patient with the service, and of course, the prices can be towards the high side for some menu items. The food is excellent, comes out quickly, and staff are friendly and professional. Great to go to for pre-game social warm ups, or post game celebrations (except if you are a Red Wing fan).

Nemo’s Bar

1384 Michigan Ave, Detroit, Michigan

This place is a classic. Embedded with history, just by looking from the facade you can tell it’s been around for a LONG time. So don’t expect a hipster, trendy niche theme, or the upmarket high techy corporate Money ball style, this is classic grandeur. The food is your typical burgers, beers and stock standard. This place is a favorite because there is a shuttle bus to take you straight to the Red Wings, Pistons, Lions and Tigers games. An excellent joint to get ready from some sport action!

Big 10 Sports Bar & Grill

1157 Quinnesec Ave, Quinnesec, Michigan

An out of town review, this is the best local sports bars in Quinnesec, Michigan. Super friendly bar tenders, great service from the waiters and waitresses. The food is simply delicious. Try the fish fry, it will blow your mind away. Of This is one of the best places I can recommend for the food and bar environment. The service is great and everyone is super friendly. Plenty of TV’s to watch all your games.


Popular Michigan Sport Bets

For the locals there are many professional and college local teams. They include:

Sports Betting Detroit Pistons (NBA)

Back in the hey day of the 1980s, the Pistons were the bad boys of the league. Led by the super competitive Isiah Thomas, he could tear you up off the dribble, or pull up for the sweet jumper. Notoriously noted for Michael Jordan’s dislike of him, the two did not get along.

The Piston are no longer what they used to be. Blake Griffin, their only super star, who is aging quickly and currently injured, can only do some much. Place a bet on the Pistons to win, but you gotta pick the right games obviously.

Sports Betting Detroit Tigers (MLB)

The Detroit Tigers were a massive flop for the 2019. Recording the second worst win to loss record in the history of the franchise, there isn’t much joy to be written about. The entire coaching staff has been touted to remain as is for the coming new season, which seems strange given how poorly they performed in 2019. A huge rebuild is needed to get the team back into winning ways and for that occur there should be a clean out of not only players but coaching staff as well. Don’t bet your real money that they will be winning too soon.

Sports Betting Detroit Red Wings (NHL)

If you want to bet on an underdog then you can’t go past the Detroit Red Wings. They are currently last on the table in the Eastern Conference of the 2019/2020 season and are are throwing games away. A poor mix of youth and aged twilight year players is very much the catalyst for throwing games away this year. Don’t bet on them to win, even the chance of an upset is highly unlikely. Tanking is common with teams with losing records, but the Red Wings have taken it to another level. They stink!

Sports Betting Michigan Wolverines (NCAA)

The Michigan Wolves represent the University of Michigan. They compete in the Big 10 Conference in Div I of the NCAA and have had long standing history of producing elite NBA players. Some you may have heard of I.e. Juan Howard (also the current coach) Chris Webber (Sports Analyst) and Jalen Rose (Sports Analyst).

The names I mentioned also formed the hisotric 1991 Michigan team with the moniker the Fab Five. The Fab Five were extremely competitive and reached the playoffs of the NCAA, however their claim to fame were the baggy shorts down past their knees, and a scandal which saw all five players reputations brought into disrepute.

The Wolves have won the NCAA title once. Each year that play consistent and hard and rank within the top 10 of college teams.

Sports Betting Detroit Lions (NFL)

The Detroit Lions are one of the best teams in the NFL competing in the NFC North division.

Although they are very competitive, it has been a long time between drinks, having won four NFL championships back in the 1950’s. Their drought of championship titles is the second longest, behind the Louisiana Cardinals.


Horse Racing and Betting

Northville Downs

301 S Center St, Northville, Michigan

Horse racing is an industry that is dying across many US States. Yes, there are some that are bucking in the trend and growing in popularity but most of suffering from a decline in interest and profitability. Michigan, unfortunately falls into the latter category, with its last remaining horse track at Northville Downs at the edge of closing down.

Northville Downs may need to relocate, however its long term viability is in question. Many blame the downturn when the big three Detroit casinos came into existence. Players turning away from horse betting and rushing to the big city lights of MGM Grand, Motor City and Greektown.

Contributing to the downfall of the horse racing and betting industry in Michigan has been the slowly growing yet strong voice of animal activists. Many now do not agree with the animal cruelty that racing inflicts on horses. And this has also had an influence on the popularity of horse racing.


Slot Machines in Michigan

You will find slot machines available at all the casinos in Michigan. They range from the most sophisticated with smart phone chargers, leather seats, auto reserve and service callers, to the traditional classic plain vanilla one arm bandits reels.

Pay outs at the three commercial casinos in Detroit are capped by law, however the slot machines at the native American casinos are free to be set by the tribes themselves. Pay out ratios of the native American casinos are unknown as they are not required to be disclosed to the public.

Owning a Slot Machine

Owning a slot machine is permitted for private use only if the following conditions are met.

Firstly, the slot machine must be at least 25 years or older. The intention is that slot machines are to be for collectors, i.e. as a hobby, and therefore a new slot machine should not be considered as a collector’s item.

Secondly, the slot machine cannot be used for gambling purposes for the owner to profit from. Should it be used in the form of profiteering through gambling, fines may be imposed.


Michigan Bordering States

Ohio | Wisconsin | Illinois | Indiana | Minnesota