The state of Michigan has been a tiny bit sloth-like in jumping on the US legal sports betting bandwagon. Despite sports betting being legal in the US since 2018, Michigan took a whole year before it legalized sports betting in the state. Even then it was not until March 2020 that a retail sports book opened its doors within the Great Lakes State, and then not until January 2021 that online Michigan sports betting was made available.
Having said that, Michigan has set some of the friendliest laws surrounding legal sports betting anywhere in the US. Usually, sports books have to be partnered with well-established gambling brands in the real world; usually those associated with commercial Michigan casinos and racetracks. A small percentage of Michiganders are Native American, and they mostly reside on one of the state’s five Indian reservations. Four of these reservations are home to tribal casinos, and online betting firms have been allowed to team up with these casinos in order to acquire the necessary licensing.
Within one month of sports betting being made legal in the state of Michigan, a dozen sports books had opened up in the state. Most were names that people all over the US were well aware of, such as FanDuel and DraftKings, but others were smaller operators like Four Winds and Soaring Eagle.
You can learn much more about legal sports betting Michigan online sites by keeping on reading, right here.
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It has to be said that Michigan is playing catch-up a little when it comes to sports betting. When sports betting Michigan was legalized in early 2019 it was thought – like with other states – that online sports betting would be up and running faster than Barry Sanders in his heyday. Unfortunately, that is not how things turned out and it took a whole ten months before people in MI could use legal sports books online.
This was not all bad news though – the sports books in Michigan that wanted to start up online had plenty of time in which to get their affairs in order, and all of them did. When they were finally given the green light in January 2021 they were poised and ready, and suddenly Michigan sports bettors had over a dozen sports books online up and ready to use, seemingly overnight!
Picking one (or a couple) from a dozen is no easy task, as some sports books are obviously a grand slam, while others are an easy infield fly-ball catch with the bases loaded. But which are which? Here is how we at Safe Betting Sites separate the winners from the losers …
Just think, as we entered 2021 there were zero online sports books available to sports bettors in Michigan. Just one month later there were a dozen! If you want to find the best sports book available to you in Michigan, do you have to go around and sign up with every one?
The answer is “no!” as here at Safe Betting Sites we have performed the due diligence for you! We’ve signed up for an account at every sports book that’s available to the good people of the Great Lakes State, placed sports bets, used support and generally had a poke around. After a coffee and a bagel, we sat down and listed those sites in order of goodness and greatness, just for you!
If you want a good place to commence your online sports betting in MI experience, then the five sports book listed below are a great place to start!
The biggest online sports betting Michigan brand is also the biggest sports betting brand in the United States. Although DraftKings has been around since 2012, it’s only since 2018 that it ventured into sports betting and 2021 into online sports betting in Michigan.
DraftKings was well prepared for the arrival of online sports betting in Michigan, having signed a deal with the Bay Mills Resort and Casino in Brimley in the north of the state in June 2020. Of course, this betting behemoth had to endure the long wait before online Michigan sports betting was officially given the go ahead in January 2021. DraftKings is a superb brand and deserves to be regarded as the number one sports betting site in Michigan.
What we like:
What we don’t:
DraftKings is number one both in the US and Michigan but in both cases, the FanDuel sports book is not far behind. Just like DraftKings, FanDuel began life as a fantasy sports site but unlike DraftKings, they concentrated on daily fantasy sports rather than longer term.
The sports betting division of FanDuel is actually owned by Flutter Entertainment who also own one of Europe’s largest sports betting operator sites, PaddyPower. Like most other sports books the FanDuel sports book came online in Michigan in January 2021. Also like most other sports books, FanDuel were well-prepared for the regulatory changes that would permit online sports betting Michigan, having signed a deal with the MotorCity Casino Hotel in March 2020.
The final place on the Michigan sports betting podium goes to PointsBet. This online sports book came online in Michigan in (you’ve guessed it!) January 2021, making Michigan the sixth state into which PointsBet has ventured – following New Jersey, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois and Colorado.
PointsBet is one of the few online sports betting sites in the US that is not actually based in America. The company is owned and operated in Australia and was originally created with the hope of broadening the appeal of points spread betting to Aussies. The company’s success made them decide to move into the country where spread betting was already extremely popular – the US!
PointsBet is partnered with the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa indians, who own and operate the Northern Waters Casino Resort in Watersmeet, Michigan. This deal was struck in the first week of 2020, and the PointsBet sports betting site in Michigan went online a week or so later.
BetRivers is a unique US sports betting brand that has already had plenty of success in the States in the Midwest region, and decided to move to the north and Michigan in 2020. Although BetRivers has primarily seen most of its success in Indiana and Iowa, the company is actually based in Illinois – or at least its parent company Rush Steet Interactive is.
BetRivers’ Michigan partner is the Little River Casino Resort in Manistee. The deal between BetRivers and Little River was finalized for the commencement of online betting at the BetRivers sports book on Friday, January 22.
BetRivers is a relatively new name in Michigan, but that’s because of the rules concerning Michigan sports betting. Rush Street Interactive own BetRivers and the SugarHouse sports book but are forbidden by law to operate two different sports betting brands in Michigan. Rush Street have chosen to rebrand most of its SugarHouse branding to BetRivers in order to prevent regulatory issues.
WynnBET are one of the new brands online in the US although they have plenty of gambling history. They are the sports book arm of Wynn Resorts, a company founded by Steve Wynn in 2002. There are Wynn Resorts and Casinos in Everett in Massachusetts, the Cotai Strip in Macau and – most famously of all – the Las Vegas Strip.
While WynnBET has no direct physical presence in Michigan, it does have an Michigan online gambling one. Wynn Resorts has signed up with the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians in the upper peninsula of Michigan. Wynn Resorts signed an agreement with GAN who already had an agreement with the Sault Tribe, who run the Kewadin Casino brand that operates five commercial casinos across the state. GAN are the number one iGaming operator in the US.
WynnBET arrived on the Michigan online sports betting scene on the same day as most other online sports books – January 22. They have already become one of the top five online sports books available to sports bettors in Michigan.
Sports betting is Michigan is perfectly, 100 percent legal as long as it is done at a legal, state-registered sports betting sites. Legal sports betting came to Michigan in December 2019 when Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed into law the Lawful Sports Betting Act. Initially, the only sports betting Michigan that could be performed in the state was at retail sports books and casinos.
It took a few months before online sports betting could be performed online in Michigan, though. The Michigan Gaming Control Board paved the way for online sports betting to become legitimate in Michigan by opening up licensing opportunities for any real world retail sportsbook or Michigan casino in early 2020. The first online sports book bet was made in the state in January of 2021.
Online gambling in Michigan has been available … but not legally …
Many people were puzzled when legal sports betting opened up in Michigan, thinking that the answer to “is sports betting legal in Michigan?” had been ‘yes’ for some time. Offshore betting sites had been available for some time, but while it was not illegal for such sites to offer their services to US citizens, it was illegal for US citizens to use them. Sports bettors who did opened themselves up to the possibility of legal consequences.
Sports bettors in Michigan can now act legally and be kept safe if they wish to partake of sports betting Michigan style. There are several legal sports books, including many online, where sports betting is now perfectly, one hundred percent legal. Punters who are still tempted to use offshore brands do so at their own risk, and it is not recommended that they do. Is online gambling legal in Michigan? The Michigan online gambling bill paved the way for all forms of gambling to be made legal in Michigan, and not just sports betting. Thanks to the MI online gambling bill, people in Michigan can now also play at online casinos, as long as the casino is tied to a real-world gambling establishment such as a Michigan casino.
At the time of writing, online sports betting is still in the embryonic stage in Michigan. Unlike other states, it took a long time for the legal beagles in Michigan to decide on how they were going to monitor and control online sports betting in the state. They finally made their minds up in January 2021, paving the way for nine well-prepared establishments to spring into online gambling in Michigan action.
One thing that Michigan has in common though with all other states where online sports betting is permitted is that online sports betting sites must be provided by real world retailers. Unlike, say, the UK, a sports betting site cannot just set itself up and exist online – in Michigan it must have a licensed brick and mortar partner.
Sports books had plenty of time to prepare due to a delayed legal process
Many sports books were well prepared for online sports betting in Michigan to be made legal – mainly because they had to wait almost a full year after online gambling in Michigan declared legal before Michigan sports betting online was rubber-stamped as legal.
Below is a complete list of the sports books online in Michigan, and their state-approved partners.
Imagine the first time you tried a new eating place in Detroit your server arrived with your main, sides and a bonus freebie portion of fries! Well, that’s usually just what happens at Michigan online sportsbooks. New players will be offered a bonus if they sign up at a sports book for the first time, and there are many different types.
Below you will find quick details about the main types of bonuses available to lucky sports betting punters at online Michigan sports books:
You get nothing in this life for free, and while that doesn’t quite ring true when it comes to MI sports books bonus offers, it’s not like a sports book is giving you free money. To get the most out of any bonus offered by a sports books, there are terms and conditions that you need to think about. As ‘show’ is better than ‘tell’ we’re going to work through what you need to do when claiming a bonus at the two best sports books in MI, BetMGM and Barstool Sports.
BetMGM Risk-Free Bet up to $600
Your first bet at BetMGM – who are partnered with the MGM Grand Detroit – cannot be a losing one as the sports book has you covered up to $600. That’s $600 of risk-free online gambling in Michigan!
To claim this offer you need of course to sign up for an account at BetMGM. If you already have one then you won’t be able to claim this offer as it’s for new customers only. Deposit a minimum of $10 in your account and you’re good to go.
Place your bet and hope that it’s a winner. If it’s not, then BetMGM will give you back your stake money (up to $600 of it) as a series of free bets. Your free bet cash will be split five ways If your bet is over $50. If lower, you’ll only get back a single free bet.
When you place any free bet, if it’s a winning bet then you will only get back the winnings you have made, and not the free bet stake itself.
Barstool Sports $10 Free Bet and Risk-Free Bet up to $1,000
You only need to sign up at Barstool Sports to grab a $10 bonus – you don’t even have to make a deposit! You can use your windfall to place any single bet at the site, but if it’s a winner you won’t get the stake back, just the winnings.
Barstool – who are partnered with the Greektown Casino in Detroit – will also match your first bet at the site, but only if it loses and ‘only’ up to the maximum amount of $1,000. Your first bet must be a single wager or a single parlay bet with odds or combined odds no longer than -200.
If that first bet wins then all well and good, but if it’s a losing one that Barstool will refund you up to $1,000 (the value of your stake) as site credit.
You only have one more step to go – before your site credit is released you must make bets to the same value using your own money. So, if you got back $200, you would need to place $200 worth of bets (no restrictions) to release your site credit.
Site credit can only be used for betting at the site. It cannot be withdrawn and if it used for a winning bet, then your winnings are returned but not your site credit, which is forfeited.
If you’ve never used a sports book in MI before, then you might want to know how you go about signing up with one. Of course, it goes without saying that you should only sign up with a licensed Michigan sports book. If you are unsure, check the site’s main page and scroll down to the bottom. You should see text in the footer along the lines of ‘regulated by the Michigan Gaming Control Board’. If you are still unsure, you can check with the MGCB itself. ALL the sites mentioned at Safe Betting Sites are registered with their states’ government authorities.
Here is a complete step-by-step process of how to sign up for your account at a Michigan sports book.
Step 1: Choose your sports book
Make your way to the site you are joining – either on the web or via an app downloaded to your mobile device. Of course, it goes without saying you need to be a resident of Michigan to sign up with a legal Michigan sports book. Don’t try to use a VPN as (a) that won’t be legal and (b) it won’t work anyway.
Step 2: Start the process
The first step should be to enter some personal details, such as your name, your residential address and your email address. Do this then move onto the next step.
Step 3: Choose your username and password
You’ll need to pick a username (unless you can use your email address) and a password. Make sure they are easy for you to remember, but hard for anyone else to guess. Avoid obviously easy-to-guess passwords such as ‘password’, ‘12345678’ or your date of birth.
Step 4: Account approval
You’ll need to identify yourself a little bit more than simply supplying your name, address and an email address. The site will need to make sure you are legally entitled to use their services. Once common method used is to ask for the final four digits of your social security number. They can then check that all your details – name, address, date of birth and SSN – are legitimate.
Step 5: Deposit & place bets
If you pass all criteria needed, then your account will be up and ready for you to get up and at them when it comes to sports betting. Register an accepted payments method and shove some dollars into your Michigan sports book account, then, get them parlays on the big games!
You should have no problem finding stuff to bet on in Michigan. Here we go through every common sports betting market available in the state.
The Main Events
As you might expect, people in Michigan get most excited about football, baseball, basketball and hockey. At all of the leading legal Michigan sports books, you’ll find extensive coverage of all four big US leagues. Unlike some other US states, betting on amateur sports is absolutely fine in Michigan, so you can bet on NCAA basketball which is handy for when March Madness swings around.
Beyond the Main Event Horizon
It may not be that popular in Michigan, but soccer is popular in many other states in the US, and it’s unfeasibly popular globally. If you like to bet on the round ball game, then most sports books in MI will cater for you. Expect to see decent coverage too of the ITP and WTA tours, golf, MMA, boxing and NASCAR.
What the Heck Else is There?
Beyond the sports already mentioned, the leading sports books in MI will find time to feature rugby union, rugby league, Aussie rules and Formula 1 on their site. Beyond that, you could find events and tournaments a little hard to uncover but if you must bet on lacrosse, volleyball or handball, there’s bound to be a site that caters for you.
While the rest of the world is warming to eSports (pro video games) the same cannot be said about the US, so wagering options in this category are even more limited.
In-Play betting or live betting is available at legal Michigan sports books, but the opportunities are hugely limited compared to the in-play betting opportunities at, say, European or Asian sports books where you can bet only most aspects of sporitng events that has already started.
The US version of in-play betting simply means betting on the adjusted prices of a game that is in progress. Let’s say, for example, that the Pistons are playing Bulls. At the start of the game the Pistons were at +160, so a $10 bet on them would have won you $16 (or $26, if you include your stake).
However, at half time the Pistons have established a shock 61-43 lead. The Pistons are now at -130, but you can still bet on them to win. Your winnings for a $10 stake would now be $7.69.
Cash Out Betting
With cash out betting, you can cash in a winning bet before an event concludes, although your winnings will be reduced. Let’s say the Lions are beating the Bears 30-27 at the two minute warning, but the Bears are currently ploughing down the field in the search of the tying or winning points. You’d bet $20 on the Lions at +120, meaning if the Lions hold on you’d take back $44 in total. However, you are not confident that the Lions defense will withstand the Bears’ late surge, so you decide to cash out. The sports book offers you odds of -110 to cash out which you take. Your return is therefore $38.18, no matter the final outcome of the game.
Currently, we know of no legal sports books in Michigan that permits cashing out, but that may change in the future.
When it comes to betting in Michigan, most sports books will offer a decent variety of options. The five most popular betting markets are as follows:
Betting on something that will happen in the future as opposed to being tied to a specific single match. Examples of futures bets would be on the Lions to win the Super Bowl, the Tigers to win the World Series or the Pistons to win the NBA Finals. You could also bet on the Red Wings to win the Stanley Cup but … why would you do that?
The simplest bet – bet on one team to win, at the odds given by the site. The underdog is given positive odds (what you would win if you bet £100 on them) and the favorite is given negative odds (what you need to bet if you want to win $100). The odds are used to calculate your returns should your bet be successful.
A number of combined bets in sequence where the winnings of one bet becomes the stake of the next, and so on. It doesn’t matter the order in which the bets are worked out, as the winnings will always be the same no matter the order. Of course, if one part of your parlay fails, then the entire parlay bet fails and you win nothing.
The sports book will set a total number of points, goals or runs for a specific match. You then need to judge whether you think the total given is too high (in which case you bet ‘under’) or too low (in which case you bet ‘over’). Each option will have specific odds identical to moneyline odds.
One team in a contest is given an artificial points boost, while the other is given an artificial points deduction. If you back the boosted team, you add the points on for their final total, and if you back the deducted team, you take the points off. This is designed to testing your online sports betting Michigan skills although the prices offered (usually between -115 and +115) are tight.
Getting those dollars into and out of (when you win!) your sports betting account is no longer the impossibility that it used to be. Below you will find details about the most popular payment methods available to sports bettors in Michigan.
ACH or eChecks
A few of the legal sports books in Michigan will accept a service such as VIP Preferred, which is basically an online checking service. Via the service and other similar services, you can write an electronic version of a check and the money is available immediately.
The service will pass the eCheck to your bank where, eventually it will be cashed (make sure you have sufficient funds in your checking account). You cannot use ACH or eChecks to make withdrawals.
Ewallets, such as PayPal
Personal PayPal accounts are available to use at many online sports books that are legal in Michigan. You simply fund your PayPal account (or use the funds already there) and then move the desired cash from your PayPal account into your sports book account. You can make withdrawals just as easily – you are just moving the money in the opposite direction.
Credit and Debit Cards
The most commonly used credit cards at legal Michigan sportsbooks are those issued by MasterCard and Visa. Some sports books may also accept payments via Discover, American Express and Diner’s Club.
Some fees may be involved when using credit and debit cards, and cards are not typically available to be used for withdrawing money.
As is usual with US-based sports books, each online sports book is paired with a retail sportsbook, usually at a casino or – as is the case in Michigan – with an Indian reservation. If you can get to any of the land-based retail sports books, then you will be able to hand cash over that you can then use online. Your online and real-world account at a specific sports book is one and the same. You can also withdraw cash in person at a retailer too.
Outlets such as CVS and 7-Eleven participate in the PayNearMe scheme. You can give them money and in return they will give you a PayNearMe code. Once you have received your code, you can then access your online sports book account and use the code, transferring the money (less fees) into the cashier. You cannot use PayNearMe for withdrawals.
A handful of the biggest banks in the US jointly operate the BillPay scheme. This scheme allows you to pay bills via your online banking facilities at your bank. You can pay any utility bill, for example. Even if the company you are paying doesn’t accept BillPay your bank will still pay them by sending them a check. You can use BillPay to place funds into your sports betting account, although the service is not available at all sports books and all banks. BillPay cannot be used for making withdrawals.
Online Betting Apps in Michigan are available at practically every sports book that is available in the state. You may be able to use the website online via a browser, but it is probably more functional to download and install an app to your device.
For Apple customers, then means heading to the Apple App Store and searching for the app. Note that because of Apple’s geolocking and for legal reasons, you will only be able to download the Michigan sports book app for any sports book that is legal in Michigan if you are resident in the state.
Google Play does not host even legal sports betting apps
There’s no geolocking when it comes to the Android side of things, but don’t go hunting around Google Play for the sports book app you are looking for, as you simply will not find it. Google does not host gambling apps (even regulatory Michigan online gambling apps) at Google Play, even if the sports book is legal. To get around this, head to the sports book of your choice on your device – you should be prompted to download a bespoke sports book app, which you should then install on your Android-based phone or tablet.
The full functionality of the web-based site will be available via the app, including the facility to place any bets you so wish, and to manage deposits and withdrawals.
As we have mentioned a few times, online sports betting in Michigan has only been available since January 2021. Unlike other states, there have not been many sponsorship deals or partnerships set up between online sports books and Michigan’s pro teams.
Below we take a quick look at any deals that have been struck, or at least the likelihood of such deals happening.
The Tigers have the Motor City Casino & Hotel as one of their corporate sponsors, and that casino resort has a partnership with FanDuel. However, the Tigers became the first MLB side to sign a deal with an online sports book, but that sports book is PointsBet, as opposed to FanDuel.
The multi-year deal allows PointsBet to place advertising at Comerica Park as well as being mentioned in Tigers radio broadcasts. Info about PointsBet is now also included within digital media bearing the Tigers name.
As yet, there have been no deals with the Lions and any legal Michigan sports book. Given the deals signed with many other NFL teams by the likes of DraftKings and FanDuel, some kind of partnership should just be around the corner.
There have been no less than five sports betting deals set up with the Detroit Pistons. The first two deals were struck with FanDuel and Draft Kings, allowing the two companies to advertise within the Little Caesars Arena and across all of the Pistons’ media channels. PointsBet and BetRivers quickly followed suit. The fifth deal is perhaps the most lucrative at all, with partners WynnBET hoping to allow Pistons fans access to in-suite hospitality deals and pop-up experiences.
Okay, so it’s been a while since the Red Wings have been anything close to a successful hockey side, but that doesn’t mean they’ve been ignored when it comes to sports betting sponsorship deals … and they haven’t been as when sports betting launched online PointsBet became the site’s official sports betting partners. As mentioned above, PointsBet also has a deal with the Pistons which is apt, seeing as the Pistons and Red Wings both of course play at the Little Caesars Arena.
There are only four major league teams in Michigan of course, all based in Detroit. Soccer does not have much of an appeal in the state – there is no MLS team although several sides play in the sem-pro NPSL. The university-based Michigan Wolverines are the number one soccer team in the state, but of course as they are varsity-based no Michigan sports betting deals have been struck.
We could find no evidence of deals being struck with sports betting sites beyond those with the Lions, Tigers, Pistons and Red Wings.
It may have taken a little longer than expected following the legalization of sport betting in Michigan, but in January 2021 legal sports betting online in the state has finally arrived. The good news is that because of the delay, all the major sports books in the US could not have been in better shape to unleash their services upon the good sporting betting people resident in the state.
There are currently just over a dozen online sports books in Michigan, but a couple of the ‘big names’ when it comes to sports betting in the United States have not as yet ventured into the Great Lakes State. No doubt they will add Michigan to their list pretty soon, adding more options for Michigan sports betting customers!
Perfectly legal, as long as it is done at a licensed sports betting site. It has been legal since December 2019 but online sports betting has only been legal since January 2021.
Yes. Unlike other states, there are no rules that prevent you from placing wagers on college or amateur sporting contests and events.
Legally, no. If you are a resident of Michigan you can only place bets online at sports books that have been issued with a license by the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
No. Unlike the laws in other countries, a company may only offer ONE sports betting brand in Michigan. All online sportsbooks in Michigan are separate brands.
Again, no. If a company has a sports betting website and offers a mobile app too, then both the site and app must have the same branding.
Not as yet. The Lawful Internet Gaming Act and Lawful Sports Betting Act does say that multi-state deals could be signed to allow residents in one state to use sports betting facilities across state lines, but so far no such multi-state deals have been entered into.
The laws regarding gambling within Indian reservations have long been different from 'normal' legislation, and there are over two dozen legal tribal casinos in Michigan operated by a dozen Native American tribes. It makes sense for sports books without a retail premises to partner with a casino that already exists rather than create their own.
Peter is an experienced iGaming wordsmith who has been working in the industry since 2013. He has written more words on all aspects of iGaming than he cares to remember, and has provided content for many big industry names. When not writing Peter can be found out running or gaming on his Xbox.
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