Online sports betting has come to Michigan. The first Michigan betting apps launched in January 2021 after receiving the approval of state regulators.
State lawmakers legalized mobile sports betting in 2019, and the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) immediately began preparing the way for the state’s first mobile sportsbooks to go live. MGCB duties during that time included drawing up additional regulations, reviewing licensing requests, and giving final launch authorization to licensees.
State law establishes a minimum age of 21 or older to bet online in Michigan. Users may download mobile betting apps for iOS and Android devices from anywhere but must be located within state lines to place wagers. Most Michigan mobile sportsbooks also operate websites that users can visit from any desktop to bet online with no download necessary.
Best Michigan Betting Apps
Mobile sports betting got underway in Michigan on January 22nd, 2021 with the simultaneous launches of ten online sportsbooks. The MGCB estimated at one point that the state’s first betting apps would go live by the end of 2020, but regulators were unable to get everything in place to meet the ambitious timeline. After drawing up the needed regulations and reviewing each operator’s business plan, the MGCB began issuing launch authorizations in early 2021.
Licensed Mobile Betting Apps
The MGCB has authorized ten sportsbooks to launch so far, but additional operators are on the way. The state has issued a total of 15 provisional licenses to date, which means residents’ options will expand even further in the near future.
All Michigan betting apps undergo an extensive vetting process before receiving MGCB approval to offer their services to the public. Only after the MGCB performs system tests, reviews each operator’s internal controls, and more does it give final approval for operators to launch.
Ten mobile betting apps have made it through the approval process and are now live in Michigan:
- William Hill
- Golden Nugget Sports
- Barstool Sportsbook
How Michigan Regulates Mobile Sportsbooks
The Lawful Sports Betting Act establishes the general guidelines under which mobile sportsbooks may operate. Additional regulations (R 432.711 to R 432.77) adopted by the MGCB fill in the details to create an industry that is well-regulated, safe, and responsible.
R 432.731 requires all mobile sportsbooks to use geolocation technology to ensure all customers are physically located within state lines before permitting them to place wagers.
This rule is the reason betting apps ask users for permission to know their location. By law, sportsbooks must not accept wagers from users who decline to share their location.
In some cases, sportsbooks may ask users to turn on Wi-Fi so the embedded geolocation technology can accurately pinpoint their location.
R 432.741 establishes the process by which licensed sports betting providers must resolve customer complaints.
Most notably, the law requires sportsbooks to attempt to resolve all customer complaints. That means sportsbooks may not ignore customer complaints. Sportsbooks must investigate and respond to all complaints within ten days.
Furthermore, if an operator is unable to resolve a user complaint related to customer accounts, the settlement of wagers, or illegal activity, that operator must notify the MGCB of the complaint.
State law also requires sportsbooks to maintain records of all complaints for at least five years.
Age and Identity Verification
R 432.751a orders mobile sportsbooks to verify every customer’s age and identity before permitting them to create accounts and place wagers.
A follow-on rule, R 432.751b, states all personal information collected during identity verification must be kept “in a secure manner approve by the board.”
R 432.755 states sportsbooks must collect the following information, at a minimum, of every customer:
- Legal name and date of birth
- Full Social Security number or just the last four digits of the customer’s SSN
- Phone number and e-mail address
Michigan Mobile Betting Deposits
Michigan regulations authorize mobile sportsbooks to accept a wide variety of deposit methods:
- Credit and debit card
- Cash or cash equivalent at a location approved by the board (such as at the casino)
- Reloadable prepaid gift card (anonymous cards not permitted; card must be issued directly to the user and non-transferrable)
- ACH bank transfer
- Wire transfer
- Promotional credits, winnings, and account adjustments made by the operator
- Any other method approved by the MGCB
State law also requires Michigan sportsbooks to honor withdrawal requests within ten business days unless the operator believes in good faith that the patron acted in a criminal or fraudulent manner.
Legal iOS Betting Apps in Michigan
iPhone and iPad users in Michigan can download iOS betting apps by one of two methods:
- Visit the mobile sportsbook’s website for the appropriate download link
- Search for the sportsbook by name in the App Store
In most cases, users will find it easier to download the betting app by first visiting the website. Some Michigan sportsbook providers have a separate app for each state listed in the App Store, and it is not always clear which is which.
One of the nice things about betting on sports with an iPhone is that the App Store provides an additional layer of vetting. The App Store is extremely selective on which sports betting or gambling apps it will list. Mobile sportsbooks that are not licensed or free to download are not listed in the App Store.
Android Betting Apps in Michigan
Google does not list betting apps in the Play Store, so Android users must download mobile betting apps directly from each sportsbook’s website.
Fortunately, doing so is as easy as visiting a licensed sportsbook’s website and clicking the “download for android” link.
Users may receive a warning at this stage because the app comes from somewhere other than the Google Play Store. Some users may also need to open their device’s settings menu to allow installs from that website.
Michigan Mobile Betting FAQs
Do I have to be a resident to bet online in Michigan?
No. State law only requires that customers be 21 or older and physically present within Michigan borders. Visitors are welcome to bet online when inside Michigan.
Can I access my mobile betting account when not inside Michigan?
Yes. Customers may download mobile betting apps, sign up for accounts, make deposits, view the odds, and request withdrawals from anywhere. The one restriction is customers may not place bets when outside Michigan.
How do I know which mobile betting apps are licensed?
All betting apps listed on this page hold valid Michigan betting licenses. Bettors may also visit the MGCB website for more information on licensees.
Why am I being asked for personal information such as my SSN?
Michigan betting apps are required by law to collect certain information, including the last four digits of every customer’s Social Security number. Sportsbooks must collect this information to verify the identity of every customer and prevent access to minors, people on the self-exclusion list, and other prohibited persons.
How does location verification work?
Under state law, Michigan sportsbooks must confirm the physical location of every customer who wishes to place a wager. Most mobile betting operators contract geolocation out to GeoComply, a company that specializes in location verification.
What responsible gambling controls do MI mobile betting apps provide?
Michigan sports betting regulations require licensed betting operators to provide “easy and obvious” methods to set custom limits on deposits, wager sizes, and playing time.
Where can I find help for problem gambling in Michigan?
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services provides a 24-hour toll-free helpline at 1-800-270-7117. Bettors can read more here.