Legal online casinos and poker sites came to Michigan courtesy of legislation signed into law by Governor Gretchen Whitmer in December 2019. Under the Lawful Internet Gaming Act, Michigan casinos may apply for licenses to offer online gambling to customers who are 21 or older and located within state lines.
The act was implemented over the course of the first year, and the first Michigan online casinos launched in January 2021. Legal Michigan gambling sites may offer a full range of casino games including real money slots, table games, live dealer games, and online poker.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) oversees online gambling throughout the state and is responsible for issuing licenses, implementing the law, and ensuring operators adhere to state regulations.
Legal Online Casinos in Michigan
Each of Michigan’s 23 tribal casinos and three commercial casinos may apply for a license to offer online gambling. That leaves space for up to 26 individual online gambling brands should every land-based casino in the state apply for a license.
Most Michigan casinos choose to partner with name brand third-party operators to run their internet gaming platforms. Major brands such as BetMGM, BetRivers, DraftKings and FanDuel are just a few of the larger companies that have partnered with local casinos for online gambling.
BetMGM Casino Michigan
- Signup offer: $25 no-deposit bonus for signing up
- Welcome bonus: 100% up to $1,000 first deposit bonus
- Bonus code: None needed
- Read more: BetMGM Michigan Review
- Visit: BetMGM.com
BetMGM Casino was among Michigan’s first batch of operators to launch in January 2021. BetRivers Michigan boasts a large slots lineup, progressive jackpot games, traditional table games, and video poker. Promotions are numerous as well, with BetMGM Casino offering a large welcome bonus, a chance to spin the prize wheel for a reward each day, leaderboard races, and frequent short-term promos that change often.
Roar Digital, which is operated as a partnership between MGM Resorts International and GVC Holdings, also operates the BetMGM Sportsbook at the Grand Detroit. BetMGM operates a successful online poker product in New Jersey, but the company has not yet stated when it will bring multiplayer poker to Michigan.
BetRivers Casino Michigan
- Welcome bonus: 100% up to $250 first deposit bonus
- Bonus code: 250MATCH
- Read more: BetRivers Michigan Review
- Visit: mi.betrivers.com
BetRivers, the online gaming arm of land-based casino operator Rush Street Gaming, launched in Michigan in partnership with Little River Casino Resort. Rush Street Gaming is based out of Chicago, which makes BetRivers one of Michigan’s only online casinos headquartered in the USA.
BetRivers Casino comes to Michigan with experience in other states, most notably Pennsylvania, where it offers a large selection of slots and table games to complement its sports betting offerings. In Michigan, BetRivers provides a full contingent of slots and table games that are sortable by game type, software developer, # of paylines, top historical win multiplier, and the minimum to cover all lines.
DraftKings Casino Michigan
- Welcome bonus: 100% up to $1,500 first deposit bonus
- Bonus code: None needed
- Read more: DraftKings Michigan Review
- Visit: DraftKings.com
DraftKings is best known for its daily fantasy and sports betting platforms, but the company also operates a full-featured online casino complete with table games, slots and live dealer games.
Players can access the casino from within the DraftKings Sportsbook app, download a standalone app specifically for the casino, or visit DraftKings.com to play online with no download needed. The DraftKings Casino games library has expanded significantly since the company first entered the online gambling business and now has several hundred games on offer. Gamblers will find a full suite of traditional table games, video poker, and slots plus a lineup of live dealer games streamed in HD video straight out of a private studio in Atlantic City.
- Welcome bonus: Play your first day risk-free (get up to $200 back)
- Bonus code: None needed
- Read more: FanDuel Michigan Review
- Visit: FanDuel.com
Like DraftKings, FanDuel is better known for its sports betting products but also offers online casino games in Michigan and other states where permitted by local law. FanDuel Casino Michigan is limited in game selection compared to some of its rivals, but gamblers will find a decent selection of high quality slots and table games, including blackjack and roulette. Currently, FanDuel Casino does not offer live dealer games.
At this stage, FanDuel Casino feels like more of an add-on to the sportsbook rather than a full-fledged gambling site. Customers who primarily bet on sports will likely find FanDuel Casino adequate for their purposes, but gamblers who are looking for the full casino experience should look elsewhere.
William Hill Casino
- Welcome bonus: Play 24 hours risk-free (get up to $100 back)
- Bonus code: BUSARF
William Hill is partnered with the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians to offer online gambling and sports betting throughout Michigan. WilliamHill.com opened its doors to Michigan residents in January 2021, providing online casino games to customers located anywhere in state lines.
The casino at William Hill is quite limited compared to other options in Michigan – this is another example of a sports-first operator. William Hill customers will find a total of eleven slots by NetEnt (including the progressive jackpot title Divine Fortune) and three table games: blackjack, roulette, and baccarat.
Up until recently, William Hill US has been focused exclusively on sports betting in states where it is active. In a May 2020 update, William Hill revealed it has accelerated development of new casino products for the US market in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which significantly disrupted the company’s core sports betting business.
PointsBet Sportsbook launched online sports betting to Michigan gamblers in January 2021, but the online casino is still a work in progress. In early 2020, PointsBet confirmed via press release that it plans to offer online gambling in addition to sports betting but did not provide a timeline for the launch of its casino games.
How PointsBet Casino will look and function remains to be seen. PointsBet is a known entity when it comes to sports betting, but it does not yet operate an online casino in any other jurisdiction.
However, if the mobile sportsbook is indicative of what’s to come, be ready for a unique online gambling experience. PointsBet is by far the most novel operator in Michigan right now in terms of sports betting and promotional offerings (see our review for details). If its casino follows the same modus operandi, it will be unlike any other Michigan casino.
Barstool Sports Casino
- Welcome bonus: To be announced
- Bonus code: To be announced
In January 2020, Barstool Sports announced it is entering the online gambling and sports betting industries in partnership with Penn National Gaming. Under the agreement, Barstool Sportsbook will be Penn National’s “exclusive gaming partner” for up to 40 years on retail sports betting, online sports betting and online gambling.
Barstool Sportsbook launched its mobile sportsbook on January 22nd, 2021 without casino games. In a press release, Barstool Sportsbook said its “iCasino products will follow shortly thereafter, subject to final regulatory approvals.”
- Welcome bonus: One day risk-free play (get up to $500 back)
- Bonus code: FREEDAY
TwinSpires Casino came to Michigan in early 2021 with a collection of nearly 140 slots and table games. Options include a standard assortment of table games (blackajck, roulette, and three card poker) plus slots and video poker games. Overall, TwinSpires Michigan is a quality but unremarkable online casino.
Golden Nugget Casino
- Welcome bonus: 100% up to $1,000 first deposit bonus
- Bonus code: None needed
Golden Nugget Casino is a name to watch in Michigan as New Jersey’s most successful online casino by a long shot. Golden Nugget’s success in New Jersey is a direct result of its willingness to launch new games regularly, release exclusive titles that cannot be found elsewhere, experiment with new game types, and to offer a constant lineup of promotions to customers.
In Michigan, gamblers will find a collection of about 100 games organized by category:
- Slots: 84
- Steppers: 19
- Table games: 10
- Exclusives: 2
- Jackpots: 2
- Megaways: 5
Golden Nugget operates in Michigan through a partnership agreement with the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, which operates the Ojibwa Casinos in Marquette and Baraga.
- Welcome bonus: 100% up to $1,000 plus 200 free spins
- Bonus code: None needed
WynnBET Casino is the product of luxury casino operator Wynn Resorts and headquartered in Nevada as one of Michigan’s few US-based gambling sites. The WynnBet mobile app and website still looks like a work in progress from a design point of view, but the casino loads quickly and provides more than one hundred games in total covering all the standard offerings: online slots, progressive slots, blackjack, roulette, other table games, and video poker.
PokerStars was one of the first online gaming operators to confirm it is coming to Michigan. In a press release issued in January 2020, PokerStars announced it has an agreement in place with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians to offer online gambling and sports betting in Michigan.
Although better known for its online poker offerings, PokerStars does intend to run a gambling site in Michigan as well. PokerStars already runs online casinos in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and in both states, it offers a medium-sized collection of slots, card and table games, video poker and live dealer games.
Mobile Gambling Apps in Michigan
Most online casinos in Michigan offer gambling apps for iOS and Android devices. Additionally, most Michigan online casinos operate a website that gamblers can visit from any desktop or mobile device to gamble online with no download necessary.
Apple guidelines permit gambling apps to be listed in the App Store if those apps are legal and licensed. Gamblers can find the official app of their preferred online casino by either visiting the casino website from a mobile device for a download link or searching for the casino by name in the App Store.
Google does not allow gambling apps in the Play Store, even if those apps are legal and licensed. However, players can visit the website of a legal online casino to download the app directly. Players may need to adjust their settings to allow the installation of third-party apps, but every online casino provides simple, step-by-step instructions for getting started.
Michigan Online Gambling Law
The Lawful Internet Gaming Act laid the groundwork for legal online gambling. Key points from the law are discussed below, but the MGCB will be issuing additional regulations in the future as well covering issues such as which games are authorized, technical standards and more.
Under the Lawful Internet Gaming Act, tribal and commercial casinos across the state may launch online casinos either independently or in concert with establishing gaming providers. Given that most land-based casinos have little-to-no-experience with online gambling, the majority have partnered with big-name gaming providers.
Michigan gambling law sets a minimum age of 21 to play online and requires operators to verify the age, identity and physical location of each customer prior to allowing them to establish accounts or to place wagers.
Each player will be asked to provide his or her name, address and the last four digits of his or her social security number. The responsibility of verifying this information lies with each online gambling operator.
Michigan online casinos must also take reasonable measures to prevent anyone under or anyone whose name appears on the responsible gaming database from establishing an account.
Responsible Gaming Database
The MGCB is tasked with managing a responsible gaming database that will identify players who are not eligible to participate in online gambling. Sec. 12 (1) of the Lawful Internet Gaming Act requires the MGCB to add individuals to the list who meet any of the following criteria:
- Individuals who have been convicted of a felony, a crime of moral turpitude or a crime involving gambling
- Any individual who has “performed an act or has a notorious or unsavory reputation such that the individual’s participation in internet gaming under this act would adversely affect public confidence and trust in internet gaming”
- Individuals who have violated the Lawful Internet Gaming Act or another gaming-related law
- Individuals whose names appear on exclusion lists maintained in Michigan or other US jurisdictions
- Individuals who have voluntarily self-excluded from gambling in Michigan
The Lawful Internet Gaming Act allows each land-based casino to operate a maximum of one online casino brand and one online poker brand (referred to as “skins” in industry speak).
Sec. 4 (7) of the Act explains:
“An internet gaming operator may offer internet gaming under a maximum of 2 separate brands, 1 for each of interactive poker and other casino style games. This subsection does not prohibit an internet gaming operator from using fewer than 2 brands or from using a single brand to offer any combination of interactive poker or other casino style games.”
This passage is a bit awkwardly worded, but we interpret it to mean that a licensee may operate one brand for an online casino and a separate brand for a poker site or that it may use a single brand to operate both, but is still limited to a single online casino skin in either arrangement.
Types of Casino Games Authorized
Licensed online casinos in Michigan are permitted to offer a full menu of common gambling games. Slots, poker, blackjack, video poker and other games “typically offered at a casino” are permitted under state law.
The Lawful Internet Gambling Act orders the MGCB to promulgate rules detailing which games may offered by licensees.
Sec. 10 (a) of the Act states the MGCB must determine “the types of internet games to be offered, which must include, but need not be limited to, poker, blackjack, cards, slots, and other games typically offered at a casino, but does not include pick numbers or other lottery games typically offered by the bureau of lottery…”
Licensing Fees and Taxes
Casinos that wish to offer online gaming must apply for a license from the Michigan Gaming Control Board and pay an initial application fee of $50,000. If approved, each operator is to pay an initial licensing fee of $100,000 and $50,000 per year thereafter.
The state also imposes a graduated tax rate based on each operator’s annual adjusted gross receipts (AGR) as follows:
- 20% for AGR less than $4 million
- 22% for AGR of $4 million or more but less than $8 million
- 24% for AGR of $8 million or more but less than $10 million
- 26% for AGR of $10 million or more but less than $12 million
- 28% for AGR of $12 million or more
Michigan Gambling FAQ
Do I have to be a resident to play online?
No. Michigan law only requires that customers be 21 or older and physically present within Michigan when playing online. Residency is not required to participate in online gaming as long as the individual is located within state lines.
What is the minimum age to gamble online in Michigan?
All customers must be 21 or older to gamble online in Michigan.
How can I tell which gambling sites are licensed and legal in Michigan?
All online casinos recommended at MichiganBetting.com are legal and hold a license from the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB). Gamblers can also visit this page on the MGCB website to view a complete list of licensed providers.