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What Can You Bet on in the State of Michigan?Michigan is surrounded almost entirely by water, and since the 1990’s it has become surrounded with casinos as well. This almost isn’t an exaggeration – In fact, the land houses 26 of them, with some of the action looking to move online as well. In this Michigan legal gambling review we will cover the forms of gambling that are legal to participate in; including casino games, daily fantasy sports, games of skill, state lottery, race betting, and more.

MI Legal Gambling History

Like many other states, horse race betting was the only legal form of gambling in the state of Michigan for a long time – that is, up until 1972 when in the same year the state of MI allowed charitable gambling to exist as well as the state lottery.

The next move for MI came in the 90’s when a bill allowed for the opening of 3 land-based casinos, with the first opening its doors in 1999. This was able to happen because of two things:

  • The state saw how much money was coming in from bingo on tribal lands.
  • Residents of MI were crossing the river into Canada and circulating their wealth in the casinos there.

This shows that lawmakers saw the money generated involved in legalized gambling and wanted to jump into the game.

By the end of the 1990s, there were 3 casinos operating in downtown Detroit. When this occurred, tribal members had decided that they wanted to expand legal gambling as well. The tribal members ended up with a favorable outcome in the Supreme Court and Michigan is now home to 19 tribal casinos.

MI Gambling Legal Status

The legal gambling age in the state of Michigan is typically 21 years of age or older to play at casinos. This does vary, however. Tribal casinos on tribal lands make their own laws regarding the legal gambling age, so at a tribal casino, the legal age can be anywhere between 18 and 21 years old.

If you’re of age in the state of Michigan, you are welcome to play at any casino. This includes slots, poker, and table games. People in MI who are at least 18 years of age and older can bet on races and play the state lottery.

MI Physical Casinos

It is no secret that the legalization of gambling in MI has come a very long way since the end of the 1990s. The state has rapidly expanded; starting off with only 3 casinos and know being home to 26 of them. That’s a huge increase in such a relatively short amount of time.

Some of the popular brick and mortar casinos in Michigan include:

 MI Online Gambling and Sports Betting

While online casinos and sportsbooks aren’t legal in the state of Michigan, this doesn’t rule out what you are able to do online completely. The state of Michigan lets players legally bet online for races (including greyhounds), play the lottery, daily fantasy sports, and games of skill.

It’s a possibility that Michigan sees more forms of online gambling be made legal in the future, having some previous bills come close to passing; including one in 2018.

MI Legal Gambling FAQ’s

What can I and what can’t I bet on legally in the state of MI?

The state of Michigan allows for legal gambling in the following forms: casino gaming, race track betting, state lottery, games of skill, and daily fantasy sports.

Will we ever see online casino gaming made legal in the state of MI?

It is quite possible. There has been growing support over the years and previous efforts have come close to succeeding. It is believed that the profits decreasing in Michigan’s brick and mortar casinos might help the efforts finally pay off.

Will Draftkings and FanDuel enter the MI Market?

You will see changes everyday in this industry. As soon as Michigan passes the law for sports betting you can be certain that FanDuel and DraftKings will play.


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If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling, and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800 GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL)

Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA) or 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN only) or 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA only) or 1-800-522-4700 (CO Only)

*21+. NJ/IN/WV/PA/IA/CO/IL only. In partnership with Meadows Racetrack and Casino. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.

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