Michigan

Michigan is home to a successful gaming industry with a range of tribal casinos, commercial casinos and a horse racing track network. Casinos and the state’s land-based sportsbooks in Michigan are licensed and regulated by the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

The state also permits some forms of online betting: Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS), online lottery games and horse and greyhound racing. State Legislators have also passed legislation to legalize online poker, online casinos and online sports betting, although the first sites are not expected to be up and running until 2021.

For now, Michigan online sports betting is still under consideration. However, things are moving along nicely and Michigan now looks likely to move on legislation at some point in the next 18-24 months.

Legality of Sports Betting VS Gambling

The state of Michigan offers the gambler a healthy mix of legal options; DFS, online horse racing, casinos and land-based sportsbooks, live horse racing, live card club poker, a great state lottery that is also available online, and charitable gambling.

Gambling Type
Legal Land-Based
Legal Online
Sports Betting
Yes
Yes
Casinos
Yes
No
Fantasy Sports (DFS)
N/A
Yes
eSports
No
No
Poker
Yes
No
Horse Racing
Yes
Yes
Lottery
Yes
Yes
Charitable Gambling
Yes
No

Michigan Sports Betting Tax Rates

Michigan has a 4.35% state tax on gambling winnings.

Large gambling wins over $600 in the state of Michigan may possibly attract an additional Federal Tax.

Contact your tax attorney to assess your potential Federal tax liability if you have a big win in Michigan.

Sports betting Age VS Gambling Age in Michigan

Michigan legal gambling ages offer a flexible range of 18 to 21 year-of-age for casino gambling (18 for those casinos that don’t serve alcohol, and 21 for those casinos that offer alcoholic beverages) and 18 years-of-age for DFS, horse racing, the state lottery and charitable gaming.

Gambling Type
Age
Sports Betting
21
DFS
18
Casinos
18 to 21 (Varies)
Horse Racing
18
Lottery
18
Charitable Gambling
18

Betting on Sports in Michigan

The State of Michigan legalized sports betting with the safe passage of HB 4916 in 2019. Retail sportsbooks and mobile betting apps are licensed and regulated for use in the state.
Online sports wagering although in theory already legal, is likely to launch in 2021, however, the first retail sportsbooks are now live, and all in Detroit;

  • Greektown Casino
  • MGM Grand
  • Motor City Casino

Michigan Online Sports Betting Laws

Bricks-and-mortar and online sports betting are both legal in Michigan, the result of Governor Gretchen Whitmer signing the above-mentioned HB 4916 into State Law in December 2019.

The legislation also cleared the way for online casino games, DFS and poker, which should all be up and operational sometime in 2021.

The HB 4916 State Gaming Law highlights

  • Class III tribal casinos and Detroit’s commercial casinos can apply for sports betting licenses.
  • Each casino may form a partnership with a third-party provider to launch one online sportsbook.
  • Only persons 21 years of age or older may bet on sports in Michigan (either land-based or online).
  • Division of Sports Betting established in Michigan to regulate the sports wagering industry and adopt further regulations as required.
  • Sports leagues may request the Division to prohibit wagers or sports events if valid integrity concerns exist.
  • Division of Sports Betting can determine if official league data must be used to settle in-play wagers.
  • Establishes hefty new penalties for acting as an illegal, unlicensed sports betting provider – felony charge, up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000
  • Unregulated offshore sites are illegal in Michigan.

Sports Wagering Licensing costs and taxes:

  • Sports betting revenue is taxed at 8.4% plus 1.25% municipal fee in cities that host casinos (Detroit).
  • Sports betting license: $50 000 application fee, $100 000 successful licensing fee and $50 000 annual renewal fee, and;
  • Supplier license: $5000 licensing fee plus $2500 annual renewal fee.

Online Fantasy Sports in Michigan

Not at all related to regular casino games of random chance, Fantasy Sports betting has long been exempted from US federal legislation as it is widely considered to be a contest of skill.

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) have long been permitted in Michigan (2015-2019) even though not theoretically covered as legal under any legislation. That all changed in 2019 went DFS sites were swept into legal status under the broader scope of HB 4916. In addition to those laws stated above DFS-specific legal requirements include:

  • All sites be licensed
  • All sites prohibit employees and sporting officials from taking part
  • They may only accept customers over 18
  • They must be subject to independent audits
  • They must keep players’ funds in a separate account from operator funds (in order to protect customers’ deposits).

eSports Online Betting Laws

The status of the legality of eSports betting in the state of Michigan is murky at best and may require additional legislation to clarify the situation.
Currently, HB 4916 allows for bets on “athletic events,” defined as:

“…a sports activity that involves the athletic skill of 1 or more players or participants. Athletic event does not include any of the following:

  • (i) Horse racing if sports betting on that race is pari-mutuel
  • (ii) Any sport or athletic event played by individuals that are at the high school level or below unless the majority of participants in the sport or athletic event are 18 years of age or older
  • (iii) Roulette, poker, blackjack, a card game, a dice game, or any other game or contest typically offered in a casino other than sports betting
  • (iv) A fantasy contest.”

Consequently, the future of the legality of eSports betting in Michigan could come down to an exact definition of “athletic skill” is defined. matter. In the meantime, it is murky whether eSports better is legal or not and it will take the Michigan lawmakers another legislative session at least to clarify.

Until there is a direct statement of the legal status of eSports gaming in Michigan, it is best to play it safe and assume it illegal for now.

What are eSports?

Given the unprecedented decision of the U.S. Federal Supreme Court in May 2018 to rule in favor of legalizing sports betting, we anticipate that eSports betting will lead the way as a sports betting legislation ‘lubricant’ in Michigan in the very near future.

eSports has transformed video game play at its highest-level into a full-time professional sport in which the best players sign multi-million-dollar contracts to compete for glory. eSports are mostly played by teams and in league and tournament formats.

The electronic games themselves are equivalent to different sports types. For example, in eSports, the games CS:GO and Overwatch are equivalent to, say, NHL and MLB. eSports is the theoretical concept, while the different electronic game types are loosely equivalent to different sport types.

Betting on eSports is growing enormously in popularity every year. International sportsbooks offer a range of betting markets across all major eSports tournaments and formats.

With the $100 billion revenue threshold mark globally in 2018 about to be crossed, eSports is easily the highest-level competition in gaming today with all the best players in the world taking part, and with millions of fanatical fans across the globe.

Watch for betting on eSports soon at your favorite Michigan sportsbook.

Horse Racing in Michigan

Horse Racing Betting is legal (course/track side and online betting) for all residents of the state of Michigan (over the age of 18).

Currently, whilst there might be some restrictive laws when it comes to various betting types in Michigan, in the meantime it is completely legal to spend the day watching the races and bet on horses in the Great Lakes State.

Michigan state residents can wager on horse races both Track side and online. All of the largest horse betting websites accessible in the United States have a presence in the state of Michigan.

Trackside

Michigan is home to 3 live racing venues that accept wagers on horse races. Horse racing in the state is regulated by Michigan Racing Association and the Harness Horse Breeders of Michigan and administered under the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

Off Track Betting (OTB) in Michigan

There are no stand-alone OTBs in the state of Michigan and it is not possible to bet on horse racing in the states 32 casinos. Best to stick to the excellent online betting facilities when betting off-track in Michigan.

Online Horse Racing in Michigan

Three major horse racing online betting sites all accept customers over the age of 18 from Michigan and offer wagering on races in Michigan, elsewhere in the U.S. and around the world are all available.

Visit our Michigan Online Gambling Page for information on Michigan’s laws and online casino reviews

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