In response to legalized Canadian gambling literally right across the bridge from downtown Detroit, Michigan developed a successful Tribal Casino Network in the late 1980’s. Following a successful referendum in 1996, commercial casinos followed. Michigan is now home to a successful gaming industry with a range of tribal and commercial casinos. Michigan’s thriving casino industry is regulated by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, who also administer the equally impressive horse racing industry in the state.

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS), online lottery games and horse and greyhound racing are all available online, and Michigan’s State Legislators are considering a bill looking to legalize all forms of online betting.

Michigan online sports betting is still under debate at this time, and Michigan looks legalize the practice in the next 18-24 months.

Michigan Casino Gambling

Great Tribal Casinos established during the late 1980s & three land-based casinos in downtown Detroit that followed the 1996 State legalization referendum dominate the Michigan Gambling Industry. Canada’s Windsor Casino is literally only across the river from downtown Detroit and is a very popular gaming location.

Michigan now has 32 casinos (29 tribal and 3 land-based commercial casinos) at which you’ll find more than 36000 slots and gaming machines. As at January 2019, there are a total of 783 table games.

Online Casinos in Michigan

“Is online gambling legal in Michigan?” Unfortunately, the answer to the question is still; ‘No’.

However, the signs are positive that the legalization of sports betting will lead the way for online casinos to follow. Michigan State has not yet implemented the introduction of legal online casinos.

In all likelihood (given Michigan’s long history of legalized gambling), it should be the upcoming legalization of sports betting in the State that will drive the Michigan State Legislature’s change to legalize online casinos.

Furthermore, emboldened by the success of the casino in Windsor, Ontario, Canada – just across the bridge from Detroit – voters are onboard (and leading the way for the State’s lawmakers to follow), approving the Michigan Gaming Control and Regulation Act, which allowed for the construction of the three land-based casinos within Detroit’s city limits.

Hypothetically speaking, given an untroubled implementation period of sports betting in the state’s land-based casinos, Michigan’s state residents should gain access to online casino betting options in the short to medium term future.

In Michigan, we advise all online casino players to obey all laws that online casinos are illegal in the state

Online players in Michigan should refrain from playing all online casinos (both U.S. based online-casinos and off-shore online casinos) until a legalization of online casinos occurs.

For those players wishing to take part in online wagering in Michigan, possibilities exist for online greyhound and horse racing betting, the state’s superb online lottery, and playing DFS competitions online.

Poker in Michigan

Poker in Michigan (available at casinos, card clubs and tribal casinos), and unlicensed ‘Home’ Poker games and other forms of unlicensed games are played widely due to the state of Michigan having a more open-minded approach to Poker than most states of the Union.

Poker Rooms

Michigan has a total of 42 poker rooms (29 in the Detroit/Toledo region, 7 in Lower Peninsula Michigan and 6 in Upper Peninsula Michigan) at which to bet legally on poker in addition to the state’s 29 Native American tribal casinos. It is perfectly legal to play different types of poker without fear of breaking any laws (including Casino Hold’em, Texas Hold’em, Caribbean Stud Poker, No Limit Hold’em etc.).

In fact, in Michigan (unlike most other states, including those more lenient states on other forms of gambling), social poker ‘home’ games played for small stakes are considered to be fine if no-one makes a profit.

Online Poker Laws

For the time being, Online Poker exists in a rather unique environment in the state of Michigan. Most strictly speaking, it is not technically against the law to play online poker in Michigan. There was a law that prevented it for a brief time, however, that law has since been done away with.

Confusingly, that does not necessarily make it legal to play online poker in Michigan. It only means there is no law on the books that actually prevents it.

Current Michigan anti-gambling laws make it illegal to operate an online poker site inside the state. Interestingly, no current online poker operator has tested governmental resolve on that point. However, there are a number of offshore online poker sites willing to take customers from Michigan. Naturally, Federal U.S. laws makes it extraordinarily difficult to get money on and off these sites legally at this point in time.

Therefore, as it currently stands, given the absence of legalized and regulated online poker in the state of Michigan, the legality of any and all of this activity is actively shaded in grey and remains an answered question.

For now, it is safest to presume that online poker is still illegal in Michigan. However, as soon as the question becomes clarified in its answer a little further, we’ll let you know.

History of Online & Land-Based Gambling in Michigan

Michigan has an interesting history of adopting innovative change in the gambling sector, whilst simultaneously cracking down on infringements to State Law.

Check out the timeline for other landmark dates in the history of gambling in Michigan;

1933 – Betting on Horse Racing was legalized in Michigan. These days it’s possible to enjoy simulcast betting on other states and worldwide.

1972 – Michigan State Lottery begins.

1972 – “bingo Act’ makes charitable gambling legal under license.

1980’s – Indian Tribes begin to offer high-stakes Bingo Games on Tribal Land. The Tribal Casinos won a U.S. Supreme case for Tribal Gaming in 1987, and in 1988 the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, passed Congress, permitting casinos on Indian territory.

1993 – First Indian Casinos open in Michigan for electronic games only and not table games.

1994 – The Windsor Casino opened across the river in Canada and opened the eyes of Michigan residents to the potential revenue raising potential of legalized casino gambling.

1996 – Michigan residents narrowly vote to legalize casino gambling.

1998 – 4 More Michigan Tribes sign contracts to establish Tribal Casinos.

1999 – First land-based Casino in Detroit opens. Tribal Casinos win case to be granted Table Games Licenses as a result.

Spring 2019? – Given Michigan’s State Legislature tabling a debate on online sports betting in fall 2018, it seems only a matter of time until legal online casinos and sports betting are available to its residents.

Visit Our Page on Sports Betting in Michigan for information on the states top legal Online Sportsbooks