Are Online Casinos Legal in Michigan?
Online casinos are legal in the Wolverine State thanks to the Lawful Internet Gaming Act. HB 4311 deems internet casinos, online poker, and daily fantasy sports legal.
This legislation sailed through both the State House and Senate. However, Gov. Gretchen Whitner was initially reluctant to sign.
She expressed concerns that internet gambling could cannibalize online lottery sales, which provide almost $1 billion annually to Michigan’s public school fund.
However, proponents won Whitmer over by imposing between a 20% and 28% tax rate on operators. She signed HB 4311 into law on December 20, 2019.
When will Michigan Online Casinos Launch?
Gaming sites have officially been legal in the Wolverine State since December 2019. The regulatory framework and rules for the market aren’t in place yet, though.
Even when regulations are set, online casinos will need additional time to launch and work out potential kinks. We can’t provide an exact date on which Michigan online casinos will go live.
The MGCB estimates that gaming sites could launch as early as late fall 2020. Given that fall ends on December 21, the MGCB’s guess puts the market going live as early as November or December.
Of course, this estimation represents the best-case scenario. Gaming sites may not actually become available until early 2021.
Furthermore, not every internet casino will launch right after the MGCB gives approval. Some may wait several months or longer before they feel comfortable unveiling their casinos.
What MI Online Casinos will be Available?
Before speculating on launch dates for specific internet casinos, we’d like to discuss which brands will be available in Michigan.
Each gaming site must partner with one of the land-based casinos in the state. Michigan features three commercial casinos and 12 tribal gaming interests, which collectively own 23 casinos.
You can see the likely MI online casinos along with their respective partners below:
- BetAmerica - Partnered with Hannahville Indian Community
- BetMGM Casino - Partnered with MGM Grand Detroit
- BetRivers Casino - Partnered with Little River Band of the Ottawa Indians
- DraftKings Casino - Partnered with Bay Mills Indian Community
- FanDuel Casino - Partnered with MotorCity Casino
- Golden Nugget Casino - Partnered with Keweenaw Bay Indian Community
- Hollywood Casino - Partnered with Greektown Casino
- Parx Casino - Partnered with Gun Lake Tribe
- PointsBet Casino - Partnered with Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
- PokerStars Casino - Partnered with Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
- William Hill Casino - Partnered with Grand Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
- Wynn Casino - Partnered with Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
Potential Launch Dates for Internet Casinos
As mentioned, the Michigan Gaming Control Board estimates that the first internet casinos will launch in late fall 2020.
Of course, we don’t know which casino will launch when. We can, however, look at other states for ideas.
Here are our best estimations on launch dates for Michigan internet casinos:
- DraftKings Casino - November or December 2020
- FanDuel Casino - November or December 2020
- BetMGM Casino - December 2020
- PokerStars Casino - January 2021
- Hollywood Casino - January or February 2021
- BetRivers Casino - February 2021
- Golden Nugget Casino - February 2021
- William Hill - July 2021
- BetAmerica Casino - August 2021
- Parx Casino - Late 2021
- PointsBet Casino - Late 2021
- Wynn Casino - Late 2021
What Online Casino Games will Michigan Offer?
Michigan is sure to feature a wide range of internet casino games that span from slots to table games. Below, you can see the main types of games to expect in this market.
Michigan Online Slots
Slots will no doubt rule Michigan’s online gaming market. They’re by far more popular than any other internet casino game.
Slots give developers a wide range of options regarding themes, formats, and bonuses. Therefore, Michigan will boast many types of online slots.
Here are the unique types of slots that will definitely be available in the Wolverine State.
- Three-reel: Although fewer in number today, these classic slots are still available in online casinos.
- Five-reel: Five-reel games are the most common type of slots in the industry.
- Bonus: These games offer unique bonus rounds that spice up the gameplay.
- Megaways: A Megaways slot provides a random number of winning “ways” on each spin.
- Grid: These slots feature a grid (e.g., 7x7) and cluster payouts, where matching symbols just need to touch to deliver wins.
- Progressive jackpot: These games take a small percentage of each bet to fund a progressive jackpot.
Michigan Online Blackjack
Blackjack has ruled the American table game scene for decades. It’ll assuredly be popular in Michigan’s internet gaming market, too.
Every MI gaming site is set to offer multiple variations of this classic game. Some of the likely variations include:
- Blackjack Xchange
- Blackjack: First Person
- Blackjack Pro
- Multi-hand blackjack
- Premium Blackjack Pro
- Unlimited Blackjack
Michigan Online Roulette
Roulette is another highly popular online table game. Michigan gaming sites are likely to feature roulette in multiple variants.
The two main variations are American and European roulette:
- American roulette: 38 numbers on the wheel; zero and double-zero pockets; 5.26% house edge
- European roulette: 37 numbers on the wheel; zero pocket; 2.70% house edge
As you can see, European roulette is the more desirable option. Its 2.70% house advantage is among the lowest in casinos.
Other Michigan online roulette games will likely offer the same basic structure as American and/or European roulette. They’ll only differ by featuring option side bets.
MI internet casinos are set to provide a variety of table games beyond blackjack and roulette. Here are likely online table games that’ll be available in Michigan:
- Caribbean stud
- Casino hold’em
- Let It Ride
- Mississippi stud
- Pai Gow poker
- Three-card poker
- Ultimate Texas Hold’em
Depending on the individual casino, craps may or may not be available in Michigan’s market. For whatever reason, only a small percentage of gaming sites offer craps.
Live Dealer Casino Games
Live dealer gaming allows you to enjoy authentic brick-and-mortar gambling through a smartphone.
Michigan will assuredly feature live casino games at some point.
As seen with other states, internet casinos initially only launch with slots and virtual table games. They wait for months or even years before adding live gaming to the mix.
Whenever live dealer games do roll out, Evolution Gaming will be the premier provider. This studio has already inked deals with BetMGM and PointsBet well in advance of launch.
Video poker has been a staple in Michigan land-based casinos for years. It’ll also be one of the featured game categories at Michigan online casinos.
Video poker is just five-card draw poker. However, MI gaming sites are set to roll out multiplier video poker variations.
Here are the likely online variants that’ll be available in Michigan:
- Bonus Poker
- Deuces Wild
- Double Bonus Poker
- Double Double Bonus Poker
- Jacks or Better
- Joker poker
- Triple Double Bonus Poker
Game Providers at MI Internet Casinos
Several software developers will serve Michigan’s iGaming market. Here are notable providers that’ll supply MI online casinos either right away or in the future:
- AGS: This long-time supplier of tribal casinos also develops internet casino games.
- Big Time Gaming: This Aussie developer is famous for its “Megaways” slots.
- IGT: Launched in 1975, IGT is an institution in both land-based and online casinos.
- NetEnt: A Swedish developer, NetEnt is responsible for some of the biggest slot hits ever.
- WMS: Williams Interactive has produced the Zeus trilogy and plenty of other popular slots.
Depositing at Michigan Online Casinos
The Michigan iGaming industry is sure to feature plenty of deposit methods. Here are the primary banking options that should be available in the Wolverine State:
- 7-Eleven: Purchase a voucher from a nearby 7-Eleven and use it to deposit online.
- ACH (e-check): Send an e-check from your linked bank account to an online casino.
- Casino cage: Visit an online casino’s land-based partner to deposit in person.
- PayPal & Skrill: These two e-wallets offer convenient ways to place casino deposits.
- Play+ card: Prepaid cards that are available through each online casino.
- Visa and Mastercard: Use one of these credit cards to instantly fund your account.
Using Michigan Casino Apps
Smartphones have become the primary online gambling devices across the world. Therefore, many Michigan internet casinos will feature Android and/or iOS apps.
The method for obtaining a Michigan casino app will vary based on your phone’s operating system. Here are the steps for each type of system:
- Visit the casino’s homepage.
- Look for and select the Android button.
- Follow the instructions on the download page.
- Download the app right off the website.
- Visit Apple’s App Store.
- Search for the relevant casino app.
- Download the app from the App Store.
Not all MI online casinos will feature an Android and iOS app. In this case, they should offer “instant play” in place of an app.
Instant play lets you enjoy casino games directly through your browser. You need only register to begin playing free online casino games.
Bonuses at Michigan Online Casinos
You can expect a wide variety of bonuses when Michigan gaming sites launch. Probable bonuses include:
- Cashback: You receive a percentage of your losses back (e.g., 20%) over a specified period.
- Free spins: These free slots spins let you generate winnings that you can cash out after meeting terms and conditions.
- Loyalty rewards: Collect loyalty points based on your real-money play and exchange them for rewards.
- Match deposit bonus: A bonus that matches a specified percentage (usually 100%) of your deposit amount.
- No-deposit bonus: You receive a bonus just for registering at a new online casino.
Michigan Online Casino FAQ
No definitive date exists on which when Michigan gaming sites will go live. However, the Michigan Gaming Control Board believes that some casinos could launch in November or December 2020.
No. You can play at legal Michigan online casinos as long as you’re within state lines.
Each gaming site uses geolocation software to pinpoint your location. You’ll be able to play for real money as long as the software deems you to be in Michigan.
The MGCB oversees the state’s online gaming market. It vets applicants and only issues licenses to highly qualified entities. Therefore, you’re unlikely to deal with any unfair Michigan online casinos.
You must be at least 21 years old to legally play online casino games in the Wolverine State.