Welcome to Michigan Online Casinos! You have discovered the premier source for information about Michigan’s foray into the online gambling world.
Michigan legalized online casino play (along with online poker and sports betting) in December 2019. Since then, we’ve been in a countdown for the first launch in the Great Lake State.
We encourage you to bookmark Michigan Online Casinos. As soon as details break about the online casino market in Michigan, we will have them on this page. You simply cannot find more accurate and timely information on the subject, so we hope you’ll be checking back with us frequently for updates.
Are online casinos really legal in Michigan?
Yes! They are legal under House Bill 4311. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed this piece of legislation into law on December 20, 2019, and ushered in the era of online gambling into the state.
Since then, both operators and regulators have been working to launch online casinos, online and retail sports betting, and online poker in the state. The law, which ended up being both sweeping and comprehensive, authorized the introduction of all three types of gambling into Michigan.
No online casinos have launched in Michigan just yet because of the inescapable lag between legalization and licensure that occurs wherever gambling expansion bills pass. Although ideal, both operators and regulators are rarely ready to hit the ground running as soon as the bill becomes law.
When will the first online casinos launch in Michigan?
Unfortunately, we don’t have a firm estimate about when the first online casinos will open their doors in Michigan. The consensus at this point is that we’ll start to see online casinos pop up sometime in late 2020 or 2021.
What we do know is that sports betting will be the first type of online gambling that will make a wide debut. Retail sports betting is already underway at some of Michigan’s casinos. Also, the novelty associated with sports betting post-PASPA availability means that state governments are focused on enacting and executing sportsbook launches at this moment in time.
The main delay is the promulgation of rules for both regulators and operators, according to reports from sources at the Michigan Gaming Control Board. Until the MGCB can decide exactly how it wants to license and administer the industry, everything is on hold.
Earlier reports also indicated that sports betting would not debut until 2021. However, there is now sentiment that the 2020 health crisis and pent-up demand for sports is pushing regulators to be ready for the ensuing wave of interest when sporting events return. So, it seems that a sportsbook launch is more likely sooner, rather than later.
By that rationale, an earlier launch for online casinos (and poker) might be in the offing, too. Keep an eye on what develops in Michigan regarding sports betting, as it’s the best clue about what’s coming next with online casinos.
What companies will be the first to launch in Michigan?
So far, we don’t have any hard-and-fast announcements about which companies will be the first to launch. Historically, in other states, it’s a difficult thing to predict who will get all its ducks in a row before the competition.
However, we can make some guesses based upon the partnerships that various online casino companies enjoy with Michigan-based operators. Because these companies already have an inroad to the Great Lake State, their pathway to launch should be decidedly easier.
There’s a pretty good chance that DraftKings Casino will be one of the first online casinos to launch in Michigan if not the first casino to launch outright. The company in black and green has been at the forefront of gambling expansions in multiple states in the past few years.
DraftKings also has a close partnership with Penn National Gaming. Penn National owns Detroit’s Greektown Casino. So, it probably isn’t much of a leap that Penn National might want DraftKings to help power its online presence.
Furthermore, DraftKings is active in Michigan already as a DFS provider. So, there are many reasons that an expansion into the state’s burgeoning online casino market might make sense.
The archrival of DraftKings, FanDuel Casino, is also a pioneer of DFS that has expanded mightily into the online casino market, and always competes with or exceeds the performance of its close competition.
FanDuel has a Michigan partnership of its own, too. The company is aligned with MotorCity Casino, another of the commercial casinos in Detroit.
FanDuel is also one of Michigan’s main DFS providers. So, the operator has as legitimate a chance to be the first in Michigan online casino gambling as its constant adversary.
Of all the possible candidates for opening an online casino in Michigan, BetMGM Casino probably makes the most sense. After all, it’s the online casino arm of MGM Resorts International, which owns MGM Grand Detroit, among other properties.
So, it’s no wonder about the company’s partnership or some kind of joint branding. It’s all the same company, and the technological infrastructure is already in place.
What may cause BetMGM’s launch to lag is nothing more than a lack of urgency. MGM is a big company with little to prove. BetMGM’s launch is all-but-inevitable, but there may not be a need to rush.
PokerStars Casino is a possible frontrunner for launching an online casino in the state. The Stars Group, which owns PokerStars Casino along with its similar-branded poker titan PokerStars, has partnerships with two different casinos in Michigan.
The two partnerships reside with the Greektown Casino and Odawa Casino Resort in the state. However, Greektown will throw its hat with DraftKings in all likelihood due to the latter’s drive to remain an early adopter in new online casino markets. So, that will leave PokerStars Casino to forge a partnership with the Odawa.
Parx Casino is not a favorite to lead the way in Michigan. The Pennsylvania casino looks like it prefers to move slowly and begrudgingly toward online expansion, and there’s no reason to think that it won’t move as languidly in Michigan as it did in its home state.
Nevertheless, Parx does have a relationship with Gun Lake Casino. While it’s quite unlikely to see Parx strike first, there’s an outside chance of it.
Why play at an online casino in Michigan?
Michigan residents and visitors are not suffering for choices when it comes to casino gambling. Between the commercial and tribal properties in the state, players can decide between a whopping 26 different locations throughout the Upper and Lower Peninsulas.
So, you may be wondering why you would even bother with playing online when you have so many opportunities nearby. Here are some of the reasons why it might be worth exploring your options in the virtual space.
The most obvious reason that you should play online is convenience. No matter how close you live to a casino, it is impossible to beat how easy it is to access all your favorite games through a casino app.
This reason becomes even more important during the winter months. Visiting a Michigan casino in the colder season might not simply be inconvenient — it might be a dangerous and foolish proposition.
However, as long as the cold and snow has not robbed you of electricity and an internet connection, you have casino games available at your fingertips. You can relax on your couch, have a cup of your favorite warm beverage, and not worry about hitting any patches of black ice or skidding into a ditch.
Another advantage of playing in an online casino is the pure accessibility that you enjoy. Nothing is more frustrating than to make it to your nearby facility and find that all the seats at your favorite game or machine are already occupied.
With online casinos, such an outcome is impossible because the app can, more or less, seat an infinite number of players at each table. There can never be any waiting for that blackjack game with the right stakes or a space at the single-zero roulette wheel online. You can always sit down and play.
One inescapable fact for any operator of an online casino is that the competition is always a click away. An online casino has to go the extra mile to attract and retain its players, while in-person facilities may be the proverbial only game in town
One way that online casinos do this is to offer opportunities for bonuses and promotions on their sites. Both new and existing players can take advantage of deals that can be worth extra money in their accounts, prizes, or other perks that the player can use.
Although live casinos might run promos from time to time, they will never be as generous or as frequently offered as online casinos. So, if you want to build a bankroll, it’s probably a lot easier to do it through your mobile device.
One final reason to give online casinos a try is that they can give you a try. Unlike live casinos, it is possible to play most games on an online site in a demonstration mode for play chips. In doing so, you don’t have to begin playing a new game blindly. Instead, you can see if the mechanics of the game make sense to you and if the game itself is something you want to pursue.
Depending on the site, the casino might even keep a separate currency counter to keep your chip counts static, even for play money. But it doesn’t matter. The notion of playing any casino games at no risk would be laughable in a live setting but is fairly common practice online.
What games will I be able to play?
Although we didn’t list it as an explicit advantage, there is a wide selection of games available on many online casinos. The exact spread of games will vary from site to site, but there will usually be versions of most favorites from live casinos.
Based upon how often different games have appeared in online casinos, we can classify games according to their likelihood to be featured on your site of choice. Here is the list:
- Almost certain
- Video poker
- Live dealer games
- Let It Ride
- Caribbean Stud
- Three-Card Poker
- Ultimate Texas Hold’em
- Virtual sports
It is perfectly valid to choose which casino you like based upon their game selection. That’s just one of the factors that you should take into consideration when you’re trying to decide on your virtual casino home.
How to choose your Michigan online casino
Once there is more than one Michigan online casino, you will have to choose which site you want to frequent. In many ways, they can look quite similar to one another, and it can be tough to know how to compare and contrast. So, here are a few things that you can examine to make a better choice and have a better experience.
- Game selection: Online casinos often have many games available for play. However, it’s not an absolute fact that they will have a wide variety of options, so you should ensure that your game(s) of choice are going to be available on a site that you’re considering for play.
- Mobile formats: An online casino can be a fantastic piece of technology, but if it’s only available as an Android app and you use an Apple device, it’s going to be useless to you. So, make sure to double-check the site and make sure that there’s a download for your format. Also, no reputable online casino will ever charge you to download the app, so back away from any site that tries to do otherwise.
- Navigation: Obviously, a site can have all the games you’d want, but if you can’t find them, then it doesn’t matter. So, check the navigation of a site before committing to it. You should be able to get around on the site and find the information that you need without much difficulty.
- Banking: One bit of information that you’ll need to investigate before you choose a site is its deposit and withdrawal options. Not everyone’s financial situation lends itself to the types of banking that a site may offer. You need to have a clear picture of what manner you will use to deposit and withdraw before you get started. Getting that picture may require a phone call to your bank, too. For instance, some banks will deny or charge heavy fees for credit card transactions to gambling sites.
- Customer support: Make sure to take a look at the options that the site has for troubleshooting and support. The more options and available hours that an online casino has for customer support, the better the site is, generally speaking. If you want, you can even try out the chat function, call the phone number, or send a test email to see how the response time for each option is.
- Integration: Michigan is an online sports betting and poker state, and you may want to play one of the other or all three options. It’s up to you whether it matters if you can switch back and forth from the three modes, but most big sites will offer all three options in the same place and allow you to share your wallet across the modes.
Michigan Online Casinos FAQ
Are online casinos legal in Michigan?
Yes. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s signature on House Bill 4311 in December 2019 made online casinos legal in Michigan.
However, none have opened their doors just yet. We estimate that online casinos will begin appearing in late 2020 or early 2021.
Once they launch, who will be allowed to play?
Any person over the age of 21 and inside Michigan can play.
Do I have to be a Michigan resident to play?
No. It is unnecessary to prove your residency in Michigan to play. You just have to be physically inside state lines to participate.
Can I play from outside the state?
No. Play across state lines is not permitted.
Can I play from out of state if I’m a resident?
No. Residents are not permitted to play across state lines any more than visitors to Michigan. Even if you have an active account with a Michigan online casino and you are a resident of Michigan, you will have to be inside the state to play.
No one can play from outside the state, even if they are not concerned with the laws prohibiting it. The online casinos are required to use geolocation verification software, and all players who wish to use the site must submit to the verification and credibly pass the check to play.
If no online casinos have launched, why can I find some when I do a web search?
If you find an online casino not listed here, it’s probably an offshore or international online casino. As such, we have to advise strongly against any kind of association with the site.
Online casinos are outside the jurisdiction of the US, and do not answer to its legal system or standards. There is no way to verify that everything at one of these sites is on the up-and-up, and any purported regulatory agency overseeing an offshore site is unlikely to have a verifiable reputation of its own.
You also might be liable for some criminal penalties of your own if you play. The law regarding these sites is quite unclear, and it only takes a crusading district attorney and a harsh interpretation to put you on the wrong side of the law.
With legal options in Michigan on the way, it’s a much safer bet to remain patient and wait for the real deal.
Can I bet on sports through Michigan online casinos? What about poker?
Possibly. It depends on the level of integration that your chosen online casino has.
Who is overseeing all these new sites?
The sites will be overseen by the same bodies as their online partners. So, for sites affiliated with the three commercial casinos in the state, the Michigan Gaming Control Board will be the regulatory body.
However, the vast majority of the state’s casinos are tribal entities that operate under a negotiated compact with the state. So, you may have to do some digging or ask around for the oversight person or persons for each property.