Michigan Gambling Laws ✔️ Great Lake State Casinos & Gambling


The Michigan Gaming Control Board regulates all forms of gambling laws in Michigan. This article will tell you how the Michigan Gaming Control Board issues licenses to online and land-based operators. Besides this, the board monitors the activity of all gambling locations in the state. Besides all this, we have listed the top casinos in Michigan, both land-based and online. We start the article with details about the federal and Michigan laws regulating all gambling activity and games in the state.

Michigan Gambling Laws & USA Federal Gambling Laws

People around the world who love history or gambling movies already have an idea how the gambling in the Old Wild West was done. The new history of gambling for the Great Lake State began in 1933 when the Michigan authorities legalized betting on horse races. With the opening of the first casino, Kings Club Casino (Brimley, MI) in 1984, and the first social poker club, 906 Poker Social (Marquette, MI), are the next steps towards the present-day multi-gaming casino experience.

If you have read our gambling laws worldwide guide, you have noticed that the laws vary depending on the country and sometimes even the city or state. The gambling laws in Michigan are also specific because of the specifics in the USA legislation and Michigan state gambling laws. The table below shows the most popular federal and state laws regulating gambling games and establishments.

⚖️ Federal Gambling Laws 🦌 Michigan Gambling Laws
🌐 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act 👮 Michigan Penal Code Chapter 750 Sec. 301 et seq
🦅 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act 📱 Michigan iGaming regulations (known as SB 0562)
✨ The Interstate Wire Act ✔️ Public Act 185 in 2000
🏀 The Professional & Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) ⚡ Internet Gaming, Internet Sports Betting and Fantasy Contests Acts & Rules
🐴 Horseracing Safety and Integrity Act 🏇 Horse Racing Act and Rules

All federal gambling laws apply to all states in the USA. Michigan state laws cover everything from operators’ licenses, legal games, winner’s taxes, and more. Supervision of the land-based casinos and Michigan online gambling is left in the hands of the Michigan Gaming Control Board and the Michigan online gambling laws. Since online gambling is legal in MI, don’t be surprised if some of the best online gambling sites for US players reside in the Great Lake State.

Michigan Gaming Control & Revenue Act:

“An ACT providing the licensing, regulation, and control of casino gaming operations, manufacturers and distributors of gaming devices and gaming related equipment, and people who participate in gaming; … to vest authority for the licensing, regulation, and control of casino gaming in the Michigan Gaming Control Board …”

You might know some of the weird laws in Nevada, but the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act is no joke. This act regulates everything related to gambling and gaming in the state, both at an online and brick and mortar casinos. This is the document to find any information about the gambling games and locations in this state.

Besides the casino and gambling rooms’ regulations, there are also laws and regulations for players. The first one is the gambling age in Michigan, set to 18 years for poker rooms, pari-mutuel, bingo, lotteries, no-alcohol casinos, and tribal casinos. You have to be 21 years old to play at casinos where alcohol is served and sports wagers are placed. Those restrictions apply to all land-based locations and online gambling sites unless otherwise noted by the operator.

Michigan Gaming Control Board & Michigan Gambling Commission

Michigan Gaming Control Board

The Michigan Gaming Control Board and the Michigan Gambling Commission are the main control organs in the Great Lake State. They regulate all brick and mortar gambling locations and all online gambling sites registered in this state, including the top Michigan online casinos.

The board is created within the Department of Treasury with powers and duties specified in the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act. The control board is in power to fully and effectively execute and administer all aspects of this act and apply the rest of the federal and Michigan gambling legislation. The main tasks performed by the gambling commission are licensing and regulating the activity of all gambling establishments. Alongside this, it enforces the system of casino gambling rules and regulations established under this act.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board consists of 5 members appointed by the governor after advice and consent of the Senate for a 4-year term. Unlike the Texas Gambling Commission which restricts most gambling games, the Michigan Gaming Control Board approves the casinos to offer a full variety of legal gambling and betting games.

Michigan Gambling Licenses, Taxes & Gambling Violations

Licenses, Taxes, Violations

As you saw in the previous section of our review, every aspect of gambling laws in Michigan is regulated and constantly monitored. Getting an operator license or supplier license is a clear procedure with few mandatory requirements. Every person or company needs to fill an application and provide proof of identity (for person) or identification of any business.

After that, the applicant has to pay a nonrefundable application, license, and the annual fee for the first year of operation. Once the application process is complete, the Michigan Gaming Control Board issues or denies casino licenses according to the instructions and regulations in the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act.

According to the law person, the licensee or any other responsible party of the operator’s personnel must not abuse the rights given by the gambling license. This includes leasing, borrowing, pledging, or loaning money against the license. If the operator wishes to sell or transfer the license, an application is filed, and the Michigan Gambling Board approves or bans the transfer. If not, the transfer of license ownership is investigated and prosecuted.

All licenses are revoked by the board according to specific procedures. In the case of operator’s violations, there might be even penalties for gambling crimes we have mentioned in the next sections of this article. If the license has expired, the board and the city in which the casino is located revoke the licensee’s casino license. In this case, the operator can apply for a new license or renew the existing one.

Michigan Gambling Revenue & Winner’s Taxes

The land-based casinos and all Michigan online gambling sites make an astonishing revenue for Michigan business. For example, the tribal casinos, sports betting, and DSL sports tax rate is 8.4%, while the three Detroit casinos have an 11.4% tax rate. Alongside this, the online gaming tax rate varies 20-28% based upon the operator’s total online revenue. The taxes paid by the casinos are distributed 55% to the city (in which a casino is located) and 45% to the state.

Players who win at gambling laws in Michigan should check how much winner’s tax they must pay. This information can be found at the Michigan Gambling Control Board’s website and in our article, about IRS and gambling win. To spare your search through the papers, we will tell you that all players need to pay a 4.25% tax rate for every prize won.

Michigan Gambling Violations, Penalties & Fines

Even though Detroit and the rest of the Michigan cities are not part of our listing of the best gambling cities in the US, there are many great gambling locations. Every violation of the legal gambling and gaming functions in Michigan is investigated, and the faulty parties are prosecuted. Here are some of the most common casino and gambling operators’ violations and illegal activities you might notice:

  • Illegal gambling
  • Political contributions for protection
  • Bribes
  • Book alternation
  • Makes the outcome of a gambling game known to certain players/bettors
  • Influences the game in favor of the house or player/bettor
  • Changes the settings and rules of games in favor of the house or specific player

The penalties are determined depending on the severity of the operator’s gambling violation. Anyone found guilty of a felony can face imprisonment up to 10 years, a fine of up to $100,000, or both. Besides this, the gambling establishment’s license is revoked, and the operator is barred from receiving a new gaming license. The equipment, gambling devices, or other material and apparatus of gaming are confiscated from the operator. He may even lose the tenancy lease of the property where the casino is located.

Unlike the casinos, the players’ gambling violations are just a few. The main thing to remember is not to take part in illegal gambling games. Once you find a legal casino, you need to be over the required gambling age, depending on the gambling game. Last but not least, make sure to pay the winner’s tax. Players are usually fined and face misdemeanor charges, but there might be a jail in case of severe gambling violations. In case you notice any gambling violations, you can contact the police or the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

Michigan Tribal Casinos, Detroit Casinos & Online Casinos

Tribal, Detroit, Online Casinos

The Michigan Gaming Board covers many gambling and gaming topics, but the gambling and obesity correlation topic and tips to fight it are yet to be added to the recommendations of casino operators. Leaving this aside, the Great Lake State has 26 licensed casinos, which offer 30,000+ slots, 30+ poker rooms, and every other gambling game.

Detroit Casinos, MI – Gambling in the Car Capital of the World

If you have seen the best gambling movies of all time, you might have noticed that not even one of them is located in Detroit, MI. Even so, there are three incredible land-based casinos in the car capital of the world. The MGM Grand Detroit, Greektown Casino, and MotorCity Casino offer 10,000+ slots alongside the most popular gambling entertainments you can find at legal casinos.

All three casinos are established according to the Michigan gambling laws. Every operator has a license and regular monitoring of the games’ fair play and mechanics check-ups. You may not know this, but MGM Grand Detroit is one of the best casinos not in Las Vegas. If you have a chance to go to Detroit, don’t miss to try your luck there. Besides the casino games, there are many pari-mutuels, sports betting, lotto, bingo, keno, and other gaming locations.

Michigan Tribal Casinos – Enjoy the Native American Hospitality

Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort

In our history and current state of Native American gaming in the USA article, you can read about the tribal casinos in different states. You need to know that the Native American tribes are sovereign nations. When it comes to gambling, this means that the State of Michigan has no general regulatory authority over any casinos located or operating in tribal land. The National Indian Gaming Commission and the tribal community’s government regulate all gaming and gambling activities.

Currently, there are 23 Class III Tribal Casinos in Michigan, owned and operated by 12 local Native American tribes and located on tribal land. Some of the most popular locations you can visit are the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort (Mount Pleasant), the Fourwinds Resort and Casino (New Buffalo), and the FireKeepers Casino (Battle Creek). Enjoy your gaming, and remember that even though it is tribal land, the gambling age in Michigan requirements applies.

Michigan Online Casinos

Michigan online gambling is legal since 2020, and players can freely enjoy a wide variety of online games. If you are not sure what you like to play or how to choose an online gambling site, then check our online casino USA guide for 2021. Michigan residents and visitors can be sure that the Michigan online gambling laws cover all gambling sites in the table below offer:

Online Casino Land-Based Casino City Tribe
BetRivers Casino Little River Casino and Resort Manistee Little River Band of Ottawa Indians
BetMGM Casino MGM Grand Detroit Detroit
DraftKings Casino Bay Mills Resort & Casino Brimley Bay Mills Indian Community
FanDuel Casino MotorCity Casino Hotel Detroit
Golden Nugget Casino Ojibwa Casino Marquette Keweenaw Bay Indian Community
PokerStars Casino Odawa Casino Resort Petoskey Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians
PointsBet Northern Waters Casino Resort Watersmeet Lac Vieux Desert tribe
TwinSpires Casino Island Resort & Casino Bark River Hannahville Indian Community
William Hill Grand Traverse Resort and SPA Acme Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
WynnBet Casino Kewadin Casino, Hotel and Convention Center Sault Sainte Marie Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

As you can see, gambling laws in Michigan are a worthy opponent of New Jersey online gambling. Players can freely register on those sites and join the games after a minimum deposit. Browse the list and make sure to check each operators’ bonuses to pick the right one for you. Even though all those casinos are licensed, you can check their credentials and be certain that you play at a legit casino.

Legal Gambling Games in Michigan, USA

The illegal gambling activities in Michigan include pool selling, registering bets, and gambling in stocks, bonds, grain, or products. On the other hand, the legal gambling games list is a mile long. Check the table below to find out details about the most popular land-based and Michigan online gambling games you can play.

Casino Games and Poker
Casino Games & Poker Casino games including poker, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat, and their variations are just as exciting as the Michigan millionaire parties. Players can access the full range of legal gambling games at a Detroit, tribal, or online casino.
Lotto & Games of Luck
Lotto & Games of Luck Games of luck like the lottery, keno, and charitable bingo are preferred for entertainment for many people regardless of age and occupation. The chance to win great prizes adds to the excitement and desire to play.
Sports Betting and Daily Fantasy Sports
Sports Betting & Daily Fantasy Sports Sports betting are the hottest spot for bettors, fans of a specific sport or sports team. To extend the excitement of the sports even more, many operators in Michigan now offer top daily fantasy sports betting.
Horse Races
Horse Races Horse races became legal at the beginning of the last century, and ever since, they have brought excitement and prizes to countless bettors. Michigan’s visitors and residents are welcome to try this gambling option whenever they like.

If you are a player, we recommend you follow the gambling age in Michigan requirements and, after you win, to pay your taxes. Do not worry about faulty gaming devices because all licensed casino games are checked and monitored by the Michigan Gaming Control Board Gaming Lab. If you are curious about this topic and the casino licenses, check the control board’s website. Otherwise, enjoy the abundance of games and promos given by the players.

Michigan Gambling Laws Popular Questions

In our article about the Michigan gambling laws, we gave detailed information about the gaming opportunities in Michigan. This Q&A about gambling laws in Michigan has the most popular questions on this topic. We have summarized the answers, so if you need further details, follow the links to the relevant section in our article.

⚖️ Is it illegal to gamble in Michigan?

According to the federal and the Michigan gambling laws, gambling is legal in Michigan state. Visitors and locals can participate in online gambling and enter the brick and mortar casino or gambling location. Even though the top casinos in Michigan are legit, we remind you to check the licenses of the operator before playing just as a precautionary measure.

🏈 When will sports gambling be legal in Michigan?

Sports gambling laws in Michigan is legal both online and at land-based locations. Besides this, the list of legal games in Michigan includes slots, poker, horse races, lottery, casino games, bingo, and almost any other form of gambling game you can find at land-based or online casino. Besides this, you can also play daily fantasy sports.

📱 Is online gambling legal in Michigan?

The great news is that online gambling laws in Michigan became legal in 2020. The land-based operators hurried up, and now the Detroit casinos and many Native American tribal casinos have online versions. All visitors and residents of the state can register, log in, and play the selected games whenever they please and on the go.

👍 How to get a gambling license in Michigan?

The Michigan gambling license procedure is clearly described in the Michigan Gaming Control & Revenue Act. All operators who desire to receive a license or renew the existing one need to contact the Michigan Gaming Control Board. The first step is to collect the required documents, proof of identity, pay the fees, and then the board decides.

💸 What is the Michigan tax on gambling winnings?

Once a player wins from Michigan online gambling or at a land-based casino, he must pay winner’s tax. This tax is 4.25% of the total prize and is best to be paid as soon as possible. You can find information on how to pay at the Michigan Gaming Control Board website, IRS website, and at the gambling location.

🔞 What happens if you gamble under the age of 18 in Michigan?

The gambling age in Michigan varies depending on the game and the establishment. For example, you have to be over 21 years old to play at casinos serving alcohol and 18 years old for the rest of the locations. Underage players are asked to leave the casino and may even face a gambling violation penalty.

🚙 Are there casinos in Detroit, Michigan?

The Michigan gambling laws allowed the establishment of the three Detroit casinos known today. One of them, the MGM Grand Detroit, is even considered to be one of the top casinos not located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Each of the three gambling locations offers 3000+ slots and top casino gambling games.

🦌 Are there tribal casinos in Michigan?

Currently, there are 23 Native American casinos in Michigan, located on tribal land. The casinos are owned and operated by tribes and own Class III gambling license. Their work is regulated by the local tribal authorities and a specially appointed agent at the Michigan Gaming Control Board, which is not part of the board.

✨ How many casinos are in Michigan?

At this moment, there are 26 casinos in Michigan spread all over the state. Three of the casinos are in Detroit, while the rest are located on the tribal lands of 12 Native American nations. All casinos are licensed, regulated, monitored, and operate under the federal gambling legislation, Michigan gambling law, or the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.



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