If you live in Michigan and are interested in gambling, chances are you have been to one of the 26 casinos in the state. In-person gambling definitely has its advantages: fun with friends, socializing, the joyful noise when your favorite slot machine pays out, dinner at one of the casino restaurants, and maybe even a celebratory cocktail after going on a heater at the blackjack table. While slightly different, the casino gaming experience is now available online.
Launching on January 22, 2021, online casino games are now legal and live in the Wolverine state, bringing unprecedented accessibility and convenience. Looking for the full scoop? You’ve come to the right place. Following the example of other regulated states including New Jersey and Pennsylvania, casino fans in Michigan are able to enjoy strong promotions, a wide variety of game options, and numerous, easy ways to deposit and withdraw. Read on as we break it all down, including which casino companies are pacing the state and the advantages of wagering with a legal, regulated online casino. Let’s get started.
Best legal MI online casinos
Who is eligible to gamble online in Michigan?
There are two simple requirements for iGaming eligibility in Michigan. Per state law, anyone that is 21+ years old is able to sign up and play. Next, you have to be in the state when you play. If you are not physically inside the Michigan state borders, you won’t be allowed to pony up a penny. Additional restrictions surrounding Responsible Gaming initiatives may exist, but by and large you just need to be 21, and in Michigan.
MI casino promo codes & bonuses
A promotion code is just that: a code given to you by a casino operator that you can use for a discount or bonus offered by the casino. These bonuses can be in the form of site credit, a free play, or straight funds in your account. Michigan online casinos are competing in a regulated marketplace, meaning bettors in the state benefit by having access to some of the biggest promotions and bonuses in the country. Simply put: if a casino doesn’t bring value, players won’t bring action. The most common and popular types of promotions and bonuses include:
It’s almost impossible to get anything for free, but a no-deposit bonus is as close as you can get these days. Sign up for an account with a no-deposit offer and your bonus is immediately available to use on whatever qualified games you choose. These free money offers are not typically more than $25 or so, but it’s enough to take a chance on your favorite number in roulette, play some blackjack, or try out a few slot machines. There’s no risk!
First deposit match/deposit bonus
If you like to play online casino games, you could potentially double the available money in your account right away by finding a casino with a first deposit bonus. Also referred to as a match bonus, many casinos will match your first deposit, sometimes up to $1,500+. The deposit match can vary from 20% to 100% of the deposit, depending on the casino. There are usually strings attached to this sort of offer, however, in the form of a playthrough requirement. The playthrough will indicate that you need to wager a certain amount in order to clear the bonus. While you can use a bonus in the casino right away, you can’t withdraw it until it’s been cleared. A 10x playthrough requirement, for example, would mean you need to wager 10x the amount of the bonus. I.e., $1,000 to clear a $100 bonus ($100 “played through” 10 times = $1,000). Be sure to look at the terms and conditions before making your deposit.
Risk-free play plays/cashback
Similar to the common Michigan sportsbook promotion, some operators will let you play risk-free. With risk-free or “cashback” offers, you can play all you want for a certain period of time, usually between 24 hours and a week, and the casino will refund a certain amount of money back to your account if you end up in the red once time has expired. If you end up winning, great for you, but this promo lets you play for a certain amount of time knowing that you have a safety net (up to the promotional max).
Read the fine print
Each operator has different rules governing their promotions. It is important to read the Terms and Conditions before accepting a promotion. The bonuses and promo codes are exciting and valuable, but it’s vital to understand the terms before jumping in.
Top online casinos in MI
|Casino||License Partner||Casino Partner||Retail Location||Online Launch|
|BetMGM||Commercial||MGM Grand Detroit||Detroit||January 2021|
|BetRivers||Little River Band of Ottawa Indians||Little River Casino & Resort||Manistee||January 2021|
|DraftKings Casino||Bay Mills Indian Community||Bay Mills Resort & Casino||Brimley||January 2021|
|FanDuel Casino||Commercial||MotorCity Casino||Detroit||January 2021|
|Golden Nugget||Keweenaw Bay Indian Community||Ojibwa Casinos||Baraga & Marquette||January 2021|
|TwinSpires Casino||Hannahville Indian Community||Island Resort & Casino||Harris||January 2021|
|William Hill Casino||Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians||Leelanau Sands & Turtle Creek||Peshawbestown & Williamsburg||January 2021|
|WynnBET Casino||Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians||Kewadin Casinos||Manistique, Sault Ste. Marie, & St. Ignace||January 2021
|PokerStars Casino||Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians||Odawa Casinos||Mackinaw City & Petoskey||January 2021|
|Barstool Casino||Commercial||Greektown Casino||Detroit||January 2021|
|Parx Casino||Gun Lake Tribe||Gun Lake Casino||Wayland||TBD|
|PointsBet||Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians||Northern Waters Casino||Watersmeet||TBD|
The best online casinos aren’t necessarily the ones offering the most generous sign-up bonus. While that’s certainly part of the equation, it’s not the entire thing. In addition to a nice sign-up bonus, the best operators offer the widest selection of games, favorable rules, the cleanest and easiest website/app, and superior customer service options in case you have a question. With that in mind, here are our picks for the best in Michigan:
- BetMGM – MGM has a HUGE casino right in downtown Detroit. As such, MGM has been a presence in Michigan for many years, so it makes sense that it would offer a leading online casino experience with a generous intro offer. BetMGM online casino launched in January 2021 and has been one of the top operators in the state since. BetMGM offers a variety of casino favorites and an easy to navigate website/ mobile app. Plus all MGM online casino players are eligible for the M Life Rewards program, an industry-leading player rewards program.
- BetRivers – BetRivers has come a long way since its introduction in New Jersey in 2016. Similar to BetMGM, it has an excellent rewards program, but it also has a great online experience derived from the technology innovations pioneered by its owner, Rush Street Interactive. All the top games are available. BetRivers is a solid option for both new and experienced casino players in Michigan.
- Golden Nugget – You’ve probably heard of the Golden Nugget brand. Its iconic downtown Las Vegas location has entertained gamblers for decades. Golden Nugget also has a large retail casino in Atlantic City, NJ and has been the online casino market leader in the Garden State for several years now. Golden Nugget partnered with the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community’s and its Ojibwa Casino to bring an established and successful online casino brand to Michigan. The user interface is a bit more crowded and more challenging to navigate than other online casinos, but there are numerous promotions available, customer service is excellent, and the game library top notch.
Michigan online casino games
Michigan law allows for all of the most prominent casino games to move online. This includes slots, jackpot slots, blackjack, baccarat, pai gow, roulette, video poker, Live Dealer, and more.
Just like at a retail casino, slots are among the most popular games available online. Each operator has dozens of different slot games available; many have hundreds! Slots are popular because the amount risked can be high or very low, sometimes just cents per spin. The graphics are bright and noisy, and hitting a jackpot is just as exciting on your smartphone as it is in person. There are many advantages to playing the slots from home using a regulated operator, including the fact that the odds of winning are the same at a retail casino and you can play whenever you want. Slots also transfer extremely well to mobile play.
In the same vein as traditional slot titles, but every pull of the virtual lever feeds into a progressive jackpot. Once it hits, you have the chance to win enormous sums. The more a jackpot game gets paid, the larger the prizepool grows. Return to player rates aren’t quite as high, but the allure of a life changing jackpot is always there.
Blackjack is a very popular game, both at retail casinos and online. The biggest difference between the retail and online versions is the minimum bet requirement. Most retail casinos have a minimum bet requirement of $10 or more, though you might be able to find a $5 table if you look hard enough. Plus, those tables at retail casinos fill up quickly. On the other hand, there’s plenty of room for you at the online blackjack table, and the minimums are a fraction of what you’ll need to put up in-person. If you’re interested in betting big, you can certainly do that too!
There is always a buzz around the roulette table as high rollers and regular bettors alike place their chips on the table among the myriad betting options. Black? 3rd 12? 26? Maybe all 3 will hit. Or maybe it ends up on Red 5. It’s easy to understand and exciting to play, making it a hit in every casino setting. Online roulette is played exactly the same way, but at most online casinos there are several different options to choose from, including American roulette (0/00), European and French roulette (just 0), and even 100-1 roulette (100 numbers and 0/00/000 instead of 36 and 0/00). Whenever possible, stick to the European and French versions. Fewer zeros equals more wins.
Video poker can be found at almost every retail casino nationwide and in states, such as Montana, that allow a few casino machines at bars and restaurants. It differs from live poker in that you’re playing against the house rather than other players. There are different types of video poker, with the most popular titles made by Game King. It’s fast, entertaining, and can be played for varying amounts of money.
Live Dealer Games
Live dealer games are not available at all casinos, but for those of you who miss personal interaction, you can go online and find yourself a virtual game with a live dealer and other players to mingle with. These are real games, streamed in real time, with real cards, and real people to converse with. It’s as close as you can get to the casino without stepping inside of one. All Live Dealer games are produced and broadcast from a professional studio. Live Dealer games include blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and more.
Why play online?
An evening at the casino can be fun and exciting, but it is generally not an every-day occurrence. While not exactly the same experience, in Michigan you can now play online casino games for real money on your phone, tablet or computer in the comfort of your house, any day of the week. Imagine potentially winning the same amount of money you would win at the casino without having to dress up, leave the house, find a place to park, and deal with crowds.
With online gaming, you can play any casino game at any time: slots with your coffee at breakfast, blackjack at lunch before a work call, and roulette after dinner while watching House Hunters. All you need is an account.
We’ve gone over some of the games you can play online, but let’s break down the major pros of online play:
Pros of online casino gaming
- No driving – No waiting in the cold for your cold car to warm up, then sitting in traffic trying to find a place to park at the casino. So much work just to play a few slots! You don’t even need to get off the couch to play casino games online.
- No smoking – If you’re a non-smoker, it is generally unpleasant to be in a smoky casino. We put up with the stinky clothes and unhealthy air at a casino because that’s where the games are. If you’re at home, your house can smell like anything you want, from simmering marinara sauce to a fragrant candle, to burnt toast after an unfortunate toaster mishap.
- No getting dressed up – Wearing pajamas at home = no problem. Wearing pajamas at the casino = slightly less common.
- Variety of games – You may have a favorite slot machine at your local casino. Maybe a favorite dealer. But what if the machine is taken or the table is full? What if the minimums are out of your price range because it’s a popular day at the casino? You don’t need to worry about any of that with online gaming. Your favorite game is always available, with scalable stakes, and there are hundreds of options to choose from.
- Security and integrity – All online casinos in Michigan are regulated by the same branch of the government that inspects and approves licenses for retail casinos, the Michigan Gaming Control Board. The Gaming Control Board also developed rules and regulations related to how casinos store your funds, so you can be assured that your cash is as secure as the chips in your hand when you gamble in-person.
Cons of online casino gaming
- Lack of in-person excitement – There is a reason why retail casinos are so popular. People like the social aspect of going to the casino. It’s exciting to be there and play the games while also having a drink at the bar or checking out a show at the theater. If you just wanted to gamble, you could do that online by yourself. Online gaming has its advantages, but it can never fully replace the excitement of a retail casino.
- Lack of immediate access to cash – At the retail casino, if you win a hand at blackjack, you can take your chips and go right over to the cage and exchange them for cash. No waiting. If you win a few hands online, you can leave the game and withdraw your bankroll, but it will still take a few days to get the funds from your online casino account to your checking account. This may not be an issue for everyone, but there is something to be said for immediately being paid out your winnings in cash. Keep a lookout for Michigan online casinos that also permit in-person cash withdrawals.
Speaking of accessing cash, there are several ways to make deposits and withdrawals at online casinos in Michigan. As mentioned above, your deposits are secure and your withdrawals will be processed promptly. This applies for all online casinos that have partnered with tribes, and those linked with commercial establishments alike. Withdrawal and deposit options include:
- Credit/debit cards
- Online banking transfer
- Branded Play+ prepaid cards
- Cash at retail casino cage (not available at all retail casinos)
Are online casino games legal in Michigan?
Yes they are, but make sure you’re using an official, regulated casino that’s been licensed to operate in the state. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the bill that officially legalized online casinos in late 2019, but it took nearly a year for them to launch
How do I sign up with a Michigan online casino?
It’s a pretty simple process. Visit the site (check out our links above!) or download the app that corresponds with your chosen brand and follow the registration prompts. You’ll be required to submit your personal info including the last four digits of your Social Security Number. Don’t worry though, all of your data will be safe and protected. Since Michigan online casinos are legal, the state needs to know who you are to give you access.
Will I receive rewards for my play?
It depends which online casino that you use. Some casinos have linked their online casino rewards program to their brick-and-mortar set up. Others have stand alone online reward structures, and some offer very little in this regard. There is value out there though, so keep a lookout.
Can the casino tell if I'm in Michigan?
Yep. Before you can place a real money wager you will be required to prove your location. Desktop casino sites require a separate plugin download, while mobile devices just need access to your phone’s GPS chip/location services. The casino needs to know where you are at all times or else it will revoke your ability to bet.
Can I play for free?
Some casinos offer free money, no-deposit bonuses for new sign ups. If you’re looking to get a taste for Michigan online casino gaming, this can be a great help. In addition, some casinos allow you to demo their games free of charge. For example, Golden Nugget MI has free play-money demos on the majority of its titles. Play all you want before risking a penny.
Gambling is meant to be entertainment, like watching Netflix or going to a baseball game. While you know that you should only bet as much as you can afford to lose, you also know that you should eat vegetables every day. Sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. If you’re losing more and enjoying the casino games less, there are available resources that can help.
All casinos in Michigan are required to allow individuals to sign up for a self-exclusion list. This means that you would not be allowed to bet with an operator online or go to their physical casino. This is helpful for people who are trying not to gamble. Additionally, the Michigan Gaming Control Board set up a gambling helpline to connect problem gamblers with services and help. Even if you just need someone to talk to, it’s a great resource. The phone number for the Michigan Problem Gambler helpline is 1-800-270-7117. SportsHandle also has a page with additional information on problem gambling and ways to get help. Please bet responsibly.