ESTNN Staff
ESTNN Staff

Michigan Online Sports Betting: Top MI Sportsbook Apps for 2022

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One of the main reasons that Michigan is viewed as such a diverse gambling state these days is because all forms are approved – on many different fronts. Ever since January 2021, it has been legal to make sports bets, both in-person and online, and even casino gaming, as well as fantasy sports, have been given the nod. That’s why, at the time of writing, there are 12 Michigan online sports betting sites, with plenty more on the horizon. However, while these sites didn’t go online until January 2021, it was actually 2020 when the first physical sportsbooks started accepting wagers.

And thanks to the flexibility of Michigan gambling regulations, many big brands have been attracted to the state. This includes the likes of DraftKings, BetRivers, Caesars, Golden Nugget, FanDuel, and many others. Since these brands already have an established presence in other states, it shows that they are not only the best, but that they are expanding too! Without question, the Michigan sports betting market is going in the right direction.

And anyone who is 21+ and based in the state can get in on the action.

Best online sports betting Michigan sites

  • Barstool
  • DraftKings
  • Four Winds
  • Golden Nugget
  • PointsBet

Latest updates on Michigan sports betting

Michigan Online Sports Betting

2020 was supposed to be the take-off year for sports betting Michigan platforms. However, when we say platforms, we mean retail sports betting – not online betting. That wasn’t to come until January 2021, which is where the full sports betting buffet begins. That same month, over $100 million worth of sports wagers were placed via Michigan sports betting apps, retail sportsbooks, and desktop sites combined. And as the figures show us, the market is growing exponentially larger.

August 2021 was when we first started to see impressive numbers. In that month alone, the handle from all sports betting platforms surpassed the $200 mark. September also saw similar numbers, but October – that’s where Michigan established itself on the map. The handle for this month fell just shy of $400 million, which demonstrated an 85% increase in sports betting activity and revenues across the board. That is scary growth, and as more Michigan sports betting sites join the party, these numbers will only move in one direction.

Is sports betting legal in Michigan for online wagers?

Sports betting is most certainly legal in Michigan, and online wagers have been approved ever since January 2021. With that said, the answer to the question of ‘is sports betting legal in Michigan' would have received a different response prior to 2021! But now, the bill that passed dictates that all betting platforms are supported in this state, with a heavy concentration on mobile betting apps. Practically every betting site that has launched so far has done so with the release of an Android and iOS app – the most convenient way for Michigan punters to make their bets. This is also why we’ve witnessed such a surge in betting activity. And the kinds of numbers we see today were never going to be possible back when retail betting was the only option.

Michigan punters have Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to thank for the current betting climate. She is the one who relentlessly pressed ahead and got the sports betting bill passed, and while others started the journey, Whitmer is the one that finished it. And perhaps most excitingly, while 12 online sportsbooks currently exist, there are more than 20 licensing deals up for grabs in this state. This alone makes us believe that there will be even more online betting resources to pop up in the near future.

Where to bet on sports in Michigan?

In accordance with the specific laws outlined in the sports betting bill, Michigan punters can bet in one of two ways. To keep things as transparent as possible, we’ve detailed your two options right here:

Physical sportsbooks

At the time of writing, there are 26 physical casinos currently operating in Michigan. Of these 26, 23 are actually owned and operated by Michigan tribes. The other three are privately held and are based in Detroit. Now, that might not seem great if you wanted to make a sports bet through a private casino. But in terms of the tribal casinos, these are scattered all over Michigan state, so there’s a fair chance that you won’t have to travel far to find one.

Online

Perform a quick search for ‘online sports betting Michigan’, and you’ll discover a wide range of results. Ever since the bill to allow online sports betting came into effect in January 2021, various betting brands have flooded the market. That’s a good thing – more competition means better bonuses, better odds, and a better online betting experience overall. And when we say online, we mean that both Michigan mobile sports betting and desktop betting are permitted.

Online sportsbooks available now in Michigan

At the time of writing, there are 25 different Michigan sports betting sites currently in operation. Needless to say, you are spoilt for choice if you are based in this state. Without further ado, we’d like to give you a very quick overview of each one:

Barstool Sportsbook

Daily odds boosts, generous promotions, and competitive odds – just a handful of the benefits you get at Barstool Sportsbook. And speaking of generous bonuses, the new player offer gives you a shot at a $1,000 risk-free bet. Not bad, right? Barstool Sportsbook went live in January 2021 with its mobile apps readily available, and this was done through a licensing agreement with Greektown Casino.

BetMGM Sportsbook

Just like Barstool Sportsbook, BetMGM took off in January 2021. As it happens, the MGM brand already had a physical casino in Michigan – the MGM Grand Detroit. So for that reason, BetMGM had a pretty easy time getting started, and it’s definitely a top-quality betting platform. BetMGM is also handing out a $1,000 risk-free bet to new customers, which you can instantly grab after signing up.

BetRivers Sportsbook

BetRivers supports one of the best Michigan sports betting apps in the game. The app is quick, powerful, loaded with extensive betting opportunities, and solid bonuses are hiding around every corner. BetRivers launched thanks to a deal with Little River Band, and since January 2021, these guys haven’t looked back. Make sure you keep an eye out for the odds boosts that BetRivers hands out too, which are extraordinary for larger events.

Caesars Sportsbook

While Caesars, as a brand, is just as large as guys like BetMGM, they didn’t have the luxury of having a physical casino located in Michigan prior to sports betting legalization. However, that didn’t stop Caesars from launching at the very start of the legislation changes, and they went live in January 2021. Caesars has a top-drawer app for both Android and iOS, and you can receive a $1,001 risk-free bet by signing up through this platform.

DraftKings Sportsbook

Anyone involved in the sports betting game knows about DraftKings these days. They might have started out as a fantasy sports platform, but DraftKings is now a dominant player in the Michigan sports betting game – made possible due to the partnership with the Bay Mills Indian Community. DraftKings easily snaps up new customers thanks to the $1,000 risk-free bet on the table for all newcomers, but it’s the quality of the offerings that retain them.

With fantastic betting markets, great odds, and some pretty awesome reload offers, DraftKings is definitely one of the top sites out there.

FanDuel Sportsbook

FanDuel is pretty much on a par with DraftKings in terms of size and stature. And just like DraftKings, FanDuel has a $1,000 risk-free bet for new customers to take advantage of. The diversity of betting markets via the FanDuel app is incredible too, for all major US leagues. This includes the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, and MLS – all popular sports in North America. FanDuel has been in Michigan since January 2021 too, under a licensing agreement with MotorCity Casino.

FoxBet Sportsbook

You guessed it – the FoxBet Sportsbook is part of the TV network, only this platform is for betting, not broadcasting. FoxBet, like other brands on this list, went live from the word go in, in January 2021. They wasted no time in picking up speed either, attracting thousands of new customers with the $500 risk-free bet, available for use on any of the 20+ sports covered on the site.

Four Winds Sportsbook

Unlike the other Michigan sports betting sites mentioned here, Four Winds offers a deposit boost for new players, instead of a risk-free wager. This bonus consists of a 200% deposit boost, with a maximum of $100 in bonus funds. Once obtained, you can bet on pre-match, live, or futures markets across a broad range of sports, and Four Winds has a surprising number of special features too. The site launched in February 2021 under a partnership with the Pokagon Band.

Golden Nugget Sportsbook

Golden Nugget struck a deal with the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community ahead of January 2021, which is why they could launch immediately. Golden Nugget has a pretty awesome bonus for new sports betting customers too, with $1,000 on the table through the 100% deposit match. These guys operate a pretty slick betting platform too, with a stylish mobile app and loads of sports to bet on.

PointsBet Sportsbook

PointsBet does not mess around when it comes to sign-up deals. New customers can instantly lock in $2,000 worth of risk-free bets after signing up. And that’s not all – PointsBet is home to a unique method of spread betting, something that punters love once they come to grips with it. But if that seems a little complicated, which it can be, PointsBet still has competitive fixed odds betting for all sports. These guys have been in Michigan since January 2021 thanks to a partnership with the Les Vieux Desert Band.

TwinSpires Sportsbook

TwinSpires has carved out a nice niche for itself with respect to horse racing betting. Without question, this is the best site for betting on horse racing in the entire state, thanks to special features and awesome odds. All of this is possible through a great mobile app too, which does include a separate sportsbook to add to the horse racing betting product. There is a $200 welcome bonus for new customers here, which is also decent, and TwinSpires has operated since January 2021 under the deal struck with the Hannahville Indian Community.

WynnBet Sportsbook

WynnBet welcomes new customers with open arms and a large bonus – a $1,000 risk-free bet for use on any sport. Beyond this, WynnBet offers awesome parlays, streaming services, and you can even build your own bet through the respective tools. WynnBet has been entertaining Michigan punters since January 2021, having established a deal with the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe.

What about the legal online sports betting apps?

For any betting brand to offer a mobile app in Michigan, it must have an established partnership with one of the tribal or private casinos. This is the one and only way that Michigan sports betting sites can come to fruition. Therefore, setting up partnerships with these various locations is like gold for any site looking to gain entry. And to give you a simple overview, here are the partnerships that have facilitated the launch of Michigan mobile sports betting apps:

  • Greektown Casino – Barstool Sportsbook
  • MGM Grand Detroit – BetMGM Sportsbook
  • Little River Band of Ottawa Indians – BetRivers Sportsbook
  • Grand Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians – Caesars Sportsbook
  • Bay Mills Indian Community – DraftKings Sportsbook
  • MotorCity Casino – FanDuel Sportsbook
  • Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians – Four Winds Sportsbook
  • Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians – FoxBet Sportsbook
  • Keweenaw Bay Indian Community – Golden Nugget Sportsbook
  • Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians – PointsBet Sportsbook
  • Hannahville Indian Community – TwinSpires Sportsbook
  • Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians – WynnBet Sportsbook

Without the partnerships you see above, no betting brand is actually able to set up shop in Michigan. Of course, this means that no sports betting apps will go live without the correct partnerships or licensing arrangements in place either.

Online Sports Betting Sites that could soon come to Michigan

It can be tricky when predicting which Michigan online sports betting brand will launch next. After all, there can be a lot of red tape that stands in the way, not to mention the technical element of setting up mobile apps for any specific state. But with that said, there are a few betting brands that have already carved through the red tape, and all that’s next for them is to launch. We’ve covered these brands right here:

FireKeepers

FireKeepers is by no means a household name in the wider betting industry. In fact, there isn’t a FireKeepers brand in any major betting site, making it native to Michigan. In our opinion, that’s pretty cool, and these guys already have an established arrangement with the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Indians. This means that FireKeepers is ready to roll, and they could launch at any date now.

PlayGunLake

Much like FireKeepers, PlayGunLake is a brand that is native to Michigan. This one is even more unique, however, because it’s a brand that is launching through its own tribe – the Gun Lake Tribe. We even know that Parx will be the technical support platform that is used, although no exact launch date is yet known. So for that reason, we will all have to watch this space closely.

Soaring Eagle

Finally, Soaring Eagle is another brand to watch out for. A partnership has been formed between Soaring Eagle and the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. So, since we know that pen has been put to paper, we are fairly confident in stating that a launch under this brand is imminent.

Other things you should know about online sports betting sites in Michigan

Opening a new sports betting account in Michigan

The laws regarding Michigan online sports betting, and sports betting in this state, in general, are very clear. Any Michigan punter who wants to register for an online betting account or make wagers in person must be over the age of 21. In addition to this, they must have a residential address in Michigan, since this makes them bound by the laws of the state. If you are someone who meets these specifications, you can already pick from the list of Michigan mobile sports betting sites and sign up today.

On that note, opening an online account, while simple, does require some specific information. You must provide the relative site with your address, date of birth, full name, cell phone number, and SSN (for tax purposes). It’s worth noting that Michigan sports betting sites will also need you to verify your address and age. This is done by emailing them with proof of address and a photo ID, such as a driving license or passport. Once you have passed the verification checks, the online betting world is your oyster!

What kind of welcome bonus can you get with a Michigan sports betting operator?

Michigan Online Sports Betting

Here’s the beauty of a competitive market – different brands want to steal your attention and subsequent business by offering increasingly attractive sign-up offers. And here’s another benefit of gambling in Michigan, you aren’t limited as to how many betting sites you register with. So theoretically, you can bag as many sign-up bonuses as there are available. This is also a good strategy as it increases your overall betting options further down the road.

With this said, speaking of enticing sign-up offers, we would recommend that you go for DraftKings or FanDuel. Of course, both of these welcome bonuses are exactly the same ($1,000 risk-free bet), and they are equally as flexible as one another. As you will find out should you register with these sites too, they offer truly superior sports betting options compared with some of the newer brands in Michigan.

However, you don’t have to sign up with one of these sites. After all, there are other sign-up bonuses that vary in structure and how to redeem them. These are discussed below:

Deposit boost

Whenever you make a deposit, it goes without saying that what you put in is what you get out. But what if this wasn’t the case? Certain Michigan sports betting sites offer a deposit bonus for first-time depositors, and this can often lead to a boost of 100% or even more!

Enhanced odds

When you place a sports bet, the value of your wager is multiplied by the odds to determine your potential return. Therefore, the higher the odds, the more you could possibly win. That’s where enhanced odds welcome bonuses serve as a handy way to get started – sometimes doubling the odds for your first bet.

No deposit bonus

Not sure of whether you want to commit any money to your chosen betting site just yet? Don’t worry, if your selected betting site has a no deposit bonus you can try before you buy. These offers aren’t usually very large, and they are more restricted concerning the terms and conditions. However, they essentially carry zero risks!

Risk-free bet

Speaking of zero risks, by definition, that’s what this kind of offer can do for you. You’ve probably noticed that many Michigan sports betting apps offer such rewards. These rewards work as reimbursement if your selected wager loses. Although you will only get back the maximum value as stated in the bonus terms.

Brick-and-Mortar Casinos where you can place sports bets

Although all 26 physical casinos are permitted to offer retail sports betting, only half of them have managed to get this in place, at the time of writing. Of course, this means that unless you know which casinos offer sports betting, there is no guarantee that your local casino will be able to assist. On that note, some of the major players currently offering retail sports betting include the MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino, Greektown Casino, FireKeepers Casino, and Odawa Casino.

Note that this is not a comprehensive list, it’s just a quick overview of some of the more prestigious physical sportsbooks. And to add to the benefits of having 13 physical casinos in which to place sports bets, these locations accept various wagers too. You can bet on upcoming events or futures at these locations. The choice is yours, and more casinos are planning to develop physical sportsbooks over the next 12 months!

Betting on the most popular Michigan sports

NFL

The NFL is still the most popular sport in Michigan state, despite the Detroit Lions not being overly successful in the league. Sure, this team has won four rings in the past, that level of success hasn’t happened in a long time. Then again, that doesn’t stop Michigan sports fans from enjoying all of the home games. And specifically for sports betting, all Michigan betting sites let you wager on moneyline, handicaps, and spreads for every NFL game of the season.

The profile of the NFL in Michigan has also been given a boost recently, thanks to a deal struck with BetMGM.

NBA

Much like the NFL, the NBA has just one Michigan-based team – the Detroit Pistons. Back in the day, the Pistons had a bit of a bad-boy image, which created somewhat of a love-hate relationship with players and fans. But these days, the Pistons are a much-loved team in Michigan, even if they haven’t enjoyed enormous success compared with other teams. Then again, when it comes to sports betting, punters aren’t overly concerned with the individual success of any team.

And with great bonuses, 100+ betting markets, and boosted odds at the top sites, NBA betting as a whole is hugely popular in Michigan.

MLB

Once again, the MLB also has just one Michigan-based team, the Detroit Tigers. In a claim to fame, this team has the longest history of any other professional side in the state. This has created a nice legacy that attracts fans, both young and old. And at pretty much all sports betting Michigan platforms, you can wager on the Tigers, as well as a host of other MLB teams week in and week out.

Since the MLB also has a World Series at the close of each season, we highly recommend that you tune in for that time of year. This is where you’ll get the best betting opportunities and the most enticing betting bonuses.

NHL

Out of all the professional leagues discussed here, the NHL is home to the most successful Michigan team of them all. Of course, this team is the Detroit Red Wings – winners of 11 Stanley Cup titles. Naturally, you can bet on the moneyline market for each time that the Red Wings take to the ice. But NHL games are home to some fantastic spread betting markets since scoring points add up to create an immense range of outcomes for any individual game.

You can even bet on which players will score the goals, in both a pre-match and live setting through many Michigan online sports betting platforms.

MMA

There is obviously no MMA team in Michigan, as this is an individual sport. But with that said, MMA fights have gained plenty of attention from sponsors, companies, and betting sites over the last few years. You can even bet on both male and female fights at Michigan’s top sportsbooks, with many different markets available. This includes who will win, in what round, how they will win, and so many others. If you are able to watch the game, you might want to consider placing some live bets for big MMA fights too.

MLS

The reason we are listing the MLS isn’t because of any local interest, for there isn’t any. Instead, we are listing it because of the awesome betting opportunities that this league provides. The MLS is home to a range of games every season, and much like other professional leagues, individual games can attract well over 100 betting markets. By nature, soccer lets you create some pretty unique markets yourself too, and you can bet on a whole range of things such as goalscorers, final score, handicaps, corners, and even bookings.

NCAA

Another cool thing about being able to place sports bets in Michigan is the fact that NCAA betting is permitted. Other states have taken a different stance on this, for reasons relating to potential interference from punters based in the state. However, as seen in the bill, this isn't the case in Michigan. And for that reason, you can easily bet on big competitions relating to NCAA football as well as NCAA basketball. Both of the post-season events for these competitions open the floodgates for a range of bets, bonuses, and plenty of excitement.

History of Michigan Sports Betting

Michigan actually had a very turbulent time when it came to the legalization of sports betting. While other states were able to pass the bills within a matter of months, Michigan’s battle to legalize the activity took years. In fact, the story dates back all the way to 2015, as detailed below:

2015 – 2016 – initial legislation

As you probably know, this was a long time before the famous PASPA decision was overturned in the US Supreme Court. This two-year span saw three bills put forward by Rep. Robert Kosowski, with varying degrees of success. The first bill, H4669, was to enable physical casinos to start accepting sports bets. The second, H4670, was to expand the overall range of sports that casinos could offer to include horse racing.

Both of these initial bills were put forward in 2015, but Kosowski tried again in 2016 with the H5828 bill. In this bill, he had changed the approach to also allow third-party suppliers to offer sports betting. While this bill caught the most attention, none of them ultimately got out of the gates.

2017 – Iden’s efforts

Following on from the unsuccessful effort of Kosowski to legalize sports betting, Rep. Brandt Iden took the reins. Initially, bill H4926 didn’t actually allow sports betting, but for mysterious reasons, Brandt revised the bill and changed his stance on sports betting entirely. The new bill actually supported the legalization of sports betting, and a new act was created as a result of this. The act was known as the ‘Lawful Internet Gaming Act', and yes, Iden managed to get this passed through the relative committee.

This demonstrated the first real signs that Michigan was going to alter its stance on the sports betting industry.

2018 – so close but so far

Things were moving along quite nicely after Iden got his bill passed in the committee. The legislation even permitted the Michigan Gaming Control Board to have full authority over issuing online betting licenses for various brands. The new sports betting measures had all of the momentum necessary, and all relative stakeholders were convinced to support the bill thanks to Sen. Mike Kowall. The bill made it all the way to the top, and at the final hurdle, Gov. Rick Snyder knocked it back – a crushing blow to potential Michigan online sports betting sites to launch in the state.

2019 – at long last

2019 was the year that it all changed for sports betting in Michigan. The bill that had failed the previous year was brought back to life thanks to some strategic partnerships. Iden decided to join forces with Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr. and go on the offensive. The two created a new bill known as H4916, and this bill was once again put forward to the Governor. But this time, there was a different Governor at the helm – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

At this point, there were countless stakeholders on board to launch Michigan sports betting sites at a moment's notice. This news obviously pleased the Governor, who approved the sports betting bill in December 2019.

2020 – retail betting goes live

Since Michigan had so many physical casinos up and running, the easiest way for supplies to get started was through currently existing casinos. In early 2020, the first few sports bets were made in Michigan – in-person. This was obviously quite a pivotal moment for the long-term sports betting market, as this truly was ground zero. However, global events had other ideas, and the growth of sports betting wasn’t as explosive as anticipated.

2021 – a new online sports betting Michigan era (online)

Finally – Michigan sports betting starts to blossom. Numerous betting brands enter the market in the very first month of legalization, January 2021. And as the months rolled by, millions of dollars started to be wagered across all platforms, justifying that this was indeed the right move from a financial perspective. Now, as 2021 comes to a close, Michigan is well on its way to becoming one of the largest betting states of all.

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