Gambling in Michigan

Michigan Gambling laws on casinos, lotteries, fantasy sports

Our review of US gambling laws and news continues with Michigan. Read about legal and illegal forms of gambling in Michigan!

Betting and casino gambling laws in Michigan

Gambling is a popular pastime in Michigan as some of its forms are legal and regulated by the government. Pari-mutuel betting, racetracks, tribal casinos and commercial gambling are all allowed by Michigan gambling laws. The state is home to twelve federally-acknowledged Indian tribes, all of them enjoying special status under federal law and treaties. Currently, the many tribes of Michigan operate 22 casinos and there are some under development, to be opened in 2016. Furthermore, the Michigan Gaming Control & Revenue Act allows for three commercial casinos in Detroit. However, non-tribal casinos are still illegal elsewhere in the state.

Online gambling in Michigan

Despite the encouragement of some US gambling news and promotion sites, online gambling in Michigan is illegal. The Michigan Gaming Control Board has clearly stated that all forms of gaming are illegal in Michigan, except those specifically permitted (listed above). This means that besides internet casino games, online poker is illegal in Michigan as well. Gambling offenses are treated as misdemeanors and are punishable by imprisonment and a fine of USD 1,000. “Right now, there’s no legalized form of Internet gambling in Michigan,” confirmed Richard Kalm, executive director of the gaming control board, in 2016.

Lotteries in Michigan

Established under Act 239 of 1972, the Michigan Lottery offers draw games, instant games and pull tabs. Multi-state lotteries are also available in Michigan, including Powerball and Mega Millions. The revenues are used for the aid of Michigan’s educational system. Since 2013, the Michigan Lottery is available online as well. Going online caused a great dispute between the state and the tribes. The Gun Lake Tribe decided to withhold revenue sharing payments when the state expanded within their market area. After the controversy, the CEO of Michigan’s Economic Development Corporation, Steve Arwood said that “it goes without saying that the scale and scope of our program must be reduced.” The Michigan Lottery has started a new advertising campaign, which started with a Super Bowl 2016 ad.

Daily Fantasy Sports in Michigan

Daily Fantasy Sports games are “illegal under current Michigan law”, said the executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board, Rick Kalm. “Any gambling not specifically authorized is an issue,” he added. SB0459, sponsored by Curtis Hertel, would exclude daily fantasy sports from the ban of online gambling in Michigan. Meanwhile, the major daily fantasy sports sites still accept Michigan residents.

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