Beginner’s Guide To Michigan Online Sports Betting

After a year of anticipation, online sports betting has finally come to Michigan. It’s a vital part of the sports betting industry–especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s the final piece of Michigan’s sports betting industry, and bettors must understand how to navigate it. Here’s what Michiganders need to know about betting online instead of being confined to retail options.

Michigan’s Online Sports Betting Apps 2021

On launch day Michigan bettors will have 10 mobile sports betting apps to choose from with the full list is below.



William Hill




Golden Nugget


Barstool Sports


BetRivers has made a splash in multiple online markets, including nearby Illinois and Pennsylvania. The Rush Street Interactive-operated sportsbook offers an excellent welcome bonus. High rollers may favor the sign-up offers at bigger sportsbooks, but BetRivers’ offer is great for the everyday bettor: a 100% deposit match up to $250 with only a 1x playthrough requirement.

William Hill similarly has a foothold in many legal markets, with Michigan just the latest in a long line of launches for the operator. The Leelanau Sands and Turtle Creek casinos operated by Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians serve as William Hill’s license partner in Michigan. Expect bettor-friendly odds and markets from William Hill, alongside a great stable of promos.

FanDuel and DraftKings are nationally recognized fantasy sports brands. But as soon as PASPA was repealed, they pivoted to offer sports betting, too. They’re reliably easy to navigate, so bettors can narrow down the sea of betting lines. They also offer competitive bonuses, so bettors looking to take advantage of promotions will find good choices in these two options. Of course, their odds are competitive, too. DraftKings tends to have stronger odds on the favorite and FanDuel on the underdog. They’re solid choices for new bettors.

However, BetMGM is a pretty good choice, too. It offers a hefty welcome bonus and competitive odds across the board. It doesn’t favor one side or the other. It’s a must-check for bettors wise enough to compare sportsbook odds.

Sportsbook App Promotions in Michigan

One of the reasons these Michigan sportsbooks stand out is because of their promotions. They look stunning at a glance. But sportsbooks don’t make money by giving away free money. Michiganders should expect to put their own money up before reaping any sportsbook rewards. Here’s what Michigan’s top three sportsbooks offer their new bettors:

Don’t be fooled by the big numbers. Those bonuses come with important terms. DraftKings’ deposit bonus awards bettors for how much they deposit. It awards $1 in site credits for every $5 bettors deposit. So unless bettors have $5,000 to deposit upfront, they won’t get the full value of the bonus immediately.

FanDuel, William Hill, and BetMGM’s risk-free bets aren’t exactly risk-free, either. Bettors still have to wager their own money. However, they’ll get their stakes back if they lose, up to the bonus amount. So, if Michiganders wager $1,000 at FanDuel and lose, they’ll get $1,000 back in site credits. A losing bet at BetMGM would only earn $500 in site credits. William hill also offers a $500 risk-free bet.

BetRivers offers one of the friendliest bonuses with a 100% match up to $250 and only a 1x wagering requirement.

But Michigan’s sportsbooks aren’t just taking bettors for a ride, either. The goal of these bonuses is to encourage bettors to continue wagering well after the promotional terms expire. If bettors plan on wagering at one of these sportsbooks for a long time, then these promotions could be worth it for them in the long run. But bettors should take some time to understand these promotions before rushing into their first wagers. Bonus terms are important to understand for strategic bettors.

How Michigan Legalized Sports Betting

Between Michigan’s commercial casinos, tribal casinos, and opponents to sports betting, legalizing sports betting was an ordeal. However, the state managed to get it done when one republican congressman decided to make sports betting his pet issue. Over four years, Brandt Iden reconciled the many conflicts between commercial and tribal casinos to bring sports betting to Michigan.

Iden began with an online gambling bill. But while he was preparing that bill, the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). PASPA was the law that criminalized sports betting in all but three states. Once it was gone, states were free to legalize sports betting if they chose. In response, Iden’s internet gaming bill became an online sports betting bill.

It took him about two years to craft the legislation and get it to the governor’s desk. However, Governor Rick Snyder didn’t sign it, citing concerns about such a large change at the end of his final term. Undeterred, Iden prepared another bill for the next governor. In 2019, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Iden’s sports betting bill into law. Sports betting was officially legal in Michigan.

However, Michiganders had to wait for online sports betting. The Michigan Gaming Control Board still had to write the rules governing online sports betting. It’d be months before those rules were ready.

It was a long wait, but now that the regulations are in place and sportsbooks can launch, Michiganders can dive into the action.

What Can Michiganders Bet On?

Michigan bettors will have plenty of betting options on their new sportsbook apps. They’ll find professional sports staples, like football, baseball, basketball, and hockey. (Soccer too, if you’re into that.) If college sports survive the pandemic, Michiganders will be able to find their favorite college sports, too.

However, bettors will find many other sports from outside the mainstream sport selection. DraftKings offers lines on handball while FanDuel offers lines on cycling and cricket. BetMGM dwarfs both their selections with game lines on badminton, Nordic combined sports, and snooker.

Whether bettors enjoy mainstream American sports or want to explore something new, Michigan’s sportsbooks will have them covered.

Where Do Michigan’s Sportsbook Apps’ Taxes Go?

If you lose money on your first few bets, don’t worry. Sportsbooks’ are taxed 8.4% on their adjusted gross revenues. That means after they pay bettors their winnings and subtract their promotions, sportsbooks pay the State of Michigan. If they’re partnered with one of Detroit’s three commercial casinos, that 8.4% tax splits. 3.78% goes to the State and 4.62% goes to the City of Detroit. Those taxes will pad state and city budgets and–ideally–improve public services for Michigan.

If a sportsbook is partnered with a tribal casino, the tax revenue goes to the Michigan Strategic Fund. That’s a fund dedicated to job creation and economic development in Michigan. Tribes pay 2-12% of their gaming taxes into the Michigan Strategic Fund. So, regardless of which apps Michiganders choose to play at, bettors’ losses will have a life beyond an ill-advised wager on Ohio State.

Michigan Online Sportsbook Basics

Michiganders finally have access to sportsbook apps, bringing much-needed convenience to Michigan’s sports betting market. Sports betting morphed from an online internet gaming bill to one of the country’s premier sports betting industries. Major players like DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM are offering big promotions for new bettors. But bettors should make sure they understand bonus terms before trying to incorporate them into betting strategies. There are myriad events for bettors to wager on. But if bettors lose, sportsbooks’ tax dollars are going to the state, Detroit, and the Michigan Strategic Fund.

Now that the final piece of Michigan’s sports betting industry is in place, Michiganders may enjoy the fruits of sportsbook websites, apps, and retail locations.

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