How to Bet on Sports in Michigan

Legal and regulated sports betting has arrived here in Michigan. Experienced bettors have been waiting for this day for some time, while those who are new to the game would probably like to have some questions answered.

Regardless of where you land on the experience spectrum, we’re here to help and get you pointed in the right direction. Our complete look at how to bet on sports in Michigan has information that’s valuable to bettors at all levels.

From the best places to play to what you can expect from online sportsbooks and betting apps to all points in between, it’s all here. We’ll begin by taking a closer look at how the legality question finally got answered in Michigan. Read on.

Legal sports betting in Michigan

For decades, sports betting was effectively banned across the US with the exception of a few spots. A long-running court case aimed at changing that finally made its way before the Supreme Court of the United States in May 2018.

The court overturned the law, allowing individual states to decide whether to legalize sports betting within their own borders. A number of states have done just that, allowing for legal and regulated sports betting.

It took a while for progress here in Michigan, but liftoff was finally achieved in December 2019. State lawmakers passed legislation, and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed it into law, officially legalizing sports betting in Michigan.

Retail sportsbooks opened at the state’s three commercial casinos in March 2020. Several opened at brick-and-mortar tribal casinos in the following months, and more are expected to follow, as is the official online and mobile rollout.

In order to place bets online or via app, users must be 21 or older and located within state lines. To verify that you are where you say you are, sports betting operators are required to use geolocation tracking technology.

Online sportsbooks in Michigan

Michigan has high hopes for the overall sports betting marketplace in the state, and major sports betting operators are lined up and ready to go. In order to gain access to the market, they need to have partnered up with one of the brick-and-mortar casinos in the state.

Let’s take a look at five of the biggest names that are aiming to launch between fall 2020 and early 2021, as well as what kind of sign-up and bonus offers they may bring to the table.

BetMGM Sportsbook

  • Land-based partner: MGM Grand Detroit
  • Retail opening: March 11, 2020

BetMGM hasn’t been shy about bonus offerings in other states entered to date, so we’re expecting more of the same here. New users who create an account via our exclusive links are entitled to a 100% deposit match up to $500.

BetRivers Sportsbook

  • Land-based partner: Little River Band of Ottawa Indians
  • Retail opening: July 17, 2020

For BetRivers, readers who sign up and create an account via our links are looking at a 100% deposit match up to $250. The company isn’t shy with ongoing promos, either, and features a solid rewards program.

DraftKings Sportsbook

  • Land-based partner: Bay Mills Indian Community
  • Retail opening: Expected in fall 2020

DraftKings has raced to the top of the charts in a number of states, and its sign-up offers have certainly helped there. Our readers have been entitled to bonuses such as a $25 join bonus, a $500 bonus bet and a deposit match up to $500.

FanDuel Sportsbook

  • Land-based partner: MotorCity Casino
  • Retail opening: March 12, 2020

How does a bonus bet of up to $1,000 sound? That’s not a fantasy, but rather a real live offer that FanDuel has made available to our readers in the past. Taking advantage is as simple as clicking through on our exclusive links to get started.

FOX Bet Sportsbook

  • Land-based partner: Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
  • Retail opening: Sept. 24, 2020

If you’ve seen any FOX Sports programming lately, then there’s a good chance you’ve heard lots about the FOX Bet app. You can try it out with a bonus first bet up to $500 by clicking through on our links to register.

How to open an online betting account

The general process for creating an account with an online sportsbook is in the same ballpark for all operators. First things first, remember to click through on our exclusive link to get started. This will help to ensure that you are eligible for the bonuses listed above.

Afterward, you’ll be redirected to a new page where you’ll begin entering your information. Typically, you’ll have to enter the following details:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Password
  • Date of birth
  • Last four digits of your Social Security number
  • Address
  • Phone number

The exact order may vary, but it’s usually the same stuff. At some online books, information is gathered in a single step or two, while others have you go through multiple steps. Once that’s all good to go, you’ll have to check off some boxes.

This is for the legal stuff, such as accepting the terms and conditions and verifying that you’re 21 years or older. Some operators will also ask you to opt in to receive promotional offerings, and we would recommend doing so.

All this means is that they’ll email you out the latest deals and offers. It’s a good way to stay abreast of what’s going on, especially in cases in which you might not have logged in for some time. Most operators keep it reasonable and don’t flood your inbox, but you can always unsubscribe if that comes up.

After your new account is all set, take the time to download the sportsbook app for your device. Leading sportsbooks are available on both iOS and Android, and you’ll find clear download links on the operator website.

Once you log in on mobile for the first time, you’ll have a functioning sportsbook to take with you on the go. In cases in which the operator is waiting for approval by one of the two main operating systems, the sportsbook website is typically optimized to work on smaller screens.

If you’re working off of a desktop or laptop, following the above process will get you up and running quickly. For those who prefer taking care of everything via mobile device, we’ve got you covered in the next section.

Signing up with a mobile phone 

You can get yourself all set up right from your smartphone, as well. For starters, be sure to click through on our exclusive links. You’ll get some outstanding sign-up offers for doing so, and also be pointed in the right direction to take care of business immediately.

The process will basically be the same as if you were doing it on a desktop or laptop, albeit in condensed fashion. As mentioned, operator websites are optimized to work on mobile, so you should have little trouble clicking or swiping your way around.

You’ll be prompted to enter the same basic information and to check off the relevant boxes where needed. Once you’ve created the account, you should still take the time to download the iOS or Android app where available.

You’re covered with access both ways by doing that — online or via mobile — so if one goes down, you’ll still be able to get in right away. That’s not a situation that comes up a lot, but it’s worth mentioning as one of the benefits to having both web and app access.

How to deposit money at an online sportsbook

Account funding is one of the areas in which there’s not complete uniformity across the sports betting landscape. For example, you’ll find that some operators offer up more or fewer options than their peers.

That said, the main funding options are basically standard at this point. Here are the main ways you should be able to deposit funds at your online sportsbook.

  • Credit and debit cards
  • ACH or bank transfer
  • PayPal

Those choices cover the majority of users, but some operators also include options such as Skrill, PayNearMe, prepaid cards or cash at a partner casino cage.

To deposit funds online, you’ll need to be logged into your account. Look for the button that’s labeled “deposit.” If it’s not prominently displayed in the upper right of the website, then you can find it by looking through the “my account” section.

Depositing is as simple as plugging in the amount and choosing a method. You’ll receive an on-screen confirmation as soon as it goes through. Your account balance will be updated right away.

As for when it’s time to withdraw funds, the default method is for money to be returned to the source that you used for deposits. If you’d prefer to use another method and are having trouble getting it to go through, then just reach out to customer support for assistance.

What sports can you bet on in Michigan?

You won’t be lacking for options at online sportsbooks here in Michigan. All of the top operators offer a wide range of markets, as well as all of the sports bet types you could ask for. 

The menu of available sports is pretty vast, so it can be helpful to think of it in three parts. As you would expect, one of the biggest drivers of action at online sportsbooks comes via team-based sports.

  • NFL
  • NBA
  • MLB
  • NHL
  • NCAA football
  • NCAA basketball
  • Soccer

Each of the above sports sees a great deal of betting volume. In terms of overall popularity, the NFL takes down first place, while the NBA is second.

Beyond the team competitions, the major individual sports also bring plenty of bettors to the window, especially when there’s a major event coming up.

The remainder of the choices may vary by operator and fall into the category of niche sports. Betting volume can be pretty light here, but there are times when one or more from the below list will see a spike in interest.

  • Australian rules football
  • Cricket
  • Cycling
  • Darts
  • Handball
  • International sports
  • MMA
  • Motor sports
  • Olympics
  • Rugby
  • Snooker
  • Table tennis
  • Volleyball

How to place bets at online sportsbooks

Let’s say that your new account is all set. You’ve received an awesome sign-up offer by using our exclusive links, and you’ve handled business as far as depositing goes to take full advantage. Now what?

There’s a good chance you’ll want to begin placing bets. First up, it’s time to find the sport that you’re interested in. For popular games, you can check the main betting lobby and often find a listing. If it’s not there, look for the menu of available sports and click on the one you want.

After you do so, the main betting window will be populated with all of the upcoming games. Using a weekly NFL slate as an example, you’ll see odds and lines for all of the upcoming games that look something like this.

  • Minnesota Vikings +2.5 (-110) +140 O 49.5 (-110)
  • Detroit Lions -2.5 (-110) -120 U 49.5 (-110)

Right next to the team names will be three boxes with numbers inside of them. From left to right, the boxes are for point spread bets, moneyline wagers and totals bets. You can find additional wagering options for the game by clicking through on the listing.

If you like the Lions at -2.5 points over the division rival Vikings, then you would click on the corresponding box. The wager will automatically be added to the betting slip. You’ll add the amount you want to bet, verify that everything is correct, and click submit.

The sportsbook will quickly do its thing, and you’ll receive confirmation once the bet is approved. You’ll be able to find it among your pending bets afterward, and in the settled bets section once the game is over and the wager has been graded.