Betting online in Detroit? Find out about Michigan’s online gambling laws

As one of the major states in the US Great Lakes region, Michigan has a very large population. It’s also home to Detroit, the largest city in the state with over 600,000 people – many of whom enjoy placing a bet from time to time. Most Michigan residents who are interested in gambling will likely have heard about the changes to the law which have been implemented nationally. But how have the new “states’ rights” laws affected gambling in Michigan in particular? In short: legal online gambling in Michigan is possible, and can tell you more. This article will explore some of the main changes and look in detail at what’s happening.

The national legal changes

The door to legal sports betting, whether online or in-person, has only recently been opened. Other than in Las Vegas, it was previously impossible for anyone to place a legal bet on in-play, single-game sports outcomes in the United States. This was because of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, a law dating back to the early 1990s. Now, though, this has changed. The Supreme Court struck the law down in a 9-0 decision back in 2018, and casinos, sports teams and more have since got in the action. But how has this affected Michigan?

The status in Michigan 

Michigan is, you will be pleased to know, firmly on the liberalization side of gambling laws since the recent national changes. Take a walk around Detroit and you will quickly find a wide collection of casino resorts available to enjoy. In total, there are over 20 casinos currently operating on tribal land as well as three more non-tribal commercial ones. There are two race tracks in the state, too – although these only allow what is known as “pari-mutuel horse betting”. Betting on the outcome of a football or baseball game is illegal.

And while the state has not yet passed a sports betting bill, there’s one in the works in the local legislature – meaning that by next year you may well be able to bet on sports in the state. The same goes for some of its near neighbors, including Illinois. The most recent key development was a gaming bill that went through the state congress back in December of last year. If it had passed, it would have allowed existing casinos in the state to apply for a sports betting license if they so wished. However, this law never made it to the statute books because it was vetoed by the governor. 

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One thing that is well worth bearing in mind is that Detroit is located just over the Detroit River from Ontario in Canada, where there are plenty of casinos to choose from such as the large one in Point Edward near Michigan’s Port Huron – and, crucially, where there is also a burgeoning movement in place to legalize single-game sports betting. In the long term, this is likely to influence the legislators in favor of harmonizing the rules on both sides of the river.


Online gambling options

As a result of the precarious political situation in Michigan when it comes to sports gambling, it’s likely that most of the online betting sites you’ll come across which are approved for use in the state will be along the lines of casino games, card games, table games and more. Some offshore sports betting sites exist, but they may not meet your exact needs and might not provide the protections and policies you need to bet safely. While the legalization of sports betting would certainly improve the range of choice that a betting-minded Detroit citizen could enjoy, it’s worth noting that there are certain distinct advantages to the existing online betting offers. They can, for example, allow you to place your bets in the privacy of your own home, rather than having to go to a physical location.

From a trip to Lake Superior to the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, Michigan has got plenty going for it. But when it comes to gambling, the picture is somewhat complex. Despite the best efforts of lawmakers to force through legislation allowing online sports betting to be legalized, the situation hasn’t yet changed. Efforts are underway to legalize online sports betting, though. In the meantime, it’s possible to head down to a few authorized physical locations to place a bet – or to simply change course away from sports and make the most of the many online and real-life casino options the state has to offer.

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