Michigan Gaming Control Board Makes ‘Smart’ Call by Authorizing Online Gaming AND Sports Betting

The Michigan Gaming Control Board recently authorized nine operators to begin online sports betting or both online gaming and sports betting.

“The Michigan Gaming Control Board and the state’s commercial and tribal casinos have begun a new era with the launch of regulated online gaming and sports betting,” Richard S. Kalm, MGCB executive director, said in a statement. “Michigan residents love sports and, judging by inquiries we’ve received, eagerly anticipate using mobile devices to place bets through the commercial and tribal casinos. Online gaming and sports betting will provide the casinos with new ways to engage with customers while the state and local communities will benefit from taxes and payments on wagering revenue.”

Jeff Ifrah, of Ifrah PLLC, credited Michigan with being “proactive.”

“With online casino generating more than twice the revenue as online sports, Michigan is very smart to launch both verticals at the same time,” said Ifrah. “States which offer only online sports are leaving a lot of tax dollars on the table and those dollars can be put to good use to support education and early childhood care, among other things.”

The operators authorized to begin online offerings are:

Tribe/CasinoAssociated Platform ProviderGaming Type(s) Offeredon Jan. 22
Bay Mills Indian CommunityDraftKingsInternet Casino GamesInternet Sports Betting
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa IndiansWilliam HillInternet Casino GamesInternet Sports Betting
Greektown CasinoPenn Sports Interactive/ Barstool SportsbookInternet Sports Betting
Hannahville Indian CommunityTwinSpiresInternet Casino Games Internet Sports Betting
Keweenaw Bay Indian CommunityGolden Nugget Online GamingInternet Casino GamesInternet Sports Betting
Little River Band of Ottawa IndiansRush StreetInternet Casino GamesInternet Sports Betting
MGM Grand DetroitBetMGM/Roar DigitalInternet Casino GamesInternet Sports Betting
MotorCity CasinoFanDuelInternet Casino GamesInternet Sports Betting
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa IndiansWynnInternet Casino GamesInternet Sports Betting

The MGCB expects to authorize additional operators and platform providers in the coming days and weeks as agency staff review other submissions to ensure they meet the state’s regulatory requirements. Controls to ensure safety and fairness for bettors have been key concerns for the MGCB.

“We want the public to have confidence when they place wagers, and our agency has required the providers to prove they meet Michigan’s standards, which are designed to protect the participants,” Kalm said.

Taxes and Payment Rates

The tax and payment rate for online sports betting is 8.4 percent. The tax and payment rate for internet gaming ranges from about 20 percent to 28 percent.

The Detroit casinos also may be required to pay a municipal services fee and a development agreement payment to the city of Detroit.

Tax Allocations

For the Detroit casinos, online sports betting and internet gaming taxes are allocated:

  • 30 percent to the city of Detroit
  • 5 percent to the Michigan Agriculture Equine Industry Development Fund (up to $3 million per year from each tax source)
  • 65 percent to the state Internet Sports Betting Fund or the state Internet Gaming Fund

For internet gaming, a hold-harmless provision seeks to help the city recoup lost gaming tax revenue if the city of Detroit collects less than $183 million in a fiscal year.

For the tribal casinos:

  • Online Sports Betting: Payments by tribes are allocated to the Internet Sports Betting Fund (90 percent) and the Michigan Strategic Fund (10 percent)
  • Internet Gaming: Payments by tribes are allocated 20 percent to local jurisdiction governing body for services, 70 percent to the state Internet Gaming Fund and 10 percent to the Michigan Strategic Fund.

Internet Sports Betting Fund/Internet Gaming Fund

Other money collected under these acts will be used for:

  • Appropriated funding for MGCB
  • The Compulsive Gaming Prevention Fund ($500,000 annually after board expenditures)
  • The First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund ($2 million after board expenditures and Compulsive Gambling fund)
  • The State School Aid Fund (all money remaining after the above expenditures)


The MGCB has published FAQs, patron dispute forms and a sports wagering catalog on its website, www.michigan.gov/mgcb.