Michigan Legal Poker 2023
Michigan is one of those US states where some land-based casinos exist, but moves towards legalizing and regulating online gambling remain rather static. If you're waiting for the state's stamp of approval, you could be waiting a long time for legal poker sites in Michigan to open up.
But that doesn't mean you can't play. In 2023, American poker players in the Wolverine State can play at dozens of US-facing websites, but are still awaiting any push from lawmakers to make poker online legal in its own right.
While some laws have been passed that have stated taking bets on the web is a felony, as of 2023, no American living in Michigan has ever been prosecuted for playing Texas Hold'em or Omaha on the net. So go ahead and enjoy online poker Michigan!
Is Online Poker Legal in Michigan?
Regulated gaming in the Wolverine state is fairly new. In 1996, the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act was passed, which led to the creation of the Michigan Gaming Control Board and the opening of three major casinos in Detroit.
However, when it comes to online poker Michigan law is a bit murkier.
In 1999, the state passed a bill, HB 4689, which made it a felony to accept bets online. The bill was widened to include all "crimes" committed on the web. However, gambling on the Internet was not made explicitly illegal. So you can still find plenty of legal poker sites in Michigan that operate from offshore.
Are Any More Bills Likely?
If there are, they probably won't be pro-gambling ones.
In 2013, Rep. Kevin Cotter proposed a bill that would make it illegal to play the Michigan Lottery online. Cotter said at the time: "Online lottery systems have not proven to be overly successful across the US and the danger to our citizens by being able to pay later for their wagers by using a credit card is not the right move for Michigan."
While the Republican senator was speaking about online lotteries, it's easy to see that poker or table games could readily fall under that umbrella, paving the way for legal poker sites in Michigan.
Interestingly, Cotter's bill has had support from the operators of one of Michigan's tribal casinos - the Soaring Eagle Casino - so the move could be perceived to be one of fear of losing revenue to online poker Michigan operators for the state's Indian gaming operators.
What's the Live Poker Scene Like?
Michigan is home to over 20 legal brick-and-mortar casinos and cardrooms, mostly tribal. There are also several casinos in Detroit (MotorCity Casino, Greektown Casino, and the MGM Grand), all authorized by the Michigan Gaming Control Board. Poker is offered at most casinos, and home games are permitted.
Brick-and-mortar casinos are big business in Michigan. Greektown in Detroit, for example, has 100,000 square feet of gaming floor space and over 2,500 slots, as well as the largest poker room in the city. However, none of these casinos offers online poker. Michigan residents should look to one of the offshore sites if they want to play on the internet.
The Future of Legal Poker In Michigan
As has been seen in California and Nevada, regulated online poker Michigan gaming has worried some land-based casino operators, fearful of losing valuable dollar revenue.
But should MI legalize Internet gaming - and as of December 2023 that looks a very big 'if' - lawmakers will need the tribal casinos on their side if any law is to succeed.
The tribal Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort wants to launch an online casino (for play money only at this stage) which would give Michigan residents free-play games like roulette and blackjack.
One thing the state has favourgoing for it in terms of having a thriving online poker MI legal scene - is its relatively large population - 7 million people over the age of 21. Just like New Jersey, this could be seen as being one of the keys to legal Internet gaming coming to the state.
Can I Play Online Poker Legally in Michigan?
Under a 1999 law, it is illegal to take a bet, although references to gambling and poker were removed a year later. Playing poker online has never been made explicitly illegal, so you can take comfort if you choose to play at legal poker sites in Michigan that happen to be licensed in other countries.
What Age Do You Have to be To Gamble There?
18 or over to gamble, but age restrictions vary from 18-21 at different legalized brick-and-mortar casinos.
Are There Any Live Casinos in Michigan?
Under the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act, three casino complexes have opened - all in Detroit - while there are over 20 tribal casinos operating on Native American reservations. So while you're waiting for the online poker Michigan legal situation to clear up, you can enjoy live poker easily.
Can I Make Real Cash Deposits In the State?
While the playing of Internet poker is not technically illegal in Michigan, USA players are free to make real-money transactions to sites that are US-friendly. The same processing problems exist in MI as they do elsewhere in the US, however, so keep that in mind when depositing to an online poker MI legal site (and cashing out your winnings too).