Is Michigan a Gambling-Friendly State?

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Not so long ago, gambling-friendly states in the United States didn’t exist. Except for the anomalies of Nevada and New Jersey, America was firm on the topic of wagering – it’s not allowed. Fast forward a decade and the restrictions are easing up in several regions, with Michigan being one of the main states to jump on the bandwagon. 

If you live in the Wolverine State or simply find yourself within its borders for travel or work, it’s possible to enjoy betting in a couple of different forms. Does this make it a gambling-friendly place? Lots of features seem to suggest this, including the ones listed below. 

The History of Land-Based Casinos 

The evolution of legal gambling in Michigan isn’t surprising. That’s because the state has a history regarding wagering within casinos. It has taken a while before online betting became popular (more on that later), but bettors have been able to set their stakes in person since the 1980s. 

In 1984, the Kings Club Casino in Brimley, Michigan opened as the first-ever tribal-owned establishment in the United States. The Kings Club set a precedent that Michigan and other states followed closely. Today, there are 26 physical casinos in MI, 23 of which are operated by tribes. Therefore, Michigan has allowed gambling for nearly 40 years. 

The Rise of Online Gambling 

When online wagering started to take off in Europe, the US was watching events unfold closely. As it turned out, the internet was the platform that changed the game as it was too big to stop. Some states across the US are still battling, yet Michigan was happy to pass legislation through the House and Senate. 

Today, only a small selection of gambling-related activities is banned in MI. They are pool selling, registering bets, and gambling in stocks, bonds, grain or produce. On the flip side, internet sports and casino wagering are legal, as is on- and off-track horse racing and bingo. It’s not just the state’s history with betting that helps. It’s the positive impacts on the region, such as the money raised in taxes from the Michigan online casino handle. After all, the value of the industry boosts the coffers considerably, since it’s a billion-dollar market. 

Michigan Compared with the Rest of America 

However, this may be in verticals that aren’t popular, such as lotteries. Michigan is a heavy-hitter because it has legalized almost everything, from sports betting to online casino wagering. If you analyze the position compared to a neighbor like Illinois, IL has only legalized sports betting. MI has legalized all three of the major verticals. Indeed, it is one of four states where this is the case. As a result, the state generated a wagering amount of $115.2 million within the first ten days of sports betting being legalized. With a tax percentage of between 20% and 28% for online operators, Michigan residents stand to benefit from a cash influx. Illinois, on the other hand, only generated $37.6 million for the whole of July 2021. This means IL could fall behind its neighbor as MI positions itself as the home of US wagering. 

Hopefully, Illinois will catch up in the future as attitudes towards gambling evolve, and if it does, a place like Michigan will have had an effect. 

The short answer to the question ‘is Michigan a gambling-friendly state?’ is “yes”. MI has a history of wagering and hasn’t tried to outlaw the most modern features of the industry. As a result, it has a more progressive attitude than the vast majority of the 50 states. 

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