Sports betting has been legal in Michigan since last March. But to do that you had to go to a real casino that offered sports betting.
But a new era of sports gaming is beginning for casual and hardcore bettors alike, as online gambling and sports betting officially begins in the state on Friday. Nine websites come online at noon, so you can bet from the comfort of your own home – either on your desktop or, most likely, on your phone.
These nine that are listed along with their casino affiliate are:
FanDuel (MotorCity Casino)
BetMGM (MGM Grand Detroit)
Penn Sports Interactive / Barstool Sports Betting (Greektown Casino)
DraftKings (Bay Mills Indian Community)
William Hill (Grand Traverse Band of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians)
TwinSpires (Hannahville Indian Community)
Golden Nugget (Keweenaw Bay Indian Community)
Rush Street (Little River Band of the Ottawa Indians)
Wynn (Sault Ste. Marie tribe of the Chippewa Indians)
Their apps are quick to download and you can legally bet on anything from this weekend’s NFL playoffs to Bulgarian football, rugby, cricket, darts, drone racing and more.
Seasoned players have been doing this for years, whether they use offshore sites like Bovada or BetOnline or go old school and have a bookmaker. Legalized mobile betting, however, means that Michiganders won’t have to pay pesky international fees to their bank or an additional fee to the website for every deposit. Or go to Indiana or Illinois to use legal mobile apps for betting.
If you’ve made up your mind to dip your toes into the world of sports betting, here’s an idea of what you’re getting into.
Is there an age limit?
Yes. You must be 21 years of age to participate in sports betting in Michigan.
Do I have to live in Michigan to play or bet?
Similar to a trip to Las Vegas or the Atlantic City casinos, you can place bets within state lines using the online sites / apps. So if you live in Ohio or Wisconsin, you can just go to Michigan and bet on your phone.
“The great thing about our app is that it can travel with you from state to state,” said Johnny Avello, director of racing and sports betting for DraftKings. “There are probably people around Michigan who want to participate and don’t have sports betting, who go to Michigan and sign up and place their bet, go home and keep doing that when they want to place a bet.”
Choose an app that suits you best
The number of bets they offer for each sport varies depending on the sportsbook. So if you have an interest in tennis or car racing, or even darker sports like drone racing or gaming, you should find the sports betting that best suits your interests. You can download these apps before signing up and see what’s on offer. Plus, you can get a feel for the functionality of each app and see what you like.
A uniquely qualified professional in the world of sports betting is Dan Kilbridge, a graduate of East Lansing and Michigan State – and former State Journal employee – who now works as a betting writer and handicapper for Bookies.com.
“Be sure to look at several options before making a deposit,” said Kilbridge. “If you’re really into tennis and find that the book you’re looking at doesn’t have many tennis lines, find something else as there is a book for every tennis bet you can think of.”
If you are particularly interested in usability in apps, Kilbridge recommends DraftKings or FanDuel.
“These are both very easy to use and designed to provide a user-friendly experience,” said Kilbridge.
While all of these sports bets are combined with what Avello calls “brick-and-mortar” casinos, he expects 99 percent of all bets placed in Michigan to be online as soon as they go online on Friday.
Use a promotional offer or referral from a friend when you sign up
I can’t stress this enough – every book has a sign up promotion, and you should take advantage of this. Even though you read the fine print first – some websites do not allow new users to withdraw their winnings right away.
For example, DraftKings will have two “Double-Your-Money” promotions for new users:
The pistons make a 3-point shot against the missiles on Friday
Any NFL team that scores a touchdown in conference championship games this weekend.
This is a maximum of $ 25 bets. So if you both bet and win (which you will too) you basically get $ 50 free when you sign up.
“All of these sports bets have first-time sign-up bonuses and incentives, and often they match your deposits. They essentially double your money out of the box,” said Kilbridge. “If you can distribute (your money), you can basically use these offers with every sports betting.”
FanDuel’s sign-up offer is $ 100 for free bets ($ 50 for sports, $ 50 for casino).
PointsBet’s registration offer is also unique. If you wager $ 25 or more on the pistons to win against Houston on Friday, you will receive $ 1 free bets for every point the pistons score. So if the pistons score 100 points, you will receive a $ 100 free bet.
When you use a Refer a Friend at DraftKings, you both get a free wager of up to $ 100 depending on the new user’s first deposit.
There’s a lot going on in the apps – don’t be overwhelmed
There are also numerous sports to choose from when you first open the app. Not just the usual ones, like NFL or NBA, you’ll see sports like table tennis, drone racing, and cornhole (yes, that’s right).
In addition, when you click on individual games, several alternative point spreads, over-unders (total score) and player props are displayed. There is also live betting for each game.
Moneyline: You bet on a team or a player to win directly. The easiest bet but not where you will make the most money picking a strong favorite.
Spread: You bet on a team to win x points. For example, Kansas City is a 3-point favorite this weekend (you can see the -3 box next to Kansas City). If you think the Chiefs will win by more than 3 points this is the bet you are making. If you think the bills are losing 2 points or less, or winning immediately, you can bet the bills +3.
Over-Under: The total number of points in a game. The over-under line in chiefs bills is 54 points. If you think they can get more points together, you would put the end. Otherwise this is under.
“There’s so much content on this site,” said Avello. “Familiarize yourself with this and place bets that you are comfortable with until you get used to all of the offers we have. I would just tell users to take their time until you know what you are looking for do or ask if you need help. “