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Michigan Online Poker - Explore Legal & Safe Poker/Gambling Sites

Online Poker Sites for Michiganders

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Can I play online poker in the state of Michigan and Is online poker legal in Michigan?  YES! 

Michigan has had an odd relationship with gambling as it is legal, but it is also not as openly encouraged as it might be in other states. However, there are no laws prohibiting private citizens from playing online poker in the privacy of their homes.

Furthermore, there are no Federal laws that make online poker illegal for private citizens. There is a lot of misinformation out there regarding laws such as UIGEA and The Wire Act, but the bottom line is that those laws DO NOT, we repeat, DO NOT apply to ordinary citizens and thus do not prohibit said citizens from engaging in real money poker games.

Currently, there are no state- or federal-regulated options for players in Michigan pending the debut of the first MI-licensed online cardrooms. That being said, offshore gaming is alive and well in Michigan and there are a lot of great choices for players to take advantage of.

Offshore poker sites are often licensed and regulated in other countries such as Panama, Costa Rica, Antigua and Barbuda, Kahnawake, and other foreign countries, and they offer their services to citizens of Michigan legally via World Trade Organization rulings (The United States is the biggest partner and participator in WTO).  Below are the best online sites available to the citizens of Michigan! 


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What Online Poker Sites Can I Play in Michigan?

There's a full complement of real money gaming sites for you to enjoy from your computer in Michigan. While most operators are honest and trustworthy, there are a few that can best be described as lacking in moral fiber. We've compared all available poker rooms against each other to identify the ones that pay out wins honestly, employ sufficient RNG algorithms to ensure a fair deal, and treat their customers right. We've presented them below so that you can select from enterprises that have shown that they deserve your consideration.

 

Ignition Poker

Positive Features of Ignition

Ignition Poker, which is part of the PaiWangLuo Poker Network is our number one recommended option for Michiganders.  New players can receive a generous deposit bonus of up to $2,000: 100% up to $1,000 for poker and another 100% up to $1,000 for casino. If you elect to deposit through Bitcoin, then these bonuses increase to 125% up to $1,250 for poker along with 200% up to $2,000 in the casino.

The poker welcome bonus clears at 50% rakeback equivalent for cash games, normal SNGs, and multi-table tournaments. In lottery-style Jackpot Sit & Go games, the clearance rate is actually faster because of the way that Ignition assigns points.

 Ignition Poker CTA: Play Now

Ignition's games are plentiful and of the highest quality. According to GameIntel.com, the industry expert on such matters, this is the largest site still open to Americans. This wasn't always the case, but the room has grown significantly since Black Friday to eclipse its competitors.

One of the reasons for this is probably its anonymized gameplay. Because nobody can track screennames and record others' playing histories over time, newcomers feel safe and have signed up to Ignition in droves.

The big-bet cash games start at $0.02/$0.05 and go all the way up to high-stakes games where the buy-in is $2,000. Game offerings (in rough order of popularity) include No Limit Hold'em, Pot Limit Omaha, Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo, and Fixed Limit Hold'em.

Zone Poker is a fast paced form of NLHE where every time you fold a hand, you are dealt a new hand at a new table right away. It's possible to play hundreds of hands an hour in this format, making the boredom of waiting for a good hand a thing of the past.

Tournament action is bustling as well with buy-ins of $1 all the way to $540.  The largest regularly scheduled tournament is the Sunday $150,000 guarantee, a $150 +$12 buy-in event that has myriad satellites allowing players to win their way to a seat for as little as $1.10.  Sit and Go tournaments include regular and turbo speeds with buy-ins ranging from $1 to $214.

Ignition also has a casino hosting hundreds of different slots and popular pit games that you'd find at your local B&M casino.  A $1,000 initial casino bonus ($2,000 with BTC) is offered to players who partake in these games.  On top of that they offer an unlimited amount of $1,000 bitcoin reload bonuses for MI-based players.

Professional Rakeback's Ignition CTA

If you would like to start playing Ignition Poker from your own home today, then you can click the link above to get the best deposit bonus offer available! For further details on this popular poker site, check out our fully-loaded Ignition Poker review.

 

SB Poker

Positive features of Chico Poker

The Chico Network of sites not only manages a pretty well-regarded poker division but also hosts a sportsbook, casino games, racebook, and more. You may wish to explore these other product options at your leisure, but what we're focused on right now is the poker side of things.

Our recommended Chico site, SB Poker, is willing to grant you a 100% up to $1,000 bonus to use on the virtual tables when you make your first deposit. It's equal to 20% rakeback on your ring game rake and tournament fees.

SB.ag Play Now CTA

The CPN is the third-largest spot on the internet for American-friendly poker according to Game Intel. NLHE and PLO cash games exist from $5 buyins to those tables that allow you to sit with a stack of up to $1,000. Pot Limit Omaha/8 also sees some decent action depending on the time of day you decide to log in, and there are also 6+ Hold'em games running sometimes.

Sit and Gos are surprisingly populated here, and you'll have no trouble getting them to run from $1, and in some cases even less, up to $200 during peak hours. Tournament action at SB.ag is centered on low dollar buy-in events generally below $33. The largest event on the schedule is a $60,000 guarantee (with $100 + $9 entry) that runs every week on Sunday. From time to time, a special edition of this event runs with a larger prize pool, up to $125,000.

It's possible to access the poker lobby with Mac and Windows download clients. You can also log in via your phone or tablet through iOS and Android apps. The number of people using their various systems to play poker, including sports-betting and casino fish, leads to some juicy games. The mobile experience here is virtually flawless, and the developers have managed to avoid many of the issues we've encountered with competitors' mobile offerings.

Even after you've completed your welcome bonus, there's more free money to look forward to. You'll get about 5% cashback by using your comp points to buy into specially designated tournaments. There's further cash to be had from the weekly leaderboards for sit-n-gos and cash games. Many other bonuses and promos can be had in the sportsbook, casino, and other gambling offerings of Sportsbetting.ag.

SB.ag Play Now CTA

The chips are flying at SB Poker, and you can sign up for an account by following the "Visit Site Now" button above. If you'd rather take it slow and learn more first, then browse through our overview of the Sportsbetting Poker setup. Or you can read about another site on the Chico Network, BetOnline.

 

Intertops

Intertops' positive features image

With more than 30 years in the gambling business, Intertops is certainly a well-seasoned veteran of the industry. Besides poker, you can partake in sports betting and three separate casinos.

The poker bonus here is a 200% up to $1,000 special, which you'll earn out at a rate that can climb as high as 27% rakeback. You'll also get regular 36% dealt rakeback payments to augment your account balance even more.

Intertops play now cta

You'll see NL ring games denominated at both low and high stakes, but the topmost layers of blind levels seldom attract many competitors, so you'll have to content yourself with games of $0.25/$0.50 and below for the most part. There is occasional PLO traffic as well, but you won't be able to count on this consistently.

The most noteworthy tournament is the $100 + $10 Sundowner, which distributes prizes of no less than $10,000 every Sunday. The rest of the tourneys are for smallish buyins and prize pools although there are sometimes satellites to prestigious live events.

Intertops is housed on the Horizon Poker Network and is, in fact, its flagship site. This used to be called the Revolution Network and before that, the Cake Poker Network. While operating under the Revolution name, the network got hit for extensive financial losses by the Lock Poker fiasco. However, Intertops moved to take control of the tottering network and absorbed the damage itself without stiffing its loyal players. It's actions like these that have established its reputation as a no-nonsense, fair, and honest place to play.

Besides your $1,000 bonus, you'll receive 25 free spins for casino slots. There's a poker rake race each week that distributes $4,000, and you don't need to achieve massive rake totals to qualify. Top all of this off with frequent tourney overlays, recurring Loyalty Levels rewards, reload bonuses, and many other promos, and it's easy to understand why playing at Intertops can be a remunerative pastime indeed.

Intertops poker cta

If all of the above sounds good to you, then click above on our banner link to create your Intertops account today. You can also peruse our thoroughgoing Intertops Poker review page to glean more info before signing up.

 

Americas Cardroom

WPN's positive features image

Since 2001, the Winning Poker Network and its forerunner Yatahay Network have been U.S.-Friendly poker organizations that maintain high standards of ethics and player satisfaction. When you join the leading site, Americas Cardroom, you'll benefit from a 100% up to $1,000 bonus that's valued at 20% rakeback.

Americas Cardroom Poker Play Now

This is the second-busiest destination in existence for U.S. online poker,  perhaps because of the broad range of stakes available. In NLHE and PLO, you can choose a game between $0.01/$0.02 and $50/$100: the widest distribution of blind levels available at any site on our list. The $50/$100 games represent a loftier height than that found at any other site that serves Americans, and while they don't run every day, players do join in several times per week. ACR is also winning the hearts of limit poker players who get to enjoy Hold'em, Omaha/8, Seven Card Stud, and Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo Split.

Tournaments, both single-table and multi-table, are where Americas Cardroom deploys the bulk of its attention. Sit-and-gos are always running here, and just as in the cash games, you can compete for small buyins or large. Jackpot Poker combines adds the excitement of lotteries to poker with variable prize pools that depend upon the spin of a random multiplier.

ACR is home to the largest Sunday Major event open to Michiganians: the $200 + $15 Sunday Special, which guarantees $150,000+. Once every few months, you can contend for a seven-figure prize pool with the Venom: a tournament that guarantees $5+ million! In addition, there are multiple millions up for grabs in the tournament series at Americas Cardroom, like the Online Super Series, which pops up a few times per year.

ACR's highlights cta

Click above on the banner to get started at Americas Cardroom now. If you have any further questions about this room, then pore over our accurate Americas Cardroom poker review to get the answers.

The premium site on the Winning Poker Network is Americas Cardroom, but there are others. These poker network “skins” have banded together so that they can attain a greater number of active games and more robust software feature sets than they could do alone. Some of the other reputable sites on WPN are BlackChip Poker (read review) and True Poker (read review). For instructions on how to obtain rakeback on any of these rooms, read through our guide to rakeback on the Winning Poker Network.

 

5Dimes

Positive Features  of 5Dimes

Grand Poker Network is the smallest room that we recommend to you, but it has a number of strengths.  GPN's parent company, 5 Dimes, has been in business for nearly 20 years, taking sports bets worldwide and earning an A+ rating at virtually every bookie review site. 5Dimes Group is one of the most trusted names in sports betting, and therefore, their poker room should be trusted without the worry that may come with other, unproven sites.  This room is still growing, and we offer players 50%+ rakeback when they sign up through Professional Rakeback.

The action at this site is focused around No Limit Holdem with some small-stakes Pot Limit Omaha running too.  This is a splendid site for players looking to run up a bankroll from a small deposit thanks to our large rakeback offer and the soft games that run here from $0.05/$0.10 through $1/$2. The tournament and sit and go action is lacking unfortunately although they do offer a weekly $100 freeroll and daily, no-fee guaranteed tournaments.

Michigan residents will also have access to the top-notch sportsbook on 5Dimes. They accept wagers from almost anyone, pros and recreational players alike.  They have extremely competitive lines due to their “reduced juice” business model.  If you like to bet sports, there are some decent arbitrage opportunities when pairing bets at 5Dimes and placing a reciprocal bet at one of our other recommended bookmaking sites. Several full featured online casinos are also available.

5Dimes CTA - highlights Banner

To become a member at 5Dimes now and start betting in the casinos, sportbook and poker room, click the link provided above. You can learn more about the sites on this network with our roundup of the best Grand Poker Network poker rooms.

 


 

How to Choose the Right Michigan Poker Site

It's impossible for us to say for sure which internet poker room you would find most appealing. This is because they all do things slightly differently, and they each have areas in which they excel and others in which they might not do so well. While there are no absolute rules on choosing an online poker provider, we've come up with some elements to ponder as you're making your decision.

☛ If you're interested in playing at the places with the most games running, then Ignition and Americas Cardroom are the top possibilities available to you.


☛ If you're looking to score the largest possible bonus, then Ignition has a 125% up to $1,250 welcome offer if you deposit via Bitcoin.


☛ If you prioritize regular rakeback returns even when you have no bonus active, then 5Dimes and Intertops will cater to you.


☛ If unique game formats appeal to you, then Americas Cardroom's special tourneys and Zone Poker at Ignition may leave you happy.


☛ If you own a mobile device, then the apps from SB Poker, Ignition, and 5Dimes will allow you to play while on the road or otherwise not at home.


☛ If you wish to find a place to conduct gambling besides poker, then Sportsbetting, Intertops, and 5Dimes will wow you with their casino and sports divisions.


☛ If you're searching for the sites with the leading rewards programs, other than bonuses, then Americas Cardroom and Intertops will deliver the goodies you seek.

 

Payout Report

Dollar Bills

All five of the sites that we've discussed above have bitcoin withdrawal options that make payouts exceptionally fast. Other methods, like checks and money transfers, are also rather fast, but they do take much longer than digital Bitcoin. We therefore counsel all our readers to begin using Bitcoin for their poker playing endeavors. Bitcoin's great for deposits too because you can avoid having your transactions blocked by banks, which sometimes happens when you use plastic to try to fund your accounts.

 

Quick Facts about Michigan's Online Poker Laws

Legal Reference Book

The Michigan Penal Code contains elements dating way back to 1931 mixed together with newer revisions and amendments, so overall, it's a hodgepodge of confusing language and seemingly contradictory rules. We'll try to illuminate any such parts of the law that appear that they may impact online poker although most of them are subject to several distinct interpretations. The part of the law dealing with gambling is Chapter 750, sections 301 - 315a.

An important thing to realize about these sections pertaining to gambling is that the term “gambling” isn't defined anywhere within this body of law! There are other parts of the MI compiled laws that do explain what gambling is especially the provisions governing regulated and licensed casino operations, but these definitions are local to the acts in which they're contained and don't have universal applicability to other laws in effect in Michigan.

While most of the public lumps poker in with roulette, racetrack betting, bingo, and other such luck-based activities as a type of gambling, this view might stem from lack of knowledge more than anything else. No less an authority on the law than Federal Judge Jack B. Weinstein of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York wrote an opinion stating that poker was a game of skill and thus not a form of gambling.

This is backed up by a white paper written by the Poker Players Alliance, which puts forth a strong argument positing that poker is a game of skill. Of course, none of this is binding on the Michigan authorities, who will interpret the law according to their own lights, but it may help swing the balance in poker players' favor especially given the vagueness of the MI statutes.

Anyway, back to the business at hand. The law that's most relevant to poker in MI is 750.314 “Winning at gambling”:

Any person who by playing at cards, dice, or any other game, or by betting or putting up money on cards, or by any other means or device in the nature of betting on cards, or betting of any kind, wins or obtains any sum of money or any goods, or any article of value whatever, is guilty of a misdemeanor if the money, goods, or articles so won or obtained are of the value of not more than $50.00. If the money, goods, or articles so won or obtained are of the value of more than $50.00, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $1,000.00.

This absurd decree actually makes winning at cards a crime, and the penalty gets higher if you win more! Of all the vaguely worded language relating to real money gaming on the books within the Great Lakes State, the strongest case could be made for this one being applicable to poker because it uses the phrasing “playing at cards.”

There's no indication of whether the $50 brightline refers to winnings per hand, per tournament, per session, or maybe even over someone's entire natural life. Anyway, it's hard to see how anyone could know how much you win in online poker unless you volunteer this information, so it's extremely unlikely that you'll ever need to worry about this provision. For the curious, here's the legal wording pertaining to “Losing at gambling,” which is 750.315:

Losing at gambling—Any person who shall lose any sum of money, or any goods, article or thing of value, by playing or betting on cards, dice or by any other device in the nature of such playing or betting, and shall pay or deliver the same or any part thereof to the winner, and shall not, within 3 months after such loss, without covin or collusion, prosecute with effect for such money or goods, the winner to whom such money or goods shall have been so paid or delivered, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not exceeding 3 times the value of such money or goods. Such loser may sue for and recover such money in an action for money had and received to the use of the plaintiff; and such goods, article or valuable thing in an action of replevin, or the value thereof in an action on the case.

Now, this language is especially convoluted and difficult to understand, but it appears that if you lose while gaming and pay over what you owe, you can actually be guilty of a misdemeanor and have to forfeit triple what you lost if you fail to sue to try to regain your losses within three months! This bizarre injunction renders us speechless, and so we will say no more about it.

There are rules against keeping “any building or place where gaming is permitted or suffered” and “frequent[ing] any place where gaming or gambling is suffered or permitted.” Since we don't know what's considered gaming or gambling for the purposes of these laws, we can't say with 100% certainty whether or not they punish just owning a property in which online poker is going on. The implication is that you'd have to facilitate gambling for others for these clauses to come into effect, but this isn't explicitly stated.

It's possible that an overzealous prosecutor might perhaps, while inebriated, decide that playing poker over the internet in one's own house counts as visiting a place where gambling is permitted or owning such a place. Any such prosecutor would be quickly laughed out of court in our opinion.

To date, no ordinary player has ever been booked on gambling-related charges merely for participating in online poker games. The only times these laws are enforced are when police bust up illegal gambling rings or bookmaking operations. So you have nothing to fear legally as an individual online poker player.

The entire situation of Michigan gambling laws highlights the need for up-to-date and precise language. We've come across other state codes that are very explicit in delineating what is and what isn't allowed. The near-incomprehensibility of the laws we're concerned with today is no good for the citizens of the Wolverine State as a whole although there's probably a contingent of criminal lawyers who are terribly pleased by this fog of legal mumbo-jumbo.

When we turn to Chapter 432.201 - 432.226, which outlines the state's stance on licensed gaming, the rules are clearer, no doubt because there are millions of dollars at stake. This chapter actually includes a section called “definitions” so that we know what it's talking about.

Conducting unlicensed gambling activity within the state, lying on a registration form for licensed gambling, attempting to evade paying the appropriate fees, rigging a casino game, and several other infractions incur criminal penalties. They can be as high as 10 years' imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $100,000.

Clearly, it's in the best interests of gambling companies and their personnel to adhere strictly to the rules that have been set up by the state. No offshore gambling sites that serve the United States exclude Michigan from their service areas, so it appears that their legal teams feel that they're not in violation of these rules.

 

History of Gambling in Michigan

Hourglass

The area now called Michigan was transferred to the newly formed United States under the terms of the Treaty of Paris in 1783. It remained sparsely populated until the completion of the Erie Canal in 1825. This connected the territory to the large markets of New York City. The population of Michigan grew as new settlers arrived, and it was admitted as a state in 1837.

Logging Camp
Logging Camp Near Cadillac, Michigan

The logging industry found great scope for activity because of the huge natural forests in the area, and it remained one of the top money-makers for the state for most of the rest of the 19th century. The loggers were mostly isolated in the middle of wooded areas, but after their jobs were finished, they would head into town to spend their money. Gambling saloons were only more than happy to oblige them. While these establishments were never as elaborate or numerous as those in the Western frontier towns, one section of Bay City did achieve sufficient notoriety to earn the name “Hell's Half Mile.”

Michigan wasn't exempt from the wave of moral indignation that swept across the country in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and most types of wagering became illegal. However, those who knew where to look in back alleys and basements could always find action. During the prohibition era, many gangsters were involved in illicit gambling establishments and speakeasies, and they sometimes had the tacit approval of law enforcement, who had been paid off.

In 1933, Michigan approved pari-mutuel racetrack betting on horses, under the supervision of the Office of Racing Commissioner. A few decades later, in 1972, there was an amendment to the state constitution that was heavily approved by voters to establish the Michigan Lottery, which has continued running to this day. In the same year, the first charitable bingo games are raffles were permitted.

In 1993, the compacts were signed with Native groups allowing for tribal casinos. The first casino to open its doors as a result of these compacts was the Soaring Eagle Casino in Mount Pleasant, owned by the Saginaw Chippewa tribe. There are now more than a dozen such facilities. In 1996, a proposal was passed to set up three commercial casinos in the vicinity of Detroit. They are the Greek Town, MGM, and Motor City.

In December 2019, the governor affixed her signature to a package of gaming bills. Among other provisions, this legislation legalized online poker and casino gaming. We're still probably a couple of years away from the first regulated Michigan online poker rooms appearing.

 

Regulation Chance for Online Poker

Manilla File Folder

Michigan is a state that appears to naturally possess many characteristics favorable to the implementation of an online poker licensing regime. It has financial problems and so could benefit from the revenues that online poker sites would pay. Michigan also has a fairly liberal voting history and a large population to draw from for players.

All of these factors came together in 2019, after several unsuccessful attempts over the years, in the form of HB4311. This law was passed by the legislature and signed by the governor. It established a legal system for internet casinos and poker endeavors to operate in the state.

The necessary regulations must still be drawn up by the Michigan Gaming Control Board before firms can receive licenses and begin transacting in Michigan. This will likely not happen before a year or two has passed.

Land Based Gambling

Michigan is home to the major forms of land-based gambling that many states have. Commercial casinos and tribal casinos run along with pari-mutual gambling and the state lottery. The Detroit area has the largest concentration of casinos, naturally, but it has also seen some of the highest variance in terms of revenues and viability as the city has had many financial problems in the very recent past. Tribal casinos and social gambling halls dot the rest of the state, but these are a bit harder to quantify, as the state needs to approve the social gambling halls. The largest poker room in the state is at the Motor City Casino, which has 17 tables and offers daily No Limit Texas Hold'em and Pot Limit Omaha games as well as tournaments several times per week.

Motor City Casino
Motor City Casino in Detroit

Now that internet poker is regulated in the state of Michigan, there are a lot of casinos that could potentially help it grow and become a very viable option. The commercial casinos in the Detroit area are well-regarded and nationally connected. The proximity of the state to other powerhouses in the region in terms of casinos (Illinois, Indiana and Ohio) make it interesting to see if combined player pools eventually materialize, and if this does come to pass, Harrah’s and the WSOP brand would be well situated to scoop up a lot of the player base.

Famous Michigan Poker Players

Shooting Star

Michigan has certainly contributed its share of recognizable names to the poker community, including a couple of recent World Series of Poker Main Event champions.

Joe Cada won the Main Event in 2009, claiming an $8,546,435 payday. He hails from Shelby Charter Township where he was born in 1987.

Cada began playing poker as a teenager. When he was 19, he began playing in cardrooms in nearby Windsor, Ontario, and around this same time, he also opened up accounts at PartyPoker and PokerStars. At the latter site, he played under the handle “jcada99.”

After his enviable victory in the 2009 WSOP, some dismissed Joe as a one-hit wonder, but he followed up on this result with several other prominent wins in the following years. He picked up another bracelet in 2014, and in 2018, he booked a fifth place finish in the Main Event as well as earning two bracelets in other events.

In total, Joe Cada has won more than $14.2 million in live poker tournaments, good for second among all Michigan players in terms of poker prize money won.

This raises the question as to who is the winningest Michigan poker player in offline tourneys. The answer is: Ryan Riess who has close to $15 million in tournament earnings to his credit.

Riess was born in 1990 in East Lansing, and he went to Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes High School before graduating from the University of Michigan.

After achieving a few cashes in regional event in 2012 and 2013, Riess headed to Las Vegas for his first World Series of Poker in 2013. He wound up going all the way in the Main Event, beating 6,351 other entrants to win a bracelet and a prize of $8,361,570.

Other Michiganders who have made their mark in the poker community include veteran cardshark Dan Heimiller from Livonia, pro player and streamer Jeff Gross of Ann Arbor, and David “Bakes” Baker who haills from Bloomfield Hills.

Online Casinos

Although Michigan-licensed internet casinos are allowed by state law, they remain a theoretical construct pending the establishment of the necessary regulatory framework. Nevertheless, you can play today at quite a few offshore casino sites. We’ve taken a look at this sector of the gaming industry and have identified three outstanding online casinos:

1. Ignition Casino - 100% up to $1,000 Bonus (200% up to $2,000 With BTC)
2. Bovada Casino - Up to $3,000 Over 3 Deposits ($3,750 With Bitcoin)
3. Sportsbetting Casino - 100% up to $1,000 Three Times

For other top-rated online casinos, take a look at our guide to honest USA-friendly online casinos.

Online Sportsbooks

At the same time that Governor Whitmer signed the online casino and poker bill into law in December 2019, she also approved of a sports betting bill. Despite hopes for sportsbooks to open in the state in early 2020, most observers now expect it to occur sometimes in 2021.

You can still bet on sports online, though, because international bookmakers are able to bypass the cumbersome restrictions set up by Michigan and the federal government. We have identified three safe online sportsbooks for you to wager at:

1. Bovada Sports - $250 Sports Welcome Bonus ($750 Bonus for BTC Deposits)

2. Sportsbetting.ag - Welcome Bonus up to $1,000 and UNLIMITED Reloads
3. Intertops Sports - 200% up to $50, 100% up to $100, or 50% up to $200 Bonus

You can learn all about the places to place bets online in our overview of online bookmakers that welcome U.S. residents.

 

 

Concluding Words

There's nothing holding you back from engaging in real money online poker in Michigan. The laws are unclear, but they don't seem to outlaw Michigan online poker, and anyway, state officials have never tried to penalize online poker enthusiasts. Sign up at one of the sites that we've outlined in this article, and you'll soon be raking in the dough.

 

 

Do you have an address in a nearby state?

States Bordering Michigan

If you are lucky enough to have another address in a nearby state, be it your business address, summer home, second apartment, family home, etc, you may have other online poker options available to you.  Here are a list of the states that border Michigan and Professional Rakeback's review on each of them: Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. If you're curious about the poker situation in some other part of the country, then our U.S. online poker description page should prove informative.

Most people are fairly ignorant about the status of internet poker in the United States. If you'd like to do your part to spread knowledge and alleviate concerns, then you can share this page with your friends and family members who want to learn more about online poker.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

If you're still uncertain about anything relating to Michigan online poker, then the answer might be presented below. We've tried to address some of the most common questions that our readers have.

In effect, yes, internet poker is legal in Michigan. The state’s rather bizarre and archaic anti-gaming laws have never been applied to individual online poker enthusiasts. The federal laws that relate to gambling don’t touch regular players either, instead being targeted toward the operators of wagering enterprises.

You aren’t required to restrict your play to the licensed Michigan online poker sites (none of which have yet opened for business) either. You are perfectly safe legally if you frequent one of the many international poker rooms that accept Michiganders as customers.

Yes, with the signature of Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the MI online gaming bill became law in late 2019. However, this does not mean that you can yet play at the sites envisioned by this legislation.

You see, the regulatory framework must still be drafted by the Michigan Gaming Control Board. Then, corporations that are interested in obtaining licenses must apply for them and be approved. Only at this point would any legalized Michigan internet poker rooms be able to appear. In other states, this process has tended to take at least a year or two, and we don’t expect it to necessarily go any faster in Michigan.

Licensed Michigan online poker may be years away, but offshore poker providers serve the state today. You can sign up and play at them without having to wait on developments in Lansing.

It would be extremely foolish to set up a real money internet gaming operation within Michigan's borders. While offshore sites are safe because they're housed outside the jurisdiction of MI law enforcement, the same is not true of local businesses.

Just look at the case of James Scott Postema of Muskegon for an illustration of what can happen. He ran an illicit online wagering service out of his internet cafe and was convicted in September 2018 of a couple of felonies. Postem faced fines of up to $110,000 as well as a prison sentence that could be as long as 20 years.

It’s only possible to play at PokerStars for practice chips if you live in Michigan. This is because the company exited the U.S. real money market in 2011 following the Black Friday indictments.

Since that time, Stars has returned to only two states: New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This is because it has received licenses explicitly making its services legal in those states.

Because Michigan has passed a law permitting state-licensed internet poker rooms, we’re fairly confident that PokerStars will eventually reappear for real money play in the Wolverine State. This is especially true considering the agreement between PokerStars and the Odawa Indians Gaming Authority. However, this partnership has not yet borne any tangible fruit, and we don’t know how long it will be till it does.

Global Poker's business model relies on sweepstakes law to get around anti-gambling laws throughout Michigan and the United States. However, we find fault with this line of reasoning. While we can't really get into the details in the space allotted here, you can discover more about this topic in our review of Global Poker.

 


We strive to maintain this information and update it frequently with our research. However, we are not immune to making mistakes or omitting information that you, dear reader, may find of use. If you have any further questions not addressed in this guide or have noted any discrepancies or inaccuracies we urge you to contact us with your questions and concerns so that we may swiftly address them!