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

Online Poker Sites for Michiganders

Can I play online poker in Michigan? The answer is yes!

Is it legal to play online poker in Michigan? The answer to this is also yes!


VISIT THE SITE WITH THE:


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1.   Poker Sites
1.1.   Ignition 1.2.   SB Poker 1.3.   BetOnline 1.4.   Bovada 1.5.   Americas Cardroom 1.6.   CoinPoker 1.7.   Everygame 1.8.   SwCPoker 1.9.   Nitrogen Poker 1.10. Blockchain.poker 1.11. Alternative Sites
2.   Site Selection 3.   Payments 4.   Laws 5.   History 6.   Timeline 7.   Regulated iPoker 8.   Live Gambling 9.   Famous Players 10. Casinos 11. Sportsbooks 12. Conclusion 13. Nearby States 14. FAQ 15. More Resources

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 is exactly one state-licensed online cardroom for players in Michigan. 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! 

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.

1

IGNITION

BONUS:
150% up to $1,500
★★★★
4.7 / 5

BEST MI ONLINE POKER SITE FOR PLAYER TRAFFIC

NETWORK:
PAIWANGLUO
EXTRAS
CASINO
MORE INFO
READ REVIEW

Ignition is the largest poker room serving MI residents, and you can play NL Hold'em, PLO, and PLO/8 as high as $10/$20. Other poker formats to look forward to include randomized-prize pool Jackpot SNGs, standard sit-n-gos, fast-fold Zone Poker, Limit Texas Hold'em, and multi-table tournaments. MTT series abound, with seven figures in prizes, and there's also a monthly tourney with a cool $1 million guarantee. The anonymized gameplay here helps level the field to the benefit of newer players.

You can play Ignition on almost any PC, Mac, or mobile device. You're eligible for a 150% up to $1,500 poker bonus as well as another $1,500 in the casino as long as you deposit with crypto (100% up to $1,000 otherwise).

VISIT IGNITION POKER NOW
2

SB POKER

BONUS:
100% up to $1,000
★★★★
4.5 / 5

BEST MI ONLINE POKER SITE FOR BAD BEAT JACKPOTS

NETWORK:
CHICO
EXTRAS
CASINO, SPORTSBOOK
MORE INFO
READ REVIEW

SB Poker boasts a decent amount of traffic in NLHE, PLO, and PLO/8 tables up to $5/$10, and you can enjoy 6+ Hold'em as well as fast-fold Boost Poker here too. There are two Bad Beat Jackpots: one for normal Texas Hold'em tables and another for Boost, giving you the opportunity for a big score of up to six figures! Lottery-style Windfalls, standard SNGs, and tournaments round out the poker action. Look for daily/weekly leaderboards to add some extra cash to your balance.

PC and Mac download clients are available for Sportsbetting.ag Poker, and there's an excellent mobile app too. First depositors can redeem a 100% up to $1,000 cardroom bonus along with other offers for the sportsbook and casino.

VISIT SB POKER NOW
3

BETONLINE

BONUS:
100% up to $1,000
★★★★
4.4 / 5

BEST MI ONLINE SITE FOR MOBILE POKER

NETWORK:
CHICO
EXTRAS
CASINO, SPORTSBOOK
MORE INFO
READ REVIEW

BetOnline is a sister site of SB Poker, and therefore, the entire lineup of poker games is identical between the two sites. BOL has made a name for itself because of its extensive product offering, consisting not just of poker but also sports betting, racing wagers, eSports betting, and casino titles, including two Live Dealer sections. All of these diversions are available on mobile, and considerable care has gone into ensuring that the mobile experience is as good as possible.

Poker fans can look forward to a 100% up to $1,000 welcome bonus, but there's also up to $1,000 to claim in the sportsbook, $3,000 in the casino, and multiple reload deals going forward.

VISIT BETONLINE NOW
4

BOVADA

BONUS:
100% up to $500
★★★★
4.2 / 5

BEST MI ONLINE POKER SITE FOR SPORTS FANS

NETWORK:
PAIWANGLUO
EXTRAS
CASINO, SPORTSBOOK
MORE INFO
READ REVIEW

Bovada is part of the same group as Ignition, so the poker gaming is virtually identical. However, Bovada operates a sportsbook, which is absent from Ignition. Thus, this might be the place to be if you like to put your money down on your favorite teams and players in addition to taking to the felt for exciting poker thrills. All your favorites are here: NCAA football and basketball, MLB baseball, pro football, NBA, soccer, hockey, and more.

Bovada works on PCs, Macs, smartphones, and tablets. Poker players get a 100% up to $500 bonus while sports aficionados can redeem up to $750 in bonus funds. The casino has $3,750 in welcome bonuses too.

VISIT BOVADA NOW
5

AMERICAS CARDROOM

BONUS:
100% up to $2,000
★★★★
4.1 / 5

BEST MI ONLINE POKER SITE WITH FREE BANKROLL OFFER

NETWORK:
WINNING
EXTRAS
$10 FREE
MORE INFO
READ REVIEW

ACR is beloved by tourney players because it has the largest Sunday tournament, which pays out no less than $1,000,000 every week, frequent multi-week series, and $5 million guaranteed VENOM events a couple of times per year. There's also cash games in abundance: NL Hold'em, PLO, PLO/8, LHE, Seven Card Stud, and Limit O-8 to be specific. Weekly Beast and Sit & Crush leaderboards reward cash grinders and sit-n-go specialists respectively.

The full Americas Cardroom client runs on Windows and Mac OS, and a subset of games is offered on mobile also. Use our exclusive bonus code PRB10FREE for $10 free, and then make a deposit to score 100% up to $2,000 in bonus funds.

VISIT AMERICAS CARDROOM NOW
6

COIN POKER

BONUS:
NONE
★★★★
4.0 / 5

BEST MI ONLINE POKER SITE FOR CRYPTO USERS

NETWORK:
STANDALONE
EXTRAS
30% RAKEBACK
MORE INFO
READ REVIEW

There are several crypto-currency only poker rooms, and of them all, CoinPoker is the largest. You'll be playing in USDT (Tether) here although you can deposit and withdraw in Bitcoin and several other coins. In addition to the standard NLHE and PLO tables, you will also find 5 Card PLO and Open Face Chinese games. A decentralized shuffling algorithm ensures provably fair dealing.

CoinPoker has four versions of its software: Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. There's no first deposit bonus, but you can instead get up to 30% rakeback weekly.

VISIT COIN POKER NOW
7

EVERYGAME

BONUS:
200% up to $1,000
★★★
3.8 / 5

BEST MI ONLINE POKER SITE FOR RAKEBACK

NETWORK:
HORIZON
EXTRAS
CASINOS, SPORTSBOOK
MORE INFO
READ REVIEW

Eveygame is a bit on the smaller side and seldom has tables above about $1/$2 in Hold'em and Omaha, but it makes up for this with a wealth of promotions. 36% rakeback, weekly rake races, overlay tournaments, freerolls, and a loyalty program really give you the chance to grow your bankroll the more you play.

Everygame Poker can only be installed on Windows systems, but there's an Instant Play client that works on every platform with a modern web browser. The welcome bonus is 200% up to $1,000 along with 25 free spins in the casino.

VISIT EVERYGAME NOW
8

SWCPOKER

BONUS:
NONE
★★★
3.6 / 5

BEST MI ONLINE SITE FOR # OF POKER VARIANTS

NETWORK:
STANDALONE
EXTRAS
FREEROLLS
MORE INFO
READ REVIEW

Most internet poker destinations feature the same kinds of games, but SwC is the answer if you seek something a bit different. There are Hold'em and PLO tables here, yes, but in addition, you'll get the chance to sample Razz, OFC, Triple Draw, Big O, Mixed Games, and many other poker delights. SwC uses both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.

You can download and run SwCPoker on Windows PCs, Mac, iOS products, and Android systems. SwC lacks an initial deposit bonus, but the Krill rewards program provides 5% - 50% rakeback based upon your volume of play.

VISIT SWCPOKER
9

NITROGEN

BONUS:
NONE
★★★
3.3 / 5

BEST MI ONLINE POKER SITE FOR BITCOIN POKER

NETWORK:
STANDALONE
EXTRAS
CASINO, SPORTSBOOK
MORE INFO
READ REVIEW

Nitrogen follows a strict Bitcoin-only policy, and so all its cashier functions and tables employ this crypto coin exclusively. You can play No Limit Hold'em, Pot Limit Omaha, Crazy Hold'em, and 6+ Hold'em although action in the latter two variants is a bit scarce.

Nitrogen runs directly in your web browser without any software to download, so it enjoys wide compatibility across different systems. There isn't any welcome bonus, but regular payouts come through the Nitro Rewards program.

VISIT NITROGEN NOW
10

BLOCKCHAIN.POKER

BONUS:
NONE
★★★
3.0 / 5

BEST MI ONLINE POKER SITE FOR MULTI-CRYPTO GAMES

NETWORK:
STANDALONE
EXTRAS
FREE 50 CHIPS
MORE INFO
READ REVIEW

Blockchain.Poker has tables denominated in four crypto-currencies: Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV), and eCash (XEC). You can play, deposit, and cash out in all four of them. As an incentive, Blockchain Poker grants a small number of free chips in each coin to new users.

Blockchain.poker is web-based software, so it works on PCs, Macs, smartphones, tablets, and many other devices. There are no bonuses here, but you can obtain rakeback payments through a points exchange system.

VISIT BLOCKCHAIN.POKER NOW
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ALTERNATIVE POKER SITES

 

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, Bovada, and Americas Cardroom are the top possibilities available to you.


☛ If you're looking to score the largest possible bonus, then Americas Cardroom has a 100% up to $2,000 welcome offer.


☛ If you prioritize regular rakeback returns even when you have no bonus active, then Everygame or CoinPoker will cater to you.


☛ If unique game formats appeal to you, then SwCPoker, CoinPoker, or Nitrogen may leave you happy.


☛ If you own a mobile device, then the apps from SB Poker, BetOnline, Ignition, and Bovada 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.ag, Bovada, BetOnline, and Intertops 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 Everygame 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. In January 2021, the first regulated Michigan online poker room appeared in the form of PokerStars MI. The following year, Michigan was accepted to the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement, joining Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey. This paves the way for the four states to combine their licensed online poker traffic.

GamblingTimeline of Michigan

Timeline of Gambling in Michigan

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 were drawn up by the Michigan Gaming Control Board over the next year or so, and then online sportsbook, casino, and poker operations began offering their services to the state with the blessing of Michigan's official leaders.

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, you might appreciate the more mature product lineups carried by established operators. 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 this valuable list that lays out the most trusted online casinos for USA players in an easy to follow format.

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, it took until January 2021 for this to become a reality.

You can still bet on sports via international bookmakers, though, because they 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 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. Beginning in January 2021, the first Michigan online gaming licensed operators opened their doors to customers. However, only a single poker site, PokerStars, was ready to go.

If you would rather choose form among multiple poker providers, then the offshore poker companies that serve the state today might be a better fit for you. 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.

Yes, you can play at PokerStars if you live in Michigan. This is because the company has obtained a license to do business over the internet in the state. It had previously been excluded from offering real money gaming under the terms of a settlement it reached it 2011 following the Black Friday indictments. The PokerStars Michigan site was made possible by an agreement between PokerStars and the Odawa Indians Gaming Authority.

Michigan is only the third state in which PokerStars transacts fully with the other two being New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In all other states, PokerStars hosts only play money games (except in Washington State where even play money online poker is supposedly against the law).

Because Michigan has passed a law permitting state-licensed internet poker rooms, we’re fairly confident that competitors will eventually appear for real money play in the Wolverine State.

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!

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