What Is The Legal Gambling Age In Michigan?

Fact Checked by Joss Wood

The legal gambling age in Michigan may seem like a straightforward matter, but in reality, it's a bit more nuanced than one might think. What's intriguing is that the age requirement can differ significantly depending on the specific gambling avenue you wish to pursue, be it the grandeur of real-world Michigan casinos or the convenience of online casino gambling and mobile casino apps.

Navigating these variations in the legal gambling age can be somewhat confusing, which is why this article aims to shed light on the intricacies of age restrictions in different gaming contexts, ensuring that you'll be well-informed and well-prepared for your next gambling venture in the Great Lakes State.

Part of the reason for Michigan's complex gambling laws is the history of its gambling industry. Michigan residents have been betting on horse racing since the 1930s, while charitable gambling and a state lottery were both introduced in the seventies. Tribal casinos have been in operation in Michigan since the nineties, and online gambling has been legal in the Great Lakes State since 2019.

Player check for minimum age

There's No Simple Answer

All of our research and advice is in line with the rules and regulations set out by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, as well as State gaming laws and the many stipulations of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. What's key when understanding Michigan gambling laws is that different casinos, be they online casinos, commercial casinos or tribal casinos, adhere to different rules, which means that you - the customer - have to adhere to different rules depending on the establishment you are betting with. If it sounds complicated, don't worry: we'll explain all there is to know right here in this exclusive guide.

Read on to find out how you can gamble safely in the State of Michigan. Whether you're placing bets at one of the three commercial Detroit casinos, wandering further afield at Bay Mills Casino on the Canadian border, playing in one of the State's Michigan Lottery games, taking part in a spot of mobile sports betting, stacking up your chips in the poker rooms or having a spin on the virtual slot machines of your favorite online casinos, we have got you covered.

How Old Do You Have To Be to Gamble At a Casino in Michigan?

As you will already know if you're an experienced bettor in Michigan, tribal casinos present a unique facet of the state's vast and varied gambling landscape, with a total of 23 tribal-owned retail casinos in operation across the considerable expanse of the Great Lakes State. It is essential to note that these establishments are sovereign entities in their own rights, operating under tribal compacts, which means that they are not directly regulated by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB). Consequently, their rules and legal gambling ages can differ from those of their commercial counterparts.

The legal gambling age at tribal casinos varies depending on which one you're visiting, so here is a helpful breakdown of all the tribal casinos in Michigan, along with their distinct age requirements, ensuring that you can gamble safely and within the confines of the law.

Bay Mills Casino & Resort (Brimley, MI)18
Kewadin Casinos (Sault Ste. Marie, St. Ignace, Manistique, Christmas, Hessel, MI)19
Ojibwa Casino (Baraga, MI)18
Ojibwa Casino (Marquette, MI)18
Hannahville Potawatomi Bingo and Casino (Harris, MI)18
Island Resort & Casino (Harris, MI)18
Kings Club Casino (Brimley, MI)19
Little River Casino Resort (Manistee, MI)21
Odawa Casino Resort (Petoskey, MI21
Ojibwa Casino (Baraga, MI)18
Ojibwa Casino (Marquette, MI)18
FireKeepers Casino Hotel (Battle Creek, MI)21
Four Winds Casino Resort (New Buffalo, MI)21
Gun Lake Casino (Wayland, MI)21
Saganing Eagles Landing Casino (Standish, MI)18
Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort (Mount Pleasant, MI)19
Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel (Williamsburg, MI)19
Leelanau Sands Casino (Peshawbestown, MI)18

It is vital to note that a number of the tribal casinos mentioned above have their own nuanced rules in place when it comes to enforcing a minimum gambling age among customers. For instance, although Kewadin Casinos (Sault Ste. Marie, St. Ignace, Manistique, Christmas, Hessel, MI) maintain a minimum gambling age of 19, visitors between the ages of 18 and 21 years old can enjoy certain elements of the gaming experience here.

Make sure that you check in with the specific casino you are visiting before you set off though, as certain restrictions may apply depending on what kind of gambling you are participating in.

Meanwhile, Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort (Mount Pleasant, MI), enforces a minimum gambling age of 19 years old, although it does allow those aged 18 and over to participate in some of its casino gaming offerings with some restrictions. On the other hand, FireKeepers Casino Hotel (Battle Creek, MI) and the Little River Casino Resort (Manistee, MI) follow the general state law, setting the minimum gambling age at 21 years old in alignment with the state-specified legal age requirement for commercial casinos in Michigan.

It is crucially important that you are aware of these distinctions in gambling age when visiting tribal casinos in Michigan, as they may have different entry requirements and regulations compared to other gambling venues within the state. Always check with the specific casino to ensure that you comply with their age restrictions before you start to plan your visit.

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Old Enough to Gamble?

What is the Legal Gambling Age in Michigan?

Online casino gambling in Michigan is regulated by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) in accordance with Michigan State law. The MGCB is responsible for overseeing and licensing online gambling operators to ensure compliance with the state's gambling laws and regulations. As per these laws, the legal gambling age in Michigan is 21 years old. This means that individuals who are aged 21 and older are eligible to gamble online, participating in various online gambling activities such as online and mobile sports betting, online casino games, online poker, daily fantasy sports bets (DFS) and more.

For those aged 21 years old and above, the State of Michigan offers a wide range of online gambling options. You can engage in online sports betting, play online casino games, participate in online poker, play daily fantasy sports and more. Michigan's online gambling legal framework allows for a diverse and exciting array of betting opportunities, subject to the rules and regulations set by the MGCB.

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Old Enough to Gamble?

And the Minimum Age to Gamble at the Detroit Casinos Is....

For those aged 21 years old and above, the State of Michigan offers a wide range of online gambling options. You can engage in online sports betting, play online casino games, participate in online poker, play daily fantasy sports and more. Michigan's online gambling legal framework allows for a diverse and exciting array of betting opportunities, subject to the rules and regulations set by the MGCB.

The minimum gambling age at the three commercial casinos in Michigan, namely MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino Hotel, and Greektown Casino-Hotel, is set at 21 years old. These Detroit-based gaming establishments offer an array of gaming options, including slots, table games, and poker, and in compliance with state regulations, they require patrons to be at least 21 years old to engage in these activities. This uniformity in the minimum age requirement across Detroit's trio of commercial casinos ensures consistency and clarity for patrons seeking the thrill of casino gaming within the city.

Individuals aged 18 and older in Michigan have a different set of options. They can participate in the state lottery, purchase state lottery tickets, engage in charitable gaming (which includes bingo and certain forms of gambling at charitable events) and place bets on horse racing. While these options are available to 18-year-olds, it is crucial to understand the specific regulations surrounding each type of gambling activity.

Charitable Gambling Minimum Age

And the Minimum Age to Gamble at Charity Events is....

Michigan's gambling laws also encompass charitable gambling, which refers to gambling activities conducted by charitable organizations for fundraising purposes. These events often include activities like bingo, raffles, and certain casino-style games.

Charitable gaming is subject to specific regulations and oversight by the Michigan Lottery Charitable Gaming Division, and organizations involved in such events must adhere to the state's charitable gambling laws. This ensures that the funds raised are used for charitable purposes, and the gaming is conducted fairly and transparently. Gambling winnings from these charitable gaming events are typically subject to reporting and taxation rules as determined by the state's laws and regulations.

How Does the Legal Gambling Age Compare to Nearby States?

The legal gambling age in Michigan, at 21 years old, is quite consistent with the age requirements in most of its neighboring states, including Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Canada. In Pennsylvania, the legal gambling age is also 21, aligning closely with Michigan's legal gambling age requirement. This uniformity allows for seamless cross-border gambling, particularly when it comes to online casinos and sports betting, as players from both states can participate without age-related restrictions.


In Ohio, however, the legal gambling age is 21 for casino gaming but 18 for certain other forms of gambling, such as betting on horse racing, the state lottery, and various kinds of charitable gaming. While Ohio does offer sports betting, it is crucial for individuals to recognize the distinction in age requirements depending on the type of gambling activity you wish to engage in. This contrast between Ohio's minimum ages for different forms of gambling sets it apart from the more consistent 21-year-old age limit in Michigan, providing a broader spectrum of options for younger adults interested in certain forms of gambling.


In Canada, the legal gambling age varies by province. For example, in Ontario, the legal age to gamble is typically 19. In British Columbia, Alberta, and several other provinces, it's also set at 19. This age requirement is slightly lower than Michigan's minimum gambling age, making it accessible to a broader range of young adults. Nonetheless, individuals interested in cross-border gambling should be aware of the age restrictions in the specific Canadian province they plan to visit or engage with online, as these requirements can differ. Overall, the Michigan legal gambling age is in line with the age limits in many of its neighboring states, fostering regional consistency and enabling a more convenient and regulated gaming experience.

In conclusion, the Michigan legal gambling age plays a pivotal role in defining the landscape of gaming in the Great Lakes State. With a minimum age of 21 for commercial casinos, online gambling, and sports betting, Michigan ensures a standardized approach to most forms of gambling within its borders. This uniformity simplifies the process for both operators and patrons, offering clarity and consistency in a world of diverse gaming options. Moreover, the variation in age requirements for tribal casinos further emphasizes the need for individuals to understand the specifics of each gaming venue's regulations. Tribal casinos have unique compacts and may permit gambling at the age of 18, 19, or 21, depending on the establishment, adding a layer of complexity to Michigan's gambling landscape.

It's worth noting that while all of these age requirements are accurate at the time of writing, gambling regulations can change over time. Michigan, like many states, can adapt its laws and regulations to reflect evolving societal norms and economic interests. Therefore, it's crucial for individuals to stay informed about the latest developments in the state's gambling landscape, as these changes could impact the minimum age requirements. Rest assured, should there be any updates or alterations in Michigan's legal gambling age restrictions, you can always count on us to provide timely and accurate information, ensuring that you are always well-prepared for your next gambling adventure in this most vibrant of states. Stay informed, stay responsible, and enjoy the world of Michigan's gambling opportunities responsibly.

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Michigan Gambling Age FAQ


Sam Davies is a freelance journalist who writes about music, film, sport, fashion and culture. His writing has been published by the BBC, Guardian, Financial Times, Conde Nast, Rolling Stone, Vice, Dazed and many more. He stays up to date on the local betting market and has tested ESPN Bet sportsbook available in Michigan as well as BetMGM and others. Follow him on Twitter @samdavies313.

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