Can I Play Online Poker in Michigan?
Is online poker legal in Michigan? The good news for Hold’em and Omaha players in the Wolverine State is that internet poker was included in recent gaming legislation.
In late 2019, the Lawful Internet Gaming Act was passed, opening the doors for regulated sports betting, Michigan online gambling and online poker.
In doing so, Michigan joined a list of US states with its own online gaming laws. It now belongs to an exclusive list of states that have introduced a blanket legalizing of most forms of online betting. While the Lawful Internet Gaming Act has been passed onto the books, the first online poker rooms are unlikely to be launched for a while yet.
Michigan poker online launched in January 2021 with PokerStars the first operator to be available. What can a poker player expect to find at the best legal online poker rooms? Find out in our expert guide.
When Did Online Poker Launch in Michigan?
Online Michigan poker saw its first operator launch when PokerStars went live on Jan. 29, 2021, with approval from the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB). In a July 2020 press release, the Michigan Gaming Control Board said that legalized internet gaming would launch by late 2020 or early 2021. However, the COVID-19 pandemic affected the process.
The good news for any future potential operators offering online poker in Michigan is that the legal framework is already in place. The Lawful Internet Gaming Act allows online poker operators to apply for licenses.
To play online poker in Michigan, you have to be 21 or over. You have to register for an online account at a legal, regulated poker site. You also must provide a valid home address and Social Security number to prove your age.
You do not need to be a Michigan resident to play, but you need to be inside the state. Michigan online poker sites will utilize geolocation tools like GeoComply to ensure you are within MI borders when you play. While it won’t be illegal to sign up for an account outside Michigan, you will have to be physically in the state when you log on and play.
At first, you can only play online poker tournaments and cash games against other players in Michigan. To improve the liquidity, however, it’s very likely that online poker sites will strike interstate compacts with other legalized states so that a larger player pool can be shared.
Poker and Cardrooms in Michigan
Michigan has an established live poker scene, and this scene that will form the framework for legalized online poker in the state. The state boasts commercial casinos in Detroit, as well as state-wide tribal casinos that are overseen by the National Indian Gaming Commission. Both tribal and commercial casinos in Michigan run poker rooms.
PokerStars Michigan went live under a partnership with the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians. That launch came alongside Michigan sportsbook launching for FOX Bet and Barstool.
Commercial Casinos with Poker
- MGM Grand Detroit
- Greektown Casino
- MotorCity Casino
In Detroit, the three commercial casinos operate 24-hour poker rooms. MGM Grand Detroit boasts the largest cardroom in the city, offering Hold’em and Omaha tournaments and cash games.
Greektown Casino-Hotel runs tournaments all week, plus big promotions like the high-hand bonus and bad beat jackpot for cash players.
MotorCity Casino runs big tournament guarantees during the week, including a weekly $5,000 prizepool game. Bonuses are also awarded to players with the highest hand during a specified time period. MotorCity Casino players can earn benefits as part of the Club Metro loyalty program.
There are also a handful of small cardrooms in the Detroit area. Momo’s Poker Room in Taylor runs cash games and tournaments, while B Boomers and Players Golf South offer online poker games from $1/$2 upwards.
Detroit Area Cardrooms
- B Boomers Live Action Poker Room
- Momo’s Poker Room
- Players Golf South
- Winning Hand Poker
- Malarkey’s Poker Room
- Krazy Kopz
Tribal Casinos with Poker
Not looking for a Detroit casino or poker room? Michigan boasts more than two dozen tribal casinos. These are owned and operated by recognized tribes, including the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. Most casinos offer cash games and tournaments, and sportsbooks have also been introduced under the new state gaming laws.
Poker offerings are fairly simple at tribal casinos in Michigan. Cardrooms offer regular No Limit Texas Hold’em tournaments and Sit ‘n Gos, plus Hold’em and Omaha cash games.
- FireKeepers Casino, Battle Creek
- Four Winds Casino New Buffalo
- Four Winds Casino Dowagiac
- Four Winds Casino Hartford
- Four Winds Casino South Bend
- Gun Lake Casino, Wayland
- Huron Poker Room, Oscoda
- Odawa Casino, Petoskey
- Ojibwa Casino, Baraga
- Soaring Eagle Casino, Mt. Pleasant
- Bay Mills Resort & Casino, Brimley
- Island Resort & Casino, Harris
Top 3 Michigan Online Poker Sites
Can US citizens play online poker for real money? Yes, there are currently five states offering legal online poker and real money play in America and luckily for us, Michigan is one of them. PokerStars launched as a MI online poker site in early 2021. The Michigan Gaming Control Board has also approved gaming with WSOP Online Poker in Michigan, and we'll take a look at some of the best online poker sites in Michigan. WSOP.com offers online poker while operating as a legal, state-regulated online gaming and online poker site via Nevada. WSOP cardroom is the most popular real money online poker room in the US with a strong cash game offering, but where else can we play our beloved Texas Holdem cash games and Pot Limit Omaha?
Online poker players were ecstatic when PokerStars MI became the first legal, regulated online poker site in the state, and PokerStars tops the tree in terms of ratings of our best three online poker sites for Michigan players. Only players in a handful of states can access the real money games at this online poker operator. Early in 2023 the PokerStars MI player pool merged with PokerStars NJ for more action at the tables and a wider variety of playing options like more Pot Limit Omaha. PokerStars MI is partnered with Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians.
PokerStars is one the biggest online poker platforms in the world and the biggest online poker brand - with online poker legal it's a brand recognized across the globe. From cash games to Single Table Tournaments (STTs) to Multi Table Tournaments (MTTs), and from Texas Holdem to Pot Limit Omaha, all the variants are there for Michigan players. Play poker at PokerStars MI where you'll find the best online multi table tournaments in Michigan — including their flagship tournament: the Michigan Championship of Online Poker (MICOOP). Loads of cash games are on offer online, and also live at the MGM Grand Detroit if that's your thing.
PokerStars Michigan offer a generous welcome bonus and a variety of promotions including generous rakeback, daily leaderboards with cash prizes, and extra bonus cashback to select players. We can play on mobile app or tablet or in the comfort of our home on desktop on these legal poker sites. PokerStars chests are the European equivalent to the VIP rewards and status level. 'Throwables' is an added feature we can use instead of chat to show emotions and vent our frustrations! You can earn StarsCoin when you unlock the PokerStars chests by playing the real money games. We can redeem our StarsCoin for merch in the PokerStars shop. Remember that it's possible to beat the games but still lose due to the rake. This is why it's important to climb the VIP status tiers to get more rakeback and cashback. This is especially true if you are an aggressive player who likes putting money in the pot.
BetMGM Poker Michigan
At BetMGM Poker MI, they claim to listen to the poker players and update software to deliver an unbeatable poker experience for the Michigan poker player - be they recreational or pro. BetMGM Poker is now available in app stores like the Google Play store for all Michigan players. You can play poker games online for real money at BetMGM from the comfort of your home or on the mobile on-the-go. Deposit and withdrawal options for BetMGM Poker are up there with the best. They include:
- Apple Pay
- Bank wire transfer
BetMGM Poker have a welcome bonus offer of a 100% deposit match up to $1000, and $75 on the house. BetMGM poker is apparently the King of Poker, and why not, as they are also the self-confessed Kings of sports betting! The Bounty Blitz is where you can take your shot at $100k in GPPs (Guaranteed Prizepools) in the Wolverine State. There is a $500 Daily Spins leaderboard in operation and a $50 refer-a-friend (to BetMGM poker) bonus code. There are daily happy hour cash games running from 3pm to 5pm where you earn double Reward Points (BRPs).
Spins, Sit N' Gos, and Fastforward cash games add to the usual poker variants and excitement and there is an innovative Poker School feature at BetMGM poker which teaches less experienced players how to play at a higher level. Learn the fundamentals of how to play and more advanced strategy through videos and guides. As a sidenote, MGM Grand Detroit casino are partnered with Party Poker and GVC Holdings.
There are Over 70 tournaments daily at BetMGM Poker including the "Michigan Poker 6-figure Sunday Tournament" and the "Daily C-note" tournaments. The player pool at BetMGM poker is soft and the GPPs will offer the opportunity of overlays which essentially means the juice is in our favor as poker players. You won't find many Michigan players at BetMGM poker using Real Time Assistance (RTAs) or solvers, HUDS etc. I strongly recommend BetMGM Poker for the more recreational Michigan poker player who is looking for a fun and potentially profitable online poker experience.
Will Michigan Have Online Poker Partnerships?
Online poker in Michigan will be offered by established gaming sites in deals with existing land-based partners -- for example, the one between PokerStars and the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians.
The major Detroit casinos already have deals in place with major online gaming operators. Some of the MI tribes also have partnerships with online operators to provide software and iGaming solutions.
PokerStars/The Stars Group
Partner: Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians (launched Jan. 29, 2021)
Partner: MGM Grand Detroit
Golden Nugget Online Gaming
Partner: Keweenaw Bay Indian Community/Ojibwa Casino
Partner: Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians
Partner: Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
Funding Your Michigan Online Poker Account
Internet poker in Michigan is available for real money. But what are the best banking methods for making online casino deposits?
Most legal online poker sites in Michigan accept a range of deposit options like credit cards, Play+, e-wallets such as PayPal and bank transfers. You may experience some problems with declined payments on credit cards, especially if your bank doesn’t approve gambling transactions.
Transfer Limits: $10-$25,000
Legal poker sites will accept instant deposits via your regular VISA or MasterCard debit card. Acceptance rates may be low, but you will have immediate access to your funds.
Transfer Limits: $20-$25,000
You will be able to deposit using a MasterCard or Visa credit card when Michigan poker moves online. Some online poker sites may also accept American Express or Discover deposits.
You should be aware of cash advance fees when using a credit card. This usually adds on a 2.5-3% charge to your total deposit. And typically, Visa and MasterCard credit cards won’t be available for making withdrawals.
Transfer Limits: $10-$25,000
Prepaid cards are excellent alternatives to credit cards if you want to avoid declined payments. Michigan online poker rooms may offer their own branded prepaid card through a provider such as Play+. Simply use your Visa, Discover or MasterCard to fund your card, then transfer the cash into your poker account.
Prepaid card deposits are instant and you can even make withdrawals at a participating ATM. There are no sign-up fees, and you can earn big deposit limits as a VIP.
Transfer Limits: $20-$50,000
Many legal poker rooms in the United States accept deposits via e-Check/ACH. A trusted provider is VIP Preferred, which actions instant deposits straight from your checking account using the Automated Clearing House (ACH).
The beauty of an ACH transfer is that it’s instant and hassle-free. There are no fees, and you can enjoy member benefits.
Bank Transfer/Wire Transfer
Transfer Limits: $10-$10,000
A wire transfer lets you move funds straight from your bank account without using a card. The process can be long but you can enjoy your bank’s top security when moving funds.
Transfer Limits: $10-$1,500
e-wallets are virtual online accounts where you can store cash from multiple cards. With a single email address or PIN, you can move funds anonymously into your online poker account.
Most regulated casinos and online poker sites in the US now accept leading e-wallets like PayPal and Skrill. We fully expect online Michigan poker sites to be the same.
Transfer Limits: $10-$500
PayNearMe is an instant cash payment service offered at participating 7-Eleven, Family Dollar and CVS stores.
To make a deposit, you simply visit your nearest store and pay in cash. There will be a small fee applied to any deposit you make. Funds arrive within 30 minutes and you never have to use a credit card.
Cash at Casino Cage
Transfer Limits: $10-$100,000
If you’re visiting one of Detroit’s cardrooms or a tribal casino with an online poker partner in Michigan, you may be able to deposit via the casino cage.
The service has proven popular already in legalized states like New Jersey and Delaware. Simply bring cash to the casino cage and make a deposit directly into your online poker account. You can use your funds instantly and can even make convenient withdrawals at the same cage.
Check by Mail
Transfer Limits: $300-$10,000
Some online poker sites may allow transactions via personal check. Processing times are long at around 2-3 weeks, but checks are a good option if you prefer not to use cards or internet banking.
Michigan Online Poker Bonuses & Rewards
When Michigan real money poker goes online, you’ll be able to claim a range of exciting bonuses and promotions. Offers will vary from site to site but expect to find one or more of these types of bonus.
First Deposit Bonus
A first deposit bonus is reserved for new players to a site. Make your first deposit and the poker room will match it.
Once you have made a deposit, you can earn players points in qualifying tournaments and cash games. Collect enough points before the expiration date and you can convert them into free cash.
A poker welcome offer may include free entry to real money tournaments. Sign up and open your account to earn freeroll tickets and exclusive buy-ins for new players.
Some US poker rooms offer regular customers the chance to earn free money too.
A reload bonus works like a first deposit match offer: make a second or third deposit and it will be matched 100% by the poker site. You will unlock the bonus funds if you play poker online through enough cash games or tournaments.
When you play online poker in Michigan, you will pay fees every time you enter a tournament or play a cash game. The “rake” is the fee retained by the online poker room.
Online poker sites love to offer rakeback to their regular customers. Clear enough games and you can claim a refund of part or all of your rake.
Sit & Go Leaderboard
Leaderboards are a great way of competing against other players and earning a cash prize. To play, enter qualifying Sit & Gos and earn leaderboard points depending on your finishing place.
With Michigan poker online, the biggest online poker sites will offer loyalty schemes to regular players.
With a VIP program, you earn points as you play tournaments and cash games. The more points you earn, the higher up you move through the loyalty levels. You’ll earn points for every $1 of tournament fees or cash table charges you incur.
As you earn loyalty points, you can claim certain benefits like free tournament entries, VIP invites and cashback.
How to Choose the Best Michigan Poker Site
Online poker for Michigan gamblers is now a reality. After PokerStars launched its Michigan online poker product in January 2021, MI players can enjoy fully legal cash games and tournaments on their PCs and mobile phones.
At BetMichigan.com, we’re with you all the way. We’re as excited as you about the new regulated poker rooms coming to the Wolverine State.
That’s why our review team will go through an exhaustive review process when picking out the very best online poker rooms. All of your top-rated poker sites will offer great games, big bonuses and excellent customer support.
We will test every MI poker room to check their welcome bonuses and promotions. From freerolls and deposit matches to rakeback and guarantees, we will closely examine the site’s exciting welcome offers.
Registration & Sign-Up
How easy is it to set up a new online poker account? Our review experts will go through the registration process and check for pain points. We’ll also make sure legal MI poker rooms have the right ID verification processes in place.
Software & Security
Online poker in Michigan should be fair and secure. The poker software should have independently audited random number generators for a fair shuffle and deal every hand.
Michigan online poker should also be free of cheats. The best licensed sites for online poker in Michigan will have proper compliance and check regularly for multi-accounting, bots and cheating.
Tournament guarantees are the lifeblood of good online poker sites. Big guarantees help to attract players, especially if there is an overlay. Guaranteed prizepools should be offered weekly to help drive interest in the site.
Player Pools & Traffic
The best online poker sites in Michigan should hit the ground running with lots of Michigan online poker players. But the first MI poker rooms may be slow in gaining a large player pool. That’s why we will always regularly review new Michigan poker sites to check regular cash game traffic and tournament numbers.
Fast & Reliable Banking
It’s essential that you get your poker funds in and out of your account quickly. That’s why we will review every Michigan online poker site for banking and withdrawals. Deposits should be instant and free of fees, and withdrawals should be processed swiftly and securely.
Online poker sites in Michigan are only as good as their customer support. So, whether you have an issue over deposits, payouts, or table abuse, the customer service team should help.
In 2021, 24-hour support through live chat, email and phone is the standard requirement. We will also put the service agents through their paces and test them on a range of queries.
Responsible Gambling with Michigan Online Poker
The Michigan Gaming Control Board looks after player safety and oversees rules and regulations at legal online poker sites and online gambling sites like BetMGM Poker following the Lawful Sports Betting Act which is passed in Michigan. There's a bit of a grey area with offshore (but legal) online poker sites like ACR but they are still dedicated to gambling responsibly. March is problem gambling awareness month in the US in 2023 and BetMGM is advertising it on the homepage of their Michigan poker sites. FAQ pages, links to gambling help sites, phonelines and various other help will be available through this page. We can also access the usual links, resources, and FAQ page at the bottom of the Poker site. Daily, weekly, or monthly deposit limits can be put into play to help us control our poker expenditure, or we can self-exclude at our own discretion. Make sure you are always being responsible when playing Michigan online poker.
Michigan Online Poker FAQ
Absolutely. In 2019 Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a range of gaming bills, paving the way for regulated online poker in Michigan. The first legal poker site, PokerStars, appeared in January 2021.
You should provide a username and password, plus current home address, email address and Social Security number. You will also have to provide photo ID like a passport or driver’s license.
Possibly at some point. At first, online poker in Michigan will be played among visitors and residents only. Interstate compacts will eventually allow Michigan poker rooms to share player pools with other states.
Bill Ordine, senior journalist and columnist for BetMichigan.com, was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years. He covered the World Series of Poker for a decade and his articles on gaming have appeared in many major U.S. newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald and others.