Michigan Casinos and Gambling

Michigan casinos were approved by voters in 1996, and the industry has been growing at a steady rate ever since. In addition to this form of gambling, the state also permits pari-mutuel wagering, charitable games such as bingo, and the lottery. This makes the “Great Lake State” an excellent destination for gamblers, and the following article is devoted to providing you with more information on the subject.

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Native American Michigan Casinos

Michigan has almost 30 casinos, and these are evenly distributed across 25 different cities. The majority are owned by Indian tribes and located on tribal lands, which allows them to operate their businesses with minimal interference from the outside world.

The largest Indian gaming establishment is the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. There are 210,000 square feet of floor space devoted to gambling, and this includes over 4,700 slots, 928 bingo seats, and 79 tables games. When you get hungry, the site also includes a number of award-winning restaurants.

According to the rules put in place by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, all slot machines must have a payback percentage of no less than 80% during their lifetime. The maximum percentage is capped at 100%, although you’re unlikely to find a machine that offers the latter number.

The following are the tribal casinos currently operating within Michigan:

  • Bay Mills Resort and Casino
  • Four Winds Casino Resort – New Buffalo
  • Kewadin Casino – Christmas
  • Kewadin Casino – Hessel
  • Kewadin Casino – Manistique
  • Kewadin Casino – St. Ignace
  • Kewadin Vegas Casino – Sault Ste. Marie
  • Kings Club Casino
  • Lac Vieux Desert Casino Resort Complex
  • Leelanau Sands Casino
  • Little River Casino Resort
  • Ojibwa Casino Marquette
  • Ojibwa Casino Resort
  • Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort
  • Turtle Creek Casino
  • Victories Casino & Hotel

Commercial Casinos in Michigan

If you want to try your luck at a casino not owned by private individual or corporate entity, you always have the option of playing at one of the state’s commercial gaming establishments. One of the largest of these is the MGM Grand Detroit, which offers 4,000 slot machines, around 100 table games, and just under a dozen poker tables.

The following are the most notable commercial casinos in Michigan:

  • Fire Keepers Casino
  • Greektown Casino Hotel
  • Island Resort Casino
  • MGM Grand Detroit
  • MotorCity Casino

Pari-Mutuel Betting in Michigan

Only a few years ago, Michigan had seven different horseracing tracks spread across the state. This number has slowly dwindled, however, and facilities such as Jackson Harness Raceway, Great Lakes Downs, and Mount Pleasant Meadows have been forced to close for good.

Business was booming throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, but wagering and tax revenues from the sport started a noticeable decline in 1998. This downturn has been blamed on a number of factors, including legalized casinos, online gambling, and a younger generation seemingly uninterested in animal racing.

As of this writing, only two race tracks are available in the state. Fans of the “Sport of Kings” should see them while they can, as the sagging nature of the industry makes their continued existence uncertain.

  • Hazel Park Harness Raceway – The site offers live thoroughbred racing every Friday and Saturday night from May through September. Simulcast betting on harness and thoroughbred races is available year round.
  • Northville Downs – Live racing is held every Friday and Saturday night in April, and this gives way to Wednesday and Thursday races in the month of May. Admission is free, although anyone younger than 12 is prohibited from entering the building.

In addition to race tracks, some states also have off-track betting facilities that allow people to wager on horse or dog racing. While such possibilities do exist at the sites listed above, Michigan has no options entirely isolated from a track.

State Lottery in Michigan

The Michigan lottery started in 1972, and the first instant ticket was purchased in the state in 1975. Game revenue is used to fund the public school system, and over $14.5 billion has been raised since the appearance of the lottery. Part of the Multi-State Lottery Association, Michigan also offers nationwide favorites such as Powerball and Mega Millions.

The available games come in three styles of play: online games, pull tabs, and scratch-offs. Over 10,000 licensed retailers are available throughout the state, and customers must be at least 18 years old in order to make a purchase. Purchases can also be made online at michiganlottery.com who also offer generous welcome bonuses not available at retail outlets.

As of this writing, the following lottery drawings are available in the state:

  • Club Keno – Drawing take place every four minutes, with players trying to match up to 10 numbers. The top prize for a $1 wager is $100,000.
  • Mega Millions – Drawings are held twice a week, with a progressive jackpot that begins at $15 million.
  • Daily 3 / Daily 4 – Players try to match 3 or 4 numbers in order to win a variety of cash prizes.
  • Keno! – First seen within the state in 1990, this game requires players to choose 10 out of 80 numbers. 22 numbers are then drawn, and the player is paid based on the number of matches. Getting all 10 numbers results in a $250,000 payout.
  • Powerball – Drawings are held twice a week, with a progressive jackpot starting at $40 million.
  • Classic Lotto 47 – Drawings are held twice a week, with players trying to get as many matches as possible on six numbers. Jackpots start at $1 million.
  • Fantasy 5 – This daily drawing requires players to pick 5 of 39 numbers and get paid based on the number of matches. The progressive jackpot begins at $100,000 and increases in increments of $5,000.
  • Monopoly Millionaire’s Club – The jackpot begins at $15 million and maxes out at $25 million. If a jackpot is won, additional $1 million payouts are also made.


Michigan is one of only five states where most major forms of gambling are available. Their casino industry is thriving despite the economic problems of Detroit and surrounding areas, and the same can be said of their state lottery. The pari-mutuel racing scene is slowly dying, however, and there’s a realistic chance that no tracks will be available within a decade. Still, the state includes a number of options for gamblers, whether they’re local residents or visitors from elsewhere in America.