Is Poker legal in Michigan (mi)? Online Poker Laws in Michigan Explained

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Senior Editor U.S.
6 min read

Michigan Michigan

  • Online Poker is allowed
  • Online Poker is legal since 2019
  • Live Poker is allowed
  • Live Poker is legal since 1999
  • Online Casino is allowed
  • Online Casino is legal since 2019
  • Sports Betting is allowed
  • Sports Betting is legal since 2019

Online poker is legal in Michigan and is one of five states to have licensed and regulated poker sites in operation, joining Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

The Great Lakes State is also one of the top places for online poker anywhere in the world as you’ll have a number of exceptional poker sites at your disposal, and an opportunity to play in some of the juiciest games around. To level up your poker game, if you're looking for the best poker bonuses in Michigan or best poker apps in Michigan, PokerNews has got you covered as well.

Poker in Michigan - The complete history (Timeline)

The history of online poker in Michigan is quite interesting, and a little frustrating in the early years for residents of the state who couldn’t legally play cards on the internet for quite some time. Let’s take a look at the timeline of events.

Early 2000s: Online poker in the US wasn’t technically legal during its infancy stages in the 2000s. But there were some popular poker sites, albeit unregulated ones, such as PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker that were available to players in Michigan.

Black Friday (April 15, 2011): The online poker landscape changed for the worse on April 15, 2011, dubbed “Black Friday” when the US Department of Justice shut all the top poker sites down. This was also the last day for many years online poker was available to Michiganders outside of some shady sites.

Poker Bill Introduced (2016): Although a couple other states had already pushed through online poker legislation and had legal poker sites in operation, it wasn’t until 2016 before Michigan finally proposed a bill to legalize internet poker in the state. Unfortunately, however, the measure was unsuccessful, but it did get the ball rolling.

Poker Bill Signed into Law (December 20, 2019): December 20, 2019 was a memorable day for poker players in Michigan as Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed into law the state’s first ever online poker bill.

COVID Stalls Licensing (2020): In 2020, the country was more focused on the pandemic than gambling legislation, so it was a longer than expected process to get the poker sites licensed.

PokerStars Launches (January 29, 2021): On January 29, 2021, PokerStars launched in Michigan, becoming the first poker site to legally operate in the Wolverine State.

Online poker is legal in the US, but it is up to the individual states to determine legality. What that means is the Federal government cannot prevent any state from legalizing poker, but they also cannot require any state to legalize poker.

At present, there are only five states with legal poker sites in operation, with Michigan being one of them. Much like marijuana, this is a state-by-state issue, not a Federal issue. As for live poker, the same can be said, with some states considering any forms of gambling, even poker, illegal. There are often exceptions to the rule, such as certain Indian reservations that don’t have to abide by some state guidelines.

Can you play poker in Michigan - is it legal?

Yes! You can legally play poker in Michigan, both online and in a brick-and-mortar card room. Michigan is becoming one of the top places for poker in the United States and the industry is booming. Even better, it’s continuing to grow and will likely expand even further in popularity in the coming years.

Why was poker banned in Michigan?

Unfortunately, online poker players in Michigan went through a tough period following the Black Friday scandal in 2011. From that day (April 15, 2011) until late 2019, it was technically illegal to play poker because the US Department of Justice cracked down on the poker sites that were operating without licenses.

On December 20, 2019, Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer signed into law a bill that made online poker legal in the state for poker sites that applied for and are approved a license. But due to COVID, it wasn’t until 2021 before the state’s gambling commission began to approve the licenses.

What are the best sites to play poker on in Michigan?

The great news for online poker players in the Great Lakes State is there are some outstanding options available. There are three sites available, all of which are among the most trusted internet poker brands in the world – BetMGM, PokerStars, and

Online Poker in Michigan

Online poker in Michigan is booming with three exceptional poker sites at your disposal. You aren’t required to be a resident of the state to play, however. All that is required is you are located within the state borders at the time of play.

PokerStars - Can you play PokerStars in Michigan?

Yes, you can play on PokerStars MI in Michigan. PokerStars is the world’s most popular and one of the oldest online poker sites.

partypoker - Can you play partypoker Michigan?

No, you cannot play on partypoker in Michigan. At this time, the poker site isn’t available but perhaps one day it will be.

GGPoker - Can you play GGPoker in Michigan?

No, you cannot play GGPoker in Michigan. At this time, the poker site isn’t available anywhere within the United States.

888poker - Can you play 888poker in Michigan?

No, you cannot play 888poker in Michigan. But the same software 888poker uses is available on the platform in the Wolverine State.

Borgata - Can you play Borgata in Michigan?

No, you cannot play Borgata in Michigan. But the same software used at the Borgata online poker site in New Jersey is available on BetMGM.

BetMGM - Can you play BetMGM in Michigan?

Yes, you can play BetMGM MI in Michigan. The BetMGM platform is one of the best in the world and has some exceptional software and juicy games.

Bet365 - Can you play Bet365 in Michigan?

No, you cannot play Bet365 in Michigan. But there are plenty of other great options available to those within the Great Lakes State. - Can you play in Michigan?

Yes, you can play WSOP MI in Michigan, with online bracelet events offered during the summer.

Can I play live poker in Michigan?

Yes, live poker much like online poker, is fully legal in Michigan.

Is there an online poker ban in Michigan?

No, there is no online poker ban. Online poker is fully legal in Michigan.

Can I play poker in Michigan if I’m not from there?

Yes you can. Anyone can play poker in Michigan so long as they are located within the state borders at the time of play.

Do I have to live in Michigan to play poker legally?

No you do not. The online poker sites are available for everyone 21 and over so long as you are located within the state borders at the time of play.

What sites can I play poker legally in Michigan?

There are three legal poker sites in Michigan – BetMGM, PokerStars, and

Senior Editor U.S.

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