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Michigan Gambling Laws

Gambling is regulated at the state level where gambling taxes often are used to help pay for education or other essential state services. For the most part, gambling that fails to benefit the state in some way (i.e., through taxes) usually is not legal. Michigan gambling laws allow betting on horse racing at licensed tracks as well as gambling on Native American land. Bingo, minor bets at league bowling alleys, and other extremely minor types of gambling are also permitted in the state.

Learn more about the basics of Michigan gambling laws in the chart below. You can also see Details on State Gambling Laws and the links following this article for additional information and resources.

Code Section

Michigan gambling is regulated by the Michigan Penal Code Chapter 750, sections 301 through 315a and the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act in (Michigan Complied Laws Chapter 432).

Gambling Defined

Gambling is defined as accepting money or a valuable thing contingent upon result of a game, race, contest or happening of uncertain event.

Horse Racing/Off-Track Betting

The following type of horse racing is permitted in Michigan:

  • Live horse racing at licensed race tracks;
  • On-track simulcasting; and
  • On-track pari-mutuel wagering.

Native American Casinos

Gaming on Native American land governed by Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Licensed Native American casinos are allowed in the state.

Other Kinds of Gambling-Related Activities Allowed

The following gambling-related activities are permitted in the state:

  • Recreational card playing at senior citizen housing facility;
  • League bowling at alleys not exceeding $1,000;
  • Redemption games;
  • Bingo; and
  • Millionaire parties.
Banned Gambling-Related Activities

These gambling-related activities are prohibited in Michigan:

  • Pool selling;
  • Registering bets; and
  • Gambling in stocks, bonds, grain or produce.
Penalties for Gambling Penalties for violating Michigan’s gambling laws vary depending on the circumstances of the case, including the defendant’s criminal history and the exact crime charged. Many gambling offenses are misdemeanors punishable by imprisonment for no more than one year and a maximum fine of $1000. Other crimes related to gambling are subject to greater fines and terms of imprisonment.

State laws are constantly changing and it’s important to know what gambling activities are permitted so as to avoid criminal charges. You may consider contacting a Michigan gaming attorney for legal advice specific to your situation.

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