In October 2017, the bill which would formally legalize Michigan daily fantasy sports passed in the state Senate 7-0. As in numerous other states, the argument put forward was that DFS should be exempted from certain gambling restrictions as it is not gambling but a game of skill. Although the bill passed, it hasn’t made it much further than that yet. To be written into law it needs to be ratified by the governor, which has not happened. Some people are also pushing for sports betting to be made legal in Michigan as well, so it is possible that the bill will be amended to include this, or a new bill written to include both.
If you want to know more about daily fantasy sports laws in the USA, you can also take a look at our main DFS page
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- We are so much more than just sports betting! We also have loads of information and help for you regarding other areas of the industry, such as our slots page or online roulette guide.
- It is important to follow any changes to legislation and laws closely. We keep an eye on great sources like Michigan Gaming Control Board and the Michigan Gaming guide.
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Online Daily Fantasy Sports in Michigan – Overview
While it can be considered a bit frustrating that the 2017 bill has made no further progression to making Michigan daily fantasy sports explicitly legal, if it means that online sports betting is legalized at the same time, it might be worth the wait. As with DFS, online betting in general is not specifically outlawed in Michigan, but there also isn’t any legislation supporting it. This leads to gray areas in the law, which can be difficult to interpret. The important thing to remember is that Michigan daily fantasy sports are not illegal, and you will have no problems playing them.
Since the DFS sites are allowed to operate in Michigan, let’s take a look at some of the sports on offer.
Online Daily Fantasy NFL – Detroit Lions
NFL is the most popular fantasy league in nearly every state. In Michigan, there is an additional reason for residents to be interested in this sport. The Detroit Lions compete in the NFL and have won four NFL championships, making them tied ninth for total championships. Unfortunately for those following the team, their last championship win was actually in 1957! Playing NFL fantasy is pretty straight forward. You must choose nine players to make up your team which you can then enter into a public or private competition.
Online Daily Fantasy MLB – Detroit Tigers
In MLB fantasy, you can choose ten players to enter into a contest. You do need to be careful to ensure that you have no more than five hitters on your team, and that all players are on that week’s playing roster. Michigan fantasy players will likely be familiar with the ins and outs of the MLB since the Detroit Tigers play in the league. The Tigers have won four World Series championships, most recently in 1984.
Online Daily Fantasy NHL – Detroit Red Wings
For this fantasy league you must draft nine players (eight skaters and a goalie) for your team. Some sites are quite specific about how you must stock your team. For example, Draft Kings requires two centers, three wingers, two defensemen, one goalie, and one utility spot. NHL fantasy lags behind the NFL, MLB, and NBA, but the good people of Michigan still have reason to be invested in this league. The Detroit Red Wings (formerly known as the Detroit Cougars and Detroit Falcons) have actually won the most Stanley Cup championships of any NHL franchise based in the USA. They are third overall, behind the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leaves.
Online Daily Fantasy NBA – Detroit Pistons
It seems that Michigan is an all-round achiever when it comes to professional sports teams. The Detroit Pistons play in the NBA and have won three NBA championships in 1989, 1990, and 2004. Not many states have such successful teams in so many sports! In NBA fantasy you are given $50,000 to make up your team. You must draft eight players from at least two different NBA games: a point guard, a guard, a shooting guard, a small forward, a power forward, a forward, two centers, and one utility player.
College Baseball – Michigan Wolverines
The Michigan Wolverines are made up of 27 varsity sports teams from the University of Michigan. The men’s baseball team has been particularly prominent this year as it made it to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. The team won national championships in 1953 and 1962, so it is great to see that it is making headlines again. The team is also known for sending 138 players to the major leagues to date.
Timeline of Daily Fantasy Sports Legislation
The history of gambling in Michigan is very interesting, with various laws being put into place and then quickly repealed. Below, we have given you some of the most important dates in Michigan’s gambling history. If you want to know more about gaming in this state, you can take a look at our Michigan gambling page.
|1933||The Racing Act is passed which allows pari-mutuel betting on horses. It is hoped that it will give the economy a boost.|
|1972||Michigan launches its first state lottery. It is popular from the beginning and proceeds go to good causes.|
|1988||The Federal Regulatory Gaming Act gives native tribes rights to build casinos on their land. The first one opens the same year.|
|1996||Legislation is passed on the building of three casinos on state-owned land. It was first put to a ballot and narrowly passed 51.5% to 48.5%.|
|1999||New laws are brought in to ban online gambling. However, these are overturned later in the same year.|
|2018||Governor Rick Snyder vetoes a major online gambling bill. After his retirement, new lawmakers take up the subject again.|
Legal Daily Fantasy Betting Age in Michigan
The legal gambling age in Michigan is a little more complicated than in other states. You must be at least 18 years old to participate in lotteries, horse racing, or charitable gambling. Michigan casinos can all 18-year olds to gamble if there is no alcohol being served. If it is a casino with alcohol, then you must be 21 years old to gamble there. To make matters more complicated, tribal casinos are allowed to set their own minimum age, as long as it is over 18 years old. So, some tribal casinos have a minimum age of 18 years old while at others it is 19 years old, or even 21 years old.
It is a misdemeanor to gamble underage in Michigan and is punishable by a fine up to $10,000 and/or up to one year in prison.
DFS Betting AgeThe minimum gambling age in the state of Michigan ranges from 18-21 years old.
Alcohol AgeThe minimum drinking age in the state of Michigan is 21 years old.
Weed AgeYou must be at least 21 years old to posses or use marijuana in Michigan.
Is Daily Fantasy Betting Legal Outside of the State?
Daily fantasy sports are becoming more and more popular across the globe, but America is still the number one user of DFS sites. This may seem surprising since it has not been legalized in all states, but the truth is more complex. While some states have passed legislation to legalize DFS, and some have passed laws to outlaw it, many states have remained in a kind of gray area on the subject. States like Michigan have not passed any laws either way yet, meaning that residents can play DFS without fear or prosecution despite the fact that it has not formally been made legal.
This “gray area” approach has been taken by numerous states, as we can see just by looking at Michigan’s neighbors. Illinois, Ohio, and Wisconsin all have daily fantasy sports site available in their states, despite not having passed any legislation yet to make it officially legal to play DFS. Indiana is the only neighboring state to Michigan which has taken the steps to make DFS explicitly legal, which it did in 2016.
The Best Fantasy Sports App in Michigan
There isn’t much that we can’t do from our smart phones these days, so why should it be any different for daily fantasy sports? Playing DFS is super simple from your phone if you have a decent site or app. Luckily, the majority of DFS sites have now made sure that they are fully mobile optimized and many of them also have downloadable apps in the app store to make things as easy as possible for you. We have tried out all the apps available in Michigan to give you our favorite.
Taxes on Daily Fantasy Winnings: Legal Overview
You must pay federal tax (25%) on all gambling winnings across the US. Each state may then also have additional state tax which must be paid as well. Federal tax will usually be automatically withheld but you must report it. Withholding is also required for Michigan income tax whenever regular federal withholding is required. The applies to all gambling winnings, including casinos, race tracks, and charitable gambling. The income tax withholding rate in this state is 4.25%.
Gambling losses are not an allowable subtraction in Michigan. You may exclude the first $300 won from gambling from total household resources. For more information on taxes in Michigan, take a look at the Michigan Department of Treasury.
Upcoming Regulation Changes to Be Aware Of
As we have discussed, the bill to make DFS legal passed the state Senate in 2017 but has not gone any further. With new lawmakers in place, it is hoped that the bill might once again be able to find some traction. There has been a lot of speculation that the reason it is currently stalled is because people want to introduce a new bill to replace it which would legalize online sports betting as well as DFS. A lot of changes might be coming to Michigan soon!