Introduction to Michigan Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2018
Michigan slot machine casino gambling consists of three non-tribal commercial casinos in Detroit and 23 tribal casinos throughout the state. Caesars Windsor is just across the Canadian border from Detroit.
A minimum payout return limit has been legally set for Michigan’s non-tribal casinos. However, no actual payout return statistics are publicly available from either the non-tribal or tribal casinos.
This post continues the weekly series Online Resource: A State-By-State Slot Machine Casino Gambling Series, an online resource dedicated to guiding slot machine casino gambling enthusiasts to success. Each weekly post reviews slots gambling in a single U.S. state, territory, or the federal district.
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Relevant Legal Statutes on Gambling in Michigan*
The minimum legal gambling age in Michigan depends upon the gambling activity:
- Land-Based Casinos: 18/21
- Poker Rooms: 18
- Bingo: 18
- Lottery: 18
- Pari-Mutuel Wagering: 18
At land-based casinos, the minimum legal age for gambling is 21 if alcohol is served. Otherwise, it is 18. Further, the minimum legal age for gambling at Canada’s Caesars Windsor is 19 years old, where all winnings are paid in Canadian currency.
According to Michigan’s gaming regulations, all slot machines at the Detroit casinos are controlled by a central computer. It is illegal for a slot machine to have a hardware switch to change payout return settings.
In 1996, Michigan voters approved three licensed casinos for Detroit via a bill eventually improved into the Michigan Gaming Control & Revenue Act.
*The purpose of this section is to inform the public of state gambling laws and how the laws apply to various forms of gambling. This information is not intended to provide legal advice.
Slot Machine Private Ownership in Michigan
It is legal to privately own a slot machine in Michigan if it is 25 years old or older.
Gaming Control Board in Michigan
The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) regulates the non-tribal commercial casinos in Detroit. They also provide compliance oversight authority for tribal-state compacts with Michigan’s federally recognized tribes.
American Indian tribes are sovereign nations. As such, the State of Michigan does not have general regulatory authority over Indian casinos, although the state has oversight authority of compliance with state-tribal compact provisions.
The National Indian Gaming Commission and the government of the appropriate tribal community regulate Michigan’s tribal casinos. The negotiated tribal-state compact for each tribe is found on the Indian Affairs website for Indian Gaming Compacts within the U.S. Department of Interior.
Gaming regulations for Caesars Windsor in Canada are provided by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, a crown agency of Canada. However, the Ontario gaming jurisdiction is the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG).
Casinos in Michigan
There are 3 non-tribal commercial casinos and 23 American Indian tribal casinos in Michigan. Also, across the Canadian border from Detroit is the Caesars Windsor Casino.
The largest casino in Michigan is the MGM Grand Detroit Casino in Detroit, having 3,500 gaming machines and 143 table games.
The second largest casino is Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mount Pleasant, having 3,330 gaming machines and 60 table games.
List of Casinos in Michigan
Detroit, Michigan’s non-tribal commercial casinos, including the popular Caesars Windsor in Canada, are:
- Caesars Windsor across the Canadian border in Windsor, Ontario
- Greektown Casino
- MGM Grand Detroit Casino
- MotorCity Casino and Hotel
List of Tribal Casinos in Michigan
Michigan has tribal-state compacts with 12 American Indian tribes, which have produced 23 tribal casinos with Class III Vegas-style games. At the end of 2017, these 23 tribal casinos had a total of 21,976 Class III gaming machines.
Tribal casinos in Michigan are a thriving business, and many major expansion projects are underway throughout the state. This is especially true for casinos in northern Michigan.
Michigan 23 tribal casinos are:
- Bay Mills Resort & Casino in Brimley located in the upper peninsula 53 miles north of Mackinaw City
- FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek located 113 miles west of Detroit
- Four Winds Dowagiac located 21 miles north of South Bend, Indiana near the Indiana border
- Four Winds Hartford located 50 miles north of South Bend, Indiana
- Four Winds New Buffalo located 34 miles northwest of South Bend, Indiana near the Indiana border and Lake Michigan
- Gun Lake Casino in Wayland located 172 miles west of Mackinaw City
- Island Resort & Casino in Harris located in the upper peninsula 160 miles west of Mackinaw City
- Kewadin Casino – Christmas in Munising located in the upper peninsula 129 miles northwest of Mackinaw City on Lake Superior
- Kewadin Casino – Hessel located in the upper peninsula 41 miles northeast of Mackinaw City
- Kewadin Casino – Manistique located in the upper peninsula 89 miles west of Mackinaw City
- Kewadin Casino – Sault Ste. Marie located in the upper peninsula 59 miles north of Mackinaw City on the Canadian border
- Kewadin Casino – St. Ignace located in the upper peninsula 12 miles north of Mackinaw City
- Kings Club Casino in Brimley located in the upper peninsula 56 miles north of Mackinaw City
- Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge in Peshawbestown located in the lower peninsula 20 miles north of Traverse City
- Little River Casino Resort in Manistee located in the lower peninsula 58 miles southwest of Traverse City
- Northern Waters Casino Resort in Watersmeet located in the upper peninsula 268 miles west of Mackinaw City near the Wisconsin border
- Odawa Casino Resort in Petoskey located in the lower peninsula 38 miles south-southwest of Mackinaw City
- Odawa Casino Mackinaw located in Mackinaw City
- Ojibwa Casino – Marquette located in the upper peninsula 158 miles northwest of Mackinaw City on Lake Superior
- Ojibwa Casino – Baraga located in the upper peninsula 239 miles northwest of Mackinaw City on Lake Superior
- Saganing Eagles Landing Casino in Standish located in the lower peninsula 158 miles south-southeast of Mackinaw City on Lake Huron
- Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mount Pleasant located in the lower peninsula 157 miles northwest of Detroit
- Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel in Williamsburg located in the lower peninsula 11 miles east of Traverse City
Other Gambling Establishments
As an alternative to enjoying Michigan slot machine casino gambling, consider exploring casino options in a nearby state.
Michigan is bordered by:
- North and East: Canadian Province of Ontario
- South: Indiana Slots and Ohio Slots
- West: Minnesota Slots and, by ferry across Lake Michigan, Illinois Slots
Each of the links above will take you to my state-specific blog for that bordering state to Michigan.
Payout Returns in Michigan
According to the MGCB Administrative Rules section 27a on p. 137, each slot machine must not have a payout return less than 80% but no more than 100% unless otherwise approved by the gaming control board.
Further, payout return limits apply to
A rumored conversation from officials at the MGCB implied Michigan tribal casinos have a minimum payout return of 75%. However, I can find no evidence of such a legal requirement within any existing state-tribal compact provisions.
Actual payout return statistics from the three non-tribal commercial casinos in Detroit are not available to the public. Further, the tribes in Michigan don’t release their actual payback return statistics to the public.
The minimum payout return for Caesars Windsor and other casinos in the Canadian province of Ontario is 85%. For skill-based electronic gaming machines such as video poker, it is 88%. These limits apply to each wager and play available on the game.
Further, Canada’s OLG offers a Slots Brochure stating Ontario casinos have a maximum payout return percentage 99.1%. They also state Ontario has an average payout return is 91.8%.
Our Michigan Slots Facebook Group
Are you interested in sharing and learning with other slots enthusiasts in Michigan? If so, join our new Michigan slots community on Facebook. All you’ll need is a Facebook profile to freely join this closed Facebook Group.
There, you’ll be able to privately share your slots experiences as well as chat with players about slots gambling in or near Michigan. Come join us!
Summary of Michigan Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2018
Michigan slot machine casino gambling consists of three casinos in Detroit and 23 tribal casinos throughout the state. Caesars Windsor is a popular casino destination just across the Canadian border from Detroit.
The payout return limits for Michigan’s non-tribal casinos must be no less than 80% nor more than 100% for each electronic gaming machine. No payout return statistics are available from any of Michigan’s casinos.
Annual Progress in Michigan Slot Machine Casino Gambling
In the last year, one additional tribal casino has opened, the Odawa Casino Mackinaw in Mackinaw City. Further, the Lac Vieux Desert Casino in Watersmeet was renamed Northern Waters Casino Resort.
2017 Archive: Michigan Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2017 – Michigan slot machine casino gambling consists of three casinos in Detroit and 22 tribal casinos throughout the state. Michigan tribal casinos are a thriving business, and many major expansion projects are underway throughout the state. The popular Caesars Windsor is located across the Canadian border from Detroit.
Related Articles from Professor Slots
- 11 Things You Need To Know About American Indian Tribal Casinos – Tribal gaming is involved, even sophisticated, in terms of legal, regulatory, political, and economic factors. It’s one of the least understood segments of the U.S. gaming industry. This summary article on American Indian tribal casinos helps slot machine casino gamblers better understand the tribal casinos they visit.
Other State-By-State Articles from Professor Slots
- Online Resource: A State-By-State Slot Machine Casino Gambling Series – This online resource for slot machine casino gamblers summaries a third year of 56 weekly posts for each U.S. state, territory, and the federal district. Slots players begin here to learn about the slots gaming industry in each U.S. gaming jurisdiction. This summary article links to 56 individual state-specific posts useful to slots players.
- Previous: Massachusetts Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2018 – Massachusetts slot machine casino gambling consists of the newly-opened MGM Springfield casino resort, the Plainridge Park racino, and the international cruise ship NCL Dawn. Encore Boston Harbor is planned to open in mid-2019. The minimum payout return limit is 80% and actual payout returns are publicly available each month.
- Next: Minnesota Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2018 – Minnesota slot machine casino gambling consists of 19 tribal casinos with video slot machines. Minnesota was the first state with tribal gaming. Payout return limits are 80% to 95% for video slots, 75% to 95% for video keno, and 83% to 98% for skill-based games such as video poker and video blackjack assuming optimal play.