Thanks to Michigan’s legalization of sports betting at the end of 2019, legal Michigan sportsbooks will soon arrive in the Wolverine State — with goodies in hand. Sports bettors in other states have had the opportunity to grab numerous online sports betting bonuses, and now Michiganders will get to enjoy the same or similar kinds of bonuses and promo code offers.
Many of the sportsbooks to launch in other states, such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Indiana, are hanging a shingle in Michigan and will make the same or similar sportsbook bonus offers as they have in other parts of the country.
This page is intended as your complete guide to sign-up bonus offers for legal Michigan online sportsbooks. Among other topics, we rank bonus offers from best to… not the best, and will point you directly to the best bonus codes and offers available for the taking.
Why we expect good value from MI sportsbook bonuses
Not all sportsbook bonus offers are created equal — but that’s not always apparent on the face of the offer. Some include semi-confusing language, or contain certain requirements that make it difficult to unlock the full bonus advertised. Some offers just don’t have as much upside as it may appear. Fortunately, some are quite lucrative and very easy to secure, or quite literally are free cash requiring only the effort of typing your name and email.
What kinds of sign up offers are/will be available in Michigan? Although the road was bumpy and included one veto in 2018, the bills for legal sports betting, online casino/iGaming and online poker that ultimately passed are quite good for both sportsbooks (the operators) and consumers alike. The tax rate on sportsbook revenue is 8.4%, which is on the reasonable end. Meaning that sportsbooks won’t have to pass some costs to the bettors, possibly in the form of slashing bonus offers. (Compare with Pennsylvania, where the tax rate is 36%.)
The law is also good for bettors because it will allow up to 25 online sportsbooks to enter the state. Each tribal casino in the state, and commercial casino in Detroit, may launch an online sportsbook — with or without the help of a partner having sportsbook experience.
That’s a lot of legal sportsbooks, almost double the number as in PA, and overall means more choice, diversity and competition for your loyalty.
Who is eligible for MI sportsbook bonuses?
As long as you meet the criteria of the actual law and regulations, you should be eligible to receive any of the available sportsbook promotional offers.
- You must be 21 years of age and up to sign up for a legal sportsbook account;
- You must be located within the state of Michigan when placing a wager(s) at the sportsbook offering the promotion (but you do not have to live or be located in Michigan to open an account);
- You may need valid identification to sign up with some sportsbooks (such as any state-issued driver’s license);
- You probably will be disqualified from receiving a bonus if you are an employee of the sportsbook or the casino with which the book is partnered;
- There are restriction on and limitations for athletes and staff with professional and NCAA collegiate sports teams;
- While there are some “no deposit” sign-up bonuses (more below), to access the vast majority of MI sportsbook bonuses, you will also need to make a deposit and fund your account in order to make a real-money wager, in order to qualify for the bonus.
You should always look over the Terms and Conditions for each offer. Assuming you are not disqualified, you should be able to obtain as many of the available bonus offers as you like. We suggest keeping track of your accounts on a spreadsheet or, if you’re old school, a notebook. However you manage, there’s a lot of promotional dollars you can bag up!
The best Michigan sportsbook promo offers, ranked
Bonus terminology is similar but different, and can be a bit confusing at times. After some debate and fist-fighting amongst our staff, we have finally reached a definitive ranking to help you assess and understand the various offers that will come your way. Ranked from best to not best:
1. No-deposit Free Bet
Ranking the no-deposit free bet number one was a no-brainer as they are the very definition of free money. Once you complete the registration process, sites will have free bets waiting for you. They are usually on the small end, anywhere from $10-$30 and there are usually some stipulations on odds and may only pay the profits on the bet (not the stake as well), but hey! Free money!
2. “Match Bonus” (1x play-through)
A match bonus is when an online sportsbook matches your first deposit up to a certain amount. For example, BetRivers offers a 100% first deposit match up to $250, where if you deposit $250, they will match that deposit dollar for dollar, allowing you to instantly double your bankroll to $500. The bonus money plays the same as cash, meaning the bet plus profit are paid out on winning bets and all you need to do is play that $250 bonus one time through, at any denomination in order to turn the bonus money into withdrawable cash.
3. Deposit-based Free Bets, or First bet matched “Free Bets”
Similar to no deposit free bets, free bets typically have some odds restrictions, but what we like about the deposit or first bet match is that you can control the amount and they are usually much larger than their no-deposit counterpart. For example, you deposit $200 into the sportsbook:
- On a deposit-based free bet, the sportsbook would give you a free bet in the amount of $200;
- On a first bet matched free bet, the sportsbook would give you a free bet (up to a certain amount) equivalent to the value of the very first bet you make at the sportsbook.
Downsides are that you are only paid out the profit of winning bets (cash bets pay the original bet + profit), and they are typically one and done.
4. “Risk-Free Bets”
Risk-Free Bets are becoming increasingly popular among online sportsbooks in the U.S., and that can be attributed to the fact that they sound great, but, well, they’re ranked fourth here for a reason.
A risk-free bet is when you place your first bet, and if it loses, you will be refunded up to a certain amount in either site credit or a one time free bet (some are offering them up to $500). A risk-free bet is still a generous offer, as it gives you a second chance to win your money back if your first bet comes up short, but if you win your first bet, that’s it.
It’s important to note that not all risk-free bets are created equal. The method in which a sportsbook will issue the refund is very important in these rankings. Lets take a quick look at the rankings within the rankings (in order from best to least wonderful):
- Cash refund: This would be the only true “risk-free” bet, where if your first bet loses, you will be refunded 100% in cash, which you can then withdraw as if nothing ever happened. This is a rare sight to see, but has been offered by a few online sportsbooks in the U.S. market.
- Site credit refund: Site credit refunds are very player-friendly (if the first bet loses), as the site credit can be wagered in any denomination, and plays the same as cash, meaning that the bet + profit is paid out on winning bets.
- Free bets (that can be broken down): Typically, when taking advantage of a risk-free bet, you may make a larger bet than you typically would, knowing that you have some insurance that if you lose you get a shot at winning your money back. When you can break a $500 free bet into 5 equal $100 bets, it gives you a better chance to bank a few winners in there.
- One-time free bet: Once again, if you take advantage of the risk-free bet promotion, you may be betting bigger than you are usually comfortable with. The one-time free bet refund is basically a chance to win your money back, not turn any profit as the free bets only pay out the profit on winning bets.
5. Welcome match bonus (rollover heavy)
Some sites will match your first deposit or first bet up to a certain amount but with less than desirable wagering requirements. While the 1x wagering requirements listed above are extremely player friendly, once you get into 5x, 10x or even 25x turnover, the edge starts to turn in the sportsbook’s direction. For example, a $500 1x bonus would only require $500 in wagers to turn it into cash, while that same $500 bonus with 25x wagering requires a hefty $12,500.
Why are generous sportsbook bonus offers available?
Same reason grocery stores issue coupons, retailers offer 10-50% off, Ben & Jerry’s runs its Free Cone Day: they want your business. As noted earlier, there’s a load of quality sportsbooks entering Michigan between 2020 and 2021, and the competition will be fierce to get people to the (online) sportsbook window to give a test drive.
Some brands already have a lot of name recognition or even brand loyalty. Those include DFS-operators-turned-sportsbooks FanDuel and DraftKings. There’s also BetMGM, which is associated with the MGM Grand Detroit and MGM Resorts International, a nationally-recognized brand. There’s some other sportsbook players that are not very well known in the U.S., but have pretty damn cool sportsbook apps and offerings. They’d all like you to use the promo and stick around for a while. Giddy’up!
MI sportsbook bonus terms and conditions
We discussed eligibility requirements earlier, but here offer a few words about the “fine print” and some things you should keep in mind as you weigh the various offers and bonus codes that come your way.
For the vast majority of bonuses, you’ll need to deposit funds and place a real-money wager in order to activate the bonus. Below, find some of the most common wagering requirements.
The most straightforward example is a 1x play-through requirement in order to unlock a “match bonus.” Suppose the offer is a 100% match up to $250 at BetRivers. So you deposit $250 into your account, and the house will match you dollar for dollar up to $250, with one very reasonable stipulation: that you put the $250 deposited into play. This could be in the form of five $50 bets or any increment, but you have to stake a total of $250 in order to unlock the full $250 match into your cash balance.
The play-through requirement may differ from offer to offer, and some of them worth passing might be in the 20x range, which means you’d have to stake $5,000 in bets before you could unlock the full bonus.
Limitations on betting favorites
Sometimes the terms may stipulate that you cannot bet a large favorite to satisfy the terms of the offer. For example, let’s say you’re offered a $500 risk-free bet (explained above). The limitation might be that you cannot bet a team/side favored at -250 or greater on the moneyline. The idea being in this case that they’re not going to fork away free cash on mid-to-huge favorites.
This is more commonly seen with online casino bonuses, but we’ve noticed in sports before: In reaching the wagering requirement, some kinds of wagers may count more or less than others toward the dollar requirement. Typically parlays and teasers will count at a higher rate, maybe 1:1, while moneyline and straight bets a bit lower, perhaps 0.50 cents on each dollar wagered.
Other Michigan bonus odds and ends
You won’t be able to withdraw funds considered bonus money until you’ve satisfied the requirements of the offer. See above wagering requirements. Once satisfied, you’ll be able to actually withdraw via whatever banking means you have used. Some sportsbooks will show your balance, and then available withdrawal balance, when you go to the banking page.
Finding your bonus bet(s)
Some sportsbooks have a separate tab for your cash account (money you’ve deposited) and bonus funds, which should show the bonus bets you have available. At some sportsbooks, your bonus bets will appear in your bet slip once you make a selection. If this is the sportsbook’s style, you should see a box to check and the corresponding dollar amount. You don’t have to use your bonus bet if it shows in the slip — but it’s there should you wish to put it in play. Which takes us to…
Most sportsbooks won’t leave bonus offers hanging out there in perpetuity. This means that:
- You may have somewhere between 7 and 90 days to use “free bets” that are given off the bat.
- You may have somewhere between 7 and 90 days to make the bets that would qualify you for the bonus (for example, making $250 in bets to get the match deposit)
Obviously those are big ranges of time. It could be a full year even. Point is, check the terms and conditions so you know which date range will apply to yours.
Accordingly, you may want to wait to sign up for an account so it coincides with a sporting event you know you want to bet on. For example, The Masters, the NFL season or March Madness.
Claiming bonuses in multiple states
Probably isn’t going to fly. Your account will be associated with your email or phone number or driver’s license. Most sportsbooks will not allow you, for example, to claim a $500 risk-free bet in PA and then do it again in CO.
Michigan online sportsbooks offering bonuses
Online sportsbook bonus offers aren’t static. Some are offered during different sports seasons, some you might see running over multiple years.
This page will be updated, but at the time of writing, these are the sportsbooks you can expect in Michigan. Check back here often as we will share their bonus offers. This list based on what we have learned about Michigan sportsbook partnerships, and on bonuses offered by the sportsbooks in other legal U.S. jurisdictions.
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- FOX Bet
- William Hill
- Barstool Sportsbook/Penn Interactive
Customer service for bonuses
If you have any questions or concerns about accessing your bonus, we encourage you to reach out to the sportsbook’s customer service. Many offer live chat while some will only field questions via email or an online form.
Sometimes the bonuses might take 24-72 hours to process. Other times, perhaps they just missed it. All Michigan sportsbooks much be licensed and regulated, which means the Michigan Gaming Control Board will hold them accountable to honor offers. If you think a sportsbooks has made a mistake, begin with a question to customer service and if necessary, escalate from there.
Check out our separate sportsbook reviews on each individual sportsbook for a bit about their contact information and customer service department’s reputation.
Parting shot: Other bonuses and promotions
Even after you sign up for a new Michigan sportsbook account, you’re going to see a whole lot of different promotions, free bets, odds boosts or “profit boosts” available to you.
Some of them will be for specific types of markets — such as in-play bets — some for specific events, such as on a golf tournament.
Keep your eyes peeled and come back here to check for the latest, greatest sportsbooks bonus codes and offers.