Michigan: A Casino Enthusiast’s Paradise

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Detroit skyline at dusk.
BetMGM Aug 03, 2023, 6:13 AM

If you plan to visit Michigan, you won’t be short of things to see and do. But one often-overlooked activity is a trip to the casino. And the Great Lake State has no fewer than 26 land-based gambling venues from which you can choose.

Sure, you could stay home and play live dealer online casino games. But the nightlife, the glitz and glamor, all combined with the chance to win real money — it’s simply a buzz like no other. 

This guide will walk you through the Michigan gambling scene, from the legal gambling age to some of the best casinos in the state.

Michigan’s Land-Based Gambling Scene

In addition to the 15 online casinos in Michigan, the Great Lake State has a thriving land-based gambling scene. With a total of 23 casinos operated by native tribes and three commercial enterprises in Detroit, there’s no shortage of gambling options.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) oversees all gambling activity in the Great Lake State, including casinos and racetracks. However, the National Indian Gaming Commission has primary control over the tribal-run venues, working closely with the MGCB. 

Legal Gambling Age

The legal gambling age in Michigan depends on the activity involved. At all casinos, regardless of their location, players must be 21 or older. This is also true for poker and sports betting. However, 18-year-olds may legally play lottery games and enjoy pari-mutuel horse racing betting.

Best Michigan Casinos

Now that you’re up to speed with the local gambling scene, it’s time to look at the best brick-and-mortar casinos in Michigan.

Four Winds Casino (New Buffalo)

First on the list is one of three Four Winds venues in the Great Lake State. Situated on Wilson Road in New Buffalo, this particular casino is operated by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. You’ll find 130,000 square feet of gaming space contained within, making it the largest of their casinos – not to mention some beautiful decor, including a stunning waterfall feature.

Its proximity to the Indiana border makes it a firm favorite with day trippers from the Hoosier State. But if you wish to stay overnight, why not try one of the luxurious 415 hotel rooms and suites? Accommodation is reasonably priced and members of the exclusive W♣ Players Club can cash in their loyalty points for discounted stays.

Four Winds New Buffalo offers everything you’d expect from gaming (and more.) Over 60 tables provide all of the usual suspects, from blackjack and roulette to craps and poker games. Then there’s a little under 3,000 of the latest video slots, including progressive jackpot games, plus a poker room and sportsbook. 

MGM Grand (Detroit)

Located right in the heart of Detroit, the MGM Grand is just a short car ride from Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. If you’re looking to stay overnight, the affordable, 400-room hotel comes very highly rated by real guests on review sites. And due to its central location, you’re just a stone’s throw away from some of the best restaurants and rooftop bars in Michigan.

But the casino itself is the star of the show. With more than 100,000 square feet of floor space, you can enjoy over 3,500 slot and poker machines. There are dozens of classic table games, including blackjack, roulette and baccarat. Plus, visitors can now enjoy a flutter at the Sports Lounge too, thanks to recent changes to local sports betting laws.

Guests at the MGM Grand often speak highly of the ambiance in this well-lit, smoke-free casino, with praise for the professional staff. It’s often the little things that contribute to a positive experience, such as clean bathrooms, chatty dealers and great bar snacks. But the decor and architecture are pretty impressive too.

Turtle Creek Casino (Williamsburg)

Heading north, you’ll find the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, owned by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. It’s just 15 minutes drive from Traverse City, which is an excellent base for a short vacation in Michigan. Not only do you have easy access to the casino, but you’ll be conveniently located for a trip to Mackinac Island and other interesting sites.

However, the casino in this venue may not be the biggest in the Great Lake State at 56,000 square feet, but it’s definitely among the best, especially in the upper Michigan region. Around 1,000 slot and video poker machines await you, along with classic table games and a high-limit room for VIP blackjack and roulette players.

Another standout feature of this venue is the sustainable, eco-friendly approach taken by its owners. Just one example is the well-lit gaming floor, courtesy of the huge skylights installed in 2008. While most casinos make players lose their sense of time by removing windows, Turtle Creek cut its electricity usage in half by adding them.

Firekeepers Casino (Battle Creek)

One of the oldest native-owned casinos in MI, the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Indians opened Firekeepers in 2009. The gaming floor covers an impressive 111,700 square feet, with around 70 different table games and 3,000 slots to enjoy. What’s more, you can bet on the big game with a cold and refreshing beer at Dacey’s Sportsbook and Taphouse. Or play poker in the dedicated 26-table space.

The resort’s award-winning hotel is well-known within Michigan and beyond. A proud recipient of the AAA’s Four Diamond rating, guests can enjoy sensational hospitality, including delicious international cuisine in the restaurants, plus elegant and comfortable interior design.

To get to Firekeepers Casino and Hotel, take Exit 104 on Interstate 94. The site is not too far from Saugatuck either, which offers one of the most enjoyable boat tours in Michigan. The Star of Saugatuck is an amazing 90-foot paddlewheel boat that’ll take you back in time while cruising the shores of Lake Michigan.

Soaring Eagle Casino (Mt. Pleasant)

Finally, Soaring Eagle Casino at Mount Pleasant is definitely worth a visit. Aside from the obvious appeal of its beautiful location, with plenty of scenic hiking trails nearby, there’s a lot to love about this particular casino resort. 

The gaming floor, opened in 1998, spans a mammoth 210,000 square feet. But it’s not just the wide variety of table games, video poker machines and progressive jackpot slots that catches the eye. Visitors can also play at the Soaring Eagle Bingo Hall (which is the biggest of its kind in the state,) and at the poker room running regular tournaments and cash games. As if that wasn’t plenty, there’s also the rewarding Access Club loyalty program. 

For those looking to stay overnight, rooms are competitively priced. Guests can also take advantage of some high-end facilities, including the spa and pool.

Visit the Best Online Casino in Michigan

Although a night at the casino is always a thrilling experience, it does require a little planning. So, in the meantime, you can always turn to online gambling in Michigan to get your kicks. Register at BetMGM today for the best online casino experience in the Great Lake State.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.