You must apply for a gaming license to operate a casino, sportsbook or other gambling establishment in Michigan. You also need a license if you are going to work in a casino, or work for a company that supplies services to casinos.
In the first instance, your employer will apply to the Michigan Gaming Control Board Board (MGCB) for an occupational license on your behalf.
You will go through a thorough background check to ensure you don’t have a criminal record. If you have been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor to do with gambling, you may be denied. To work in a casino or in any gaming establishment, you must be aged 21 or over.
Application fees are non-refundable, while an additional license fee is also required. For Level 1 staff, there is a non-refundable application fee of $500, plus a license fee of $250. Level 2 staff must pay a $100 fee, while Level 3 staff pay $50 for both the license fee and application.
Level 1: Casino managers and supervisors
Level 2: Casino staff (e.g. accountants, slot machine technicians, marketing, cashiers)
Level 3: Casino staff (e.g. Waiters, waitresses, bartenders, housekeepers)
The MGCB started to accept online gaming and sports betting operator licenses in 2020 (also vendor applications for the marketing affiliates). The state legalized most forms of online gambling in late 2019, and the first regulated sites should appear by 2021.
License application forms can be downloaded from the MGCB website. There is a range of different operator licenses, depending on the service you want to offer. Sports betting operator license lets you offer a site with online sports betting, while an internet gaming operator license lets you offer a website with casino games.
Casinos offering online gambling will have to pay a $5,000 application fee and an initial $5,000 fee for the license.
Online casino tax in Michigan
Online casino gaming will also be taxed depending on revenue. A tax rate of 20-28% will apply, depending on gross gaming revenue. There will be an 8.4% tax on online sports betting operations
The MGCB website also provides application forms for commercial casinos in Detroit, plus special forms for Indian tribal casinos. The Michigan Gaming Control Board also offers Vendor Registration for anyone supplying goods and services to an online casino or sports betting operator. This might include game developers or mobile app producers.