Is Esports Legal in Michigan?
While there still seems to be some question as to whether it is legal to wager on Esports at sportsbooks in the state of Michigan, the fact of the matter is that one sportsbook isn’t waiting to find out.
The Little River Casino, operated by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, is currently offering Esports wagering at its retail sportsbook in Michigan.
Best Sites to Play Esports in Michigan
Currently, Little River is the only legal betting site in the state of Michigan that is offering wagering on Esports. Little River opened its sportsbook, the River Rock Sportsbook and Grill, on July 17 and is now taking action there on Esports events.
Little River is partnered with Rush Street Interactive and will offer online sports betting through their BetRivers brand once this style of wagering is approved by the state.
Games to Play
Little River is offering betting lines on Call of Duty and Overwatch. Those are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Esports offerings, however. Operators of the sportsbook opted to post Esports betting lines because the demographics of their crowd tends to skew younger than most sportsbooks.
League of Legends (LoL), Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), Dota2 and Fortnite are among some of the other solidly popular Esports wagering options.
It’s estimated that more than 2 million people around the world are regular viewers of Esports competitions.
The Legal Status of Michigan Esports
The Michigan Gaming Control Board indicated that it hasn’t approved Esports for wagering purposes at any of the three Detroit-based casinos that it oversees. In fact, the MGCB indicated that none of the three casinos – Motor City Casino, Greektown Casino or MGM Grand – had put in a request to offer Esports wagering.
As a tribal casino, the Little River Casino is taking advantage of a loophole that enables them to offer Esports wagering. It’s for the same reason that they are able to provide betting on sports like cricket, rugby and tennis, none of which are available at the Detroit casino retail sportsbooks.
The tribal casinos aren’t regulated by the MGCB and therefore can make their own decisions regarding what sports they offer for wagering in their retail casinos, since they are situated on tribal land. However, online sportsbooks are an entirely different matter. Since online and mobile wagering goes beyond the boundaries of tribal land, it falls under the jurisdiction of the MGCB.
Michigan expects to launch online sports betting either later this year or early in 2021.
Esports wagering is slowly coming to betting markets in the USA. The In April, the Nevada Gaming Control Board began accepting wagers on League Of Legends, Overwatch, and Call of Duty in April of this year.
The first opportunity to wager on Esports in the state of New Jersey has also arrived. Allied Entertainment, through its all-Esports sportsbook VIE.gg, will offer wagering on its CS:GO Legends Series through Sept. 13.
VIE.gg applied last month for a license to operate an online sportsbook in New Jersey. The announcement allowing legal Esports betting in the state was made by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE).
Esports is a steady and growing part of the sporting landscape and eventually, all states, including Michigan will be offering wagering on it. They’d be foolish not to go that route.
Michigan Potential Esports Betting Sites*
- Vie gg
- William Hill
*These sites (if legal in Michigan) could provide special packages for esports bettors to new signups in terms of welcome bonuses and best odds for:
- League of Legends
- Dota 2
- Call of Duty
- Arena of Valor
- Heroes of the Storm
- Counter-strike: Global offensive
- StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
Where Can You Watch Esports in Michigan?
eSports is a rising phenomenon that’s growing in popularity across the globe. Perhaps inevitably, as a generation of kids brought up on high quality, intensely competitive online gaming grows to adulthood.
You can currently view professional eSports leagues on platforms like Twitch. Popular eSports include Fortnite, Call of Duty (CoD), League of Legends (LoL), Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), and StarCraft 2.
To watch the best eSports, you can sign up for a Twitch account and subscribe to dedicated channels for each game. In 2020, the official Counter-Strike: Global Offensive channel has over 24m followers and nearly 160,000 viewers.
Regular videos include commentary on the ESL Pro League and the finals of major competitions.
In addition, venues in Michigan like Little Caesars Arena are beginning to stage eSports events to large audiences. There is an appetite in the Wolverine State for high school and college students to watch professional eSports players do battle on a live stage. T
There is also a popular high school esports league in Michigan running via Esportsmichigan.com.
Betting on eSports has been legal in some US states for a few years. It’s now legal to bet on sports in Michigan at retail sportsbooks and online.
eSports contests will likely be available to bet on when the first online sportsbooks appear in 2020 or 2021. Some online sportsbooks may even broadcast live streams of the biggest head-to-head eSports contests.
Some DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports) providers are getting a march on the first legalized sportsbooks in Michigan. DraftKings already offers the chance to bet on eSports among their Daily Fantasy Sports contests.
DFS was legalized in Michigan at the end of 2019 as part of a raft of bills to license and regulate online gambling, sports betting, and fantasy sports.