Courtesy photo The Four Winds Casino Resort ranks the highest in Michigan among Native American casinos for average revenue per slot machine per month. (Note: This story was.
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Introduction to Michigan Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2020
Michigan slot machine casino gambling consists of three commercial casinos in Detroit and 23 tribal casinos throughout the state. Caesars Windsor is also nearby, just across the border from Detroit in the Canadian Province of Ontario.
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Detroit’s commercial casinos have a minimum theoretical payout, while tribal casinos have none. Neither type of Michigan casino has return statistics publicly available.
This post continues my weekly State-By-State Slot Machine Casino Gambling Series, an online resource dedicated to guiding slot machine casino gambler to success. Now in its third year, each weekly post reviews slots gambling in a single U.S. state, territory, or 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
The minimum legal age for gambling is 21 if the casino serves alcohol. Further, the minimum legal age for gambling at Caesars Windsor is 19 years old. Be aware that, at Caesars Windsor in Canada, all bets and winnings are in Canadian currency.
In 1996, Michigan voters approved three licensed casinos for Detroit via the Michigan Gaming Control & Revenue Act.
*The purpose of this section is to inform the public of state gambling laws and how the laws might apply to various forms of gaming. It is not legal advice.
Slot Machine Private Ownership in Michigan
It is legal to own a slot machine privately in Michigan if it is 25 years old or older.
Gaming Control Board in Michigan
The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) within the Michigan Department of Treasury regulates commercial casinos in Detroit. Further, the MGCB provides compliance oversight authority for tribal-state compacts with Michigan’s federally-recognized tribes. Free 100 spins coin master.
Federally-recognized American Indian tribes are sovereign nations. As such, the State of Michigan does not have general regulatory authority over tribal casinos, although the state has oversight authority of compliance with state-tribal compact provisions.
Instead, through the federal IGRA of 1988, Michigan’s tribes have tribal-gaming compacts in place to allow Class III games-of-chance slot machines. Therefore, the National Indian Gaming Commission and each tribal government regulate Michigan’s tribal casinos.
Otherwise, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), a crown agency of Canada, and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) regulates gaming at Caesars Windsor in Canada.
Casinos in Michigan
There are three commercial casinos and 23 tribal casinos in Michigan.
The largest casino in Michigan is MGM Grand Detroit with 3,500 gaming machines.
The second-largest casino is Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort with 3,330 gaming machines.
Commercial Casinos in Michigan
Detroit’s commercial casinos, including the popular Caesars Windsor in Canada, include:
- Caesars Windsor Hotel & Casino across the Canadian border from Detroit in Windsor, Ontario.
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Tribal Casinos in Michigan
Michigan has tribal-state compacts with 12 American Indian tribes, which have produced 23 tribal casinos. At the end of 2017, these tribal casinos had a total of 21,976 Class III, Vegas-style 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 & Casinos in Brimley located in the upper peninsula 53 miles north of Mackinaw City
- FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek located 113 miles west of Detroit
- Four Winds Casinos Dowagiac located 21 miles north of South Bend, Indiana near the Indiana border
- Four Winds Casinos Hartford located 50 miles north of South Bend, Indiana
- Four Winds Casinos 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 Casinos Christmas in Munising located in the upper peninsula 129 miles northwest of Mackinaw City on Lake Superior
- Kewadin Casinos Hessel located in the upper peninsula 41 miles northeast of Mackinaw City
- Kewadin Casinos Manistique located in the upper peninsula 89 miles west of Mackinaw City
- Kewadin Casinos Sault Ste. Marie located in the upper peninsula 59 miles north of Mackinaw City on the Canadian border
- Kewadin Casinos 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 & Hotel 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. Bordering Michigan is:
- North and East: The Canadian Province of Ontario
- South: Indiana Slots and Ohio Slots
- West: Minnesota Slots and, across Lake Michigan, Illinois Slots
Each of the links above will take you to my blog for that neighboring U.S. state to Michigan.
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 join this closed Facebook Group freely.
There, you’ll be able to privately share your slots experiences as well as chat with players about slots gambling in Michigan. Join us!
Payout Returns in Michigan
Detroit’s commercial casinos have a minimum theoretical payout of 80%. In addition, they have a maximum theoretical payout of 100% unless otherwise approved by the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
Further, Class II skill-based electronic gaming machines at non-tribal casinos also have these payout limits when played perfectly. Return statistics from Detroit’s casinos are not publicly available.
Otherwise, there are no payout limits for Class III Vegas-style, games-of-chance slot machines at Michigan’s tribal casinos nor are return statistics made publicly available.
Finally, Canadian casinos in Ontario such as Caesars Windsor have a minimum theoretical payout of 85% and a maximum theoretical payout of 99.1% for Class III Vegas-style games-of-chance. However, Class II competition-style games-of-skill machines such as video poker have a minimum theoretical payout of 88%.
According to their OLG gaming control board from their Slots Brochure, Canadian casinos in the Province of Ontario have a single return statistic: Their average return is 91.8%.
Summary of Michigan Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2020
Michigan slot machine casino gambling consists of three casinos in Detroit and 23 tribal casinos throughout the state. Otherwise, Caesars Windsor in Canada, across the border from Detroit, is a popular casino destination.
Casinos in Detroit have a theoretical payout between 80% and 100%. Michigan’s tribal casinos do not have any theoretical payout limits for Class III slots. No return statistics are publicly available from Michigan’s casinos.
Annual Progress in Michigan Slot Machine Casino Gambling
Over the last year, there has been little change to the slots gaming industry in Michigan.
Related Articles from Professor Slots
Other State-By-State Articles from Professor Slots
- Previous: Massachusetts Slot Machine Casino Gambling
- Next: Minnesota Slot Machine Casino Gambling
Have fun, be safe, and make good choices!
By Jon H. Friedl, Jr. Ph.D., President
Jon Friedl, LLC
What makes a slot floor amazing and worth a visit? In our opinion, it’s the perfect blend of various components. First and foremost, we don’t like to feel crammed, so the floors that are easy to move around in are definitely a must. No one wants to be bumped in the chair while trying to play his or her favorite machine! We also love the casinos that have subtle background music, but not blasting so loud that you literally have to SHOUT your conversation in order to speak with the person sitting next to you. We feel for the non-smokers as well. The ventilation of the floor is extremely important, as cigarette smoke can be unbearable for those who don’t partake.
We are confident that the gaming floors selected in this year’s Top Slot Floors of 2019 will meet your expectations as they have certainly blown our standards out of the water. Our goal is to enhance your slot experience, so use this as a guide on your next gaming quest!
TREASURE ISLAND RESORT & CASINO (WELCH, MN)
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Number of Machines: 2,200
Square Footage on the Floor: 90,000
Most Popular Machines: Lightning Link, Ultimate Fire Link, Dragon Link, Lock it Link, Cash Link
Slot Director: Michael Jankoviak
Treasure Island Casino has a great variety of new and classic with something for everyone with denominations ranging from $0.01 to high denominations. Slot players come to Treasure Island for the experience. The service they receive from the minute they enter the resort is extraordinary as team members enjoy creating magical moments for its guests. Grab a seat in front of that hot slot and take lady luck for a spin! With more than 2,200 slot, video poker and video keno machines, excitement waits around every corner at The Island. The spacious gaming floor offers an outstanding variety of the newest specialty slots, classics favorites like blackjack, video keno, video roulette, video poker and several hundred smoke-free machines.
“As guests traverse the slot floor, they are excited by the great variety of new games,” according to Slot Director Michael Jankoviak. “You can expect to see something new with each visit. As you walk further, you are hit with a bit of nostalgia as you see some of your classic favorites that are hard to find elsewhere.”
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RISING STAR CASINO RESORT (RISING SUN, INDIANA)
Number of Machines: 897
Square Footage on the floor: 40,000
Most Popular Machines: Buffalo Gold and Lightning Link
Director of Slots: Paul S. Theunissen
Rising Star Casino Resort features nearly 1,000 plus of the newest and best machines available. They also come in your favorite denominations from pennies and nickels to dimes and dollars – you want it, they’ve got it. They have reels, video poker, and of course, the latest and greatest multi-line, hightech, super vivid video slots. If keno or progressive games are your favorites, Rising Star has those too. All of the machines are serviced by Rising Star’s courteous and friendly staff whose only goal is to make your visit as fun and thrilling as possible.
“Our slot employees are really what sets us apart,” said Director of Slots Paul S. Theunissen.
“We treat our guests like family, and we do whatever it takes to ensure that they have a great experience each and every time.” Rising Star is also working on making its floor offerings even better by improving sightlines and featuring the beauty of the riverboat, “which is home to our gaming area,” Theunissen said. “Through new machine acquisitions and floor moves, we hope to add excitement, and at the same time, improve the overall feel and comfort of the casino.”
Some of the new games include: Marilyn Monroe, Fu Nan Fu Nu, and Harley Davidson, with three new Monopoly Millionaire games coming soon.
GREEKTOWN CASINO – HOTEL (DETROIT MICHIGAN)
Number of Machines: 2,700
Square Footage on the Floor: 100,000
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Most Popular Machines: Synergy Table Games, Lightning Link, and Dragon Link, to name a few.
Slot Manager: Hugh Flack
Home of the hottest slots in Detroit, Greektown Casino has nearly 3,000 ways to hit it bigger and better. The casino has a wide range of gaming and entertainment experiences throughout its floor, ranging from the our exciting electronic table games arena, Synergy Table Games, to its dedicated video poker room and high denomination areas. From 1 cent to $100 slot and video poker machines, there are countlessways to win for every level of player. Whether you prefer to try something new or play an old favorite like Blazing 7s®, Buffalo™, or Super Jackpot Party®, Greektown has the perfect game for you. “Slot players enjoy playing at Greektown Casino-Hotel because we have an excellent variety of slot machines, including hundreds of the latest games and classic favorites,” according to Slot Manager Hugh Flack. “Guests are treated like family, and our team members take pride in building genuine relationships with them.” Located in downtown Detroit’s historic Greektown Entertainment district, Greektown Casino’s gaming floor offers a great experience for new players and seasoned gamers alike.
“We have friendly staff, great new amenities like our new food hall, Monroe Market, and old favorites, like our signature fine dining restaurant, Prism,” Flack said. “We’re certain that we have something to offer any type of player!”
RHYTHM CITY CASINO RESORT (DAVENPORT, IOWA)
Number of Machines: 850
Square Footage on the Floor: 35,000
Most Popular Machines: Lighting Link and Dragon Link
Director of Slots: Diana Pulse
Whether you are an experienced or novice gamer, the casino floor at Rhythm City has you covered. The main casino floor comes together with the live poker, the Vegas-like High Limits Lounge, the Feature Bar and the Rhythm Room to create the perfect escape. And, when you game at Rhythm City, you’re gaming locally as the casino is fully owned by native Iowans!
This is a space that also allows you to play socially or retreat quietly into your zone while roaming 32,000 square feet of slot machines and table games (electronic and traditional). With more than 1,000 gaming options, the biggest challenge will be choosing! Break for a cold beverage and in-bar video poker at
the Feature Bar or dance to live music in the Rhythm Room (shows on Fridays and Saturdays)!
Rhythm City Casino Resort has a good variety of older and new games as well. “Our high limit slots offer the comfort of being out of the mainstream,” according to Director of Slots Diana Pulse. “We have expanded our slot floor with 60+ games. We offer live music on Friday and Saturday evenings. Our employee’s high standards and warm hospitality keep our players returning.”
Some of the new games include: Fu Nan Fu- AGS, Wheels Go Round- Aruze, Jackpot Party Ultimate Party Spin- Far Out Orange and Groovy Grape- Bally, Wonder 4 Boost- Aristocrat, and Lazer Lock- Everi.
BLACK BEAR CASINO RESORT (CARLTON, MINNESOTA)
Number of machines: 1850
Square Footage on the Floor: 88,000
Most Popular Machines: BUFFALO Aristocrat,
TIMBERWOLF Aristocrat, AUTUMN MOON Aristocrat, BUFFALO GOLD Aristocrat, and CHINA SHORES Konami.
Slot Director: Richard Grandieri
Black Bear Casino Resort has a wide variety of game themes with seating to make you feel as comfortable as possible. The Slot Department does its best to offer everything you could possibly want from penny games, to higher denomination slots with a score of progressive machines found across the gaming floor. If video poker is your game, you will enjoy Black Bear’s liberal payouts!
The casino-resort also partners with major game manufacturers to offer its players a diverse mix of entertaining gaming experiences for every kind of player. Always striving to be the first to deliver the latest and newest games in the state, Black Bear wants you to enjoy your time in the casino. Don’t forget to indulge in the delicious food! When you are feeling hungry, sink your teeth into some delectable cuisine at your choice of: Seven Fires Steakhouse, Sage Deli, Coffee Shop, or the Black Bear Casino Resort Buffet.
SOARING EAGLE CASINO & RESORT (MT. PLEASANT, MICHIGAN)
Number of Machines: 3,056
Square Footage on the Floor: 200,000
Most Popular Machines: Lightning Link, Black Diamond, Top Dollar
Slot Dept. Director: Chris Bailey
Soaring Eagle Casino has a large open concept gaming floor with easy access to six food outlets, a sports bar, entertainment hall, and high end Resort Hotel. “Our players come back because we focus on offering a high return to our players and providing maximum time on device for money wagered,” according to Slot Director Chris Bailey. “We feature a newly renovated non-smoking slot room, High Limit slot and table area with VIP lounge.”
Soaring Eagle keeps it’s slot offerings fresh by replacing 8% of its slot machines each year with the newest, most popular slot games available.
“We also offer over 200 video poker games with 9/6 pay tables,” Bailey said. “If you’re looking for an exceptional gaming experience, visit Soaring Eagle Resort and Casino in the heart of Michigan where we make winning happen!”
TURTLE CREEK CASINO & HOTEL (WILLIAMSBURG, MICHIGAN)
Number of Machines: 1,100 Square Footage on the Floor: 52,000 Most Popular Machines: Dragon Link, Lightning Link (Aristocrat), Hot Stuff Wicked Wheel (EVERI), Dancing Drums (Scientific Games) Interim
Slot Director: Casey Wilson
Slot Manager: Mike Shigwadja Come experience the spacious 52,000 square ft. casino floor—one of the biggest in Northern Michigan— featuring the latest and most popular casino slot games. Whether you want to play penny slots or go for the ultimate payout at the $100 denomination slots, you’ll find all your favorite reels, video, keno, and video poker games. Turtle Creek is the place to be for a fun night on the slots!
“High ceilings with skylights running down the center, and soft ambient lighting at night creates a warm and friendly night time gaming floor,” said Interim Slot Director Casey Wilson. “Our water wall at the front of the building creates a great backdrop for photo opportunities to remember your visit.”
Wilson also mentioned that the staff at Turtle Creek Casino is the friendliest you’ll encounter in Michigan, and that they take excellent customer service to the next level. “We take pride in our spacious floor layout,” she said, “with easy and comfortable access to all of our slots, and our floor is always up-todate with the most exciting new games from many of today’s best slot machine developers.”
DERBY CITY GAMING (LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY)
Number of Machines: 900
Square Footage on the Floor: 35,000
Most Popular Machines: Pac Man, Rumble Rumble, Mustang Fortune
Senior Director of Gaming Operations: Patrick Duggan
Visit Louisville Kentucky’s Derby City Gaming to experience a trifecta of gaming, food, and fun at every turn! While Derby City Gaming technically doesn’t have slot machines, it still makes the list as one of the top gaming floors in the region. This new gaming property opened last year and features 900 games with over 60 different themes. Rather than traditional slot machines, Derby City Gaming features ‘historical racing machines’ that have similar graphics and sounds as a traditional machine, but instead of game results being determined by a random number generator, they
are determined by the results of horse races that have already taken place. It doesn’t have to be horse-racing season to get lost on the magic of horse-racing results! This concept might sound a bit out of the norm, but gaming enthusiasts are jumping at the chance to play them whenever they can. The property also features multiple places to grab a quick bite or kick back and enjoy live entertainment.
“Our friendly staff is serving up some Southern favorites at Lil’ Wagner’s and Railbirds which features some of the best hot chicken in town,” according to Senior Director of Gaming Operations, Patrick Duggan. “Round out your trip with a stop at our Center Bar to experience some of Kentucky’s finest bourbon… and it’s all just minutes from downtown Louisville!”