Michigan Bookies: Detroit, Ann Arbor, East Lansing, Grand Rapids

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
Michigan Bookies: Detroit, Ann Arbor, East Lansing, Grand Rapids

Michigan bookies are well placed with two of College Football’s most popular and successful programs: The Wolverines and Spartans.  Likewise, Michigan bookies can capitalize off of Detroit’s four professional sports franchises including the NFL Lions, MLB’s Tigers, NBA’s Pistons and, in recent years, the more prominent Red Wings.

This year’s two big name College Football Teams show promise of winning the national championship, or at the very least landing a bowl game.  The Wolverines were at 75-1 odds while the Spartans were coming in with respectable 20-1 odds to win the National Championship. 

Bookies can be found in sports bars and pool halls throughout Detroit and college towns such as Ann Arbor (home to the University of Michigan) and East Lansing (home to Michigan State).

For all its faults, Detroit is home to some of the best sports bars in the country.  Elwood Bar & Grill has withstood the test of time in Downtown Detroit, opening its doors way back in 1936. Hockeytown Café on Woodward Ave features a rooftop setting (weather permitting) that overlooks Ford Field.   Located in Berkley on Twelve Mile, 24 Seconds Bar & Grill is another of Detroit's hot spots for catching a game.  Other sports bars include the likes of TAP at the MGM Grand and Rosie O’Grady’s.  Detroiter Bar, Bagley Bar in Bricktown and Bookies Bar & Grille are ideal spots to find bookies hanging around in the dark shadows.

Ann Arbor includes the likes of The Arena with its 22 television sets, the classic hangout of Fraser’s Pub, Banfield’s, Damon’s, Grizzly Peak – The Den, Buffalo Wild Wings in Downtown and Scorekeepers.

Grand Rapids offers up The Score, with an outside beach scene during the early portion of football season, GP Sports and Brann’s Steakhouse & Sports Grille.

In Michigan, both sports betting and bookmaking are considered misdemeanors.  This is not to say that state law enforcement hasn’t cracked down on the activity in recent years.  Aiding and abetting, along with orchestrating an illegal gambling ring, do fall into the felony category based on recent prosecutions.

Earlier this year, Michigan State Police charged four individuals with running a sports betting enterprise from their Adrian area flooring business.  A fifth person was charged with the actual placement of wagers – three $50 bets to be more precise – and this individual was looking at a possible 93-day jail sentence for the misdemeanor charge.

Michigan’s early attempts at regulating sports betting over the Internet were short lived. In 1999 Michigan adopted SB 562 which added Section 750.145d to the Michigan Compiled laws.  That section made it specifically unlawful to use the Internet to violate certain provisions of Michigan's anti-gambling laws (Mich. Complied Statutes 750.301 through 750.306 and 750.311.)  In 2000 Michigan adopted Public Act 185 which repealed the references in Section 750.145d to those anti-gambling sections.  Thus, Michigan is not a state that has in effect a specific prohibition against using the Internet to make, offer or accept bets over the Internet.

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

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