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Michigan Halls and Online Bingo Games
Bingo has been legal in Michigan for several decades, hitting a boom following the passing of the Charitable Gaming Act of 1972. The act made legal weekly fundraisers, bingo at fairs and special events and led to the creation of community bingo halls followed by high-stakes bingo at venues located on various Michigan-based tribal lands.
While interest in community bingo waned over the years, tribal bingo still runs in casinos, alongside the slots and table games which were made legal in the mid-1990s.
Now online bingo is available in Michigan in limited formats. You can play keno-style games via the Michigan Lottery, enjoy themed bingo at sweepstakes casinos and play Slingo (a slot and bingo hybrid) on online casino apps. Full 90-ball and 75-ball bingo has not made it online in Michigan.
This page has everything you need to enjoy bingo games in Michigan. The different online options are covered first. After that you will find an overview of the charitable and tribal gaming bingo scene.
Michigan bingo laws
Act 384 of 1972 introduced charity gambling covering bingo and raffles. The Michigan Lottery was made legal in a separate act that same year.
The full name of the act was the Traxler McCauley Bowman Bingo Act of 1972. This allowed for charitable bingo games, where the daily prizes were less than $3,500. Licensing was put in place and organizations were able to license multiple day-specific games, allowing permanent bingo halls to be set up. Senior bingo (small stakes for 60-and-older age group players), charity raffles and one-off 50-50 bingo games for fairs were also included.
With the expansion of gambling in 1996-97, the tribal casinos, which had offered higher-stakes bingo, were able to expand to offer table games and Class III slots. Many of them still have bingo areas in their casinos today.
The introduction Michigan laws allowing online gambling in 2019 do not explicitly include bingo, though there are separate acts for sports betting, casinos and poker and Daily Fantasy Sports.
Online casinos offer keno- and bingo-style novelty games. These are not the same as ‘real’ bingo, which uses the 90-ball format in Michigan. You will also find Slingo games, which are keno-based slots.
You can also play keno-style novelty games via the Michigan Lottery website and can be found among the scratch card and instant games.
Real money online bingo in Michigan
Online games loosely based on bingo can be enjoyed for real money legally. They cover both keno and novelty games which use some elements of bingo gaming.
Here are the three ways you can currently enjoy online bingo style gaming:
1. Keno at the Michigan Lottery
There are now almost 100 online games you can enjoy for real money at the Michigan Lottery website. These include scratch cards, game show titles (for example Wheel of Fortune) and keno games. Here are some examples:
- Instant Keno Multiplier: This has a neon, almost sci-fi look and feel. You pick numbers, with the prize list adjusting on the right based on how many you choose. After choosing a bet amount (25 cents and up) you hit play, and a cannon shoots lasers at the numbers. The top prize is $500.
- Bubble Bingo: Set in an aquarium, this game features four cards. One is at each corner of the screen with a giant bubble containing bingo balls in the middle. You choose your bet amount, hit play and the balls snake down a tube. Prizes are awarded for the patterns the balls make on the cards. The top prize is 10,000 times your bet.
- Fuzzball Keno: This quirky theme features colored balls with eyes, which jump onto the grid of numbers, blinking as they go. You can select up to 10 numbers. Prizes depend on how many you select and how many fuzzballs hit your selections. Turbo mode is available. The top prize is 5,000 times your bet.
2. Keno at sweepstakes casinos
Sweepstakes casinos operate nationally. They stay legal by using laws designed for promotional draws and sweepstakes contests. These casinos cannot directly offer real money play, but they do have real-money potential by giving you ‘free’ entry to real money casino games as a ‘gift’ when you buy various forms of play money chips.
One brand, Chumba Casino, has an online bingo game called Flambingo. It is themed on flamingos, as you may have guessed, and involves four cards with the numbers chosen at random for you. You get paid based on lines or full houses, just like you would in a regular bingo game.
Most of the games at Chumba Casino are slots. You can get $2 in free sweeps cash to try out their games simply for signing up.
3. Bingo style games at Michigan online casinos
Many of the largest and best online casinos are coming to Michigan. These work on apps and websites within state lines. There are keno-style bingo games at many of them with the most popular ones being the Slingo games. At some casinos you will find these listed along with the slots, while others have separate pages for them.
Here are some examples of Slingo titles:
- Slingo Riches: This game demonstrates the format perfectly. It is played out on a five-by-five grid with each square containing a number between one and 75. The base game involves matching numbers, which appear slot style in a line below the grid. Lines in different directions increase your prize. Free spins, joker symbols (which let you pick any square) and devils (which get in the way) add to the entertainment.
- Deal or No Deal Slingo: This online bingo game feels more slot-like than a pure bingo title and is based on the TV game show. Themes including the red boxes and the bankers’ offer are part of the game. You will see the boxes disappear and can keep playing or stop and select one at any point.
- Slingo Rainbow Riches: Slots fans will enjoy this slot/bingo hybrid based on a popular “Irish luck” theme. There are bonus features taken from the original casino slot, which are unlocked by filling multiple lines on the number grid. The Road to Riches bonus has the potential for some big wins.
Look out for the new online casinos as they open in Michigan. Many other Slingo, keno and game-show themed bingo novelty games will be available soon.
Online bingo games and casino bonuses
It pays to compare the bonus deals before you enjoy the bingo style games at Michigan online casinos. These include free cash to try out games, matched deposit offers and loss rebate deals. With so many online casinos to choose from, the competition between them ensures you don’t need to play a single game of keno or bingo without benefiting from some kind of bonus.
Casino bonuses will require play through, which means you need to gamble the bonus a set number of times before it moves over to your cash account. With many games, play through is weighted — only a small percentage of your bets on table games or video poker will be counted towards your play-through target. Fortunately, keno-style games contribute fully, as do slots.
Make sure you take full advantage of these casino bonus deals and please keep an eye on our website for exclusive signup bonuses as Michigan online casinos begin to launch.
Live bingo halls in Michigan
There are hundreds of small community bingo halls across the state that operate under charity gaming licenses, often associated with churches and community-based charities. Games are split into small/medium and large prize pools. The maximum prize fund is $3,500 for regular events and $1,100 for a single game, though the amounts do vary at each event.
Licenses only cover games for specific days of the week, though bingo halls can apply for licenses covering multiple days.
How to play 90-ball bingo
There are several forms of bingo that are typically named after the number of balls in play. The most popular format is 90-ball bingo which uses strips of tickets with three lines of five numbers on each.
Balls are drawn at random, with each player marking off the numbers they hit. Prizes are awarded to the first player hitting a line of numbers, two lines and then a full card (known as a full house), and the winning combination is announced before each drawing begins.
The other common format is 75-ball bingo. This sees numbers randomized on a five-by-five card and you win by completing a row in different directions, including diagonals.
How to read your bingo card
When you play online bingo, the numbers drawn are automatically crossed off or highlighted for you, making it impossible to miss out on a prize because you didn’t catch what number was drawn.
If you are playing a live bingo game, then you are responsible for paying close attention. Colored highlighter pens are used to daub the numbers as they are drawn. With 90-ball bingo, cards have three rows of five numbers that are positioned with the lower numbers on the left. For the 75-ball game, all the squares on your card are filled with numbers. This allows for patterns and lines to be created in different directions.
Types of bingo at live casinos in Michigan
Charity bingo games have small stakes and small prizes. If you head to live casinos, you will find opportunities to win big on bingo and keno-style games. At the Detroit casino resorts, the only bingo-style games you will find are electronic. If you are able to travel to the tribal casinos around the state, you can enjoy bingo with big prizes in dedicated bingo rooms.
This large casino is close to Battle Creek and boasts 2,900 slots and 76 table games. You will also find a dedicated bingo room open for two sessions daily between Thursday and Monday each week, and closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Games include Fireball, U-Pick ‘Em, and Bonanza. Many have progressive jackpots which continue rising until won. There are special promotions which run over several weeks for additional prizes.
Four Winds New Buffalo
There are four different Four Winds Casinos in Michigan. The New Buffalo venue is the largest and features 3,000 slots and 60 table games. This casino has live keno games from noon to midnight (10 a.m. start on weekends). Games include Quick Pick, Bonus Buck Progressive and Play-Way. There is a keno multiplier option which lets you boost your wins by up to five times.
Island Resort and Casino
There is a dedicated bingo room at the Island Resort in Harris, located in the Upper Peninsula. The Hannahville room is open from Wednesday to Saturday from 6:30 p.m. and starting at 12:30 on Sundays. There is a mix of pull-tab games and high-stakes bingo on offer. Games include Paper Must Win, King and Queen, Beat the Caller and Crazy 5s. After the regular bingo games are completed, there is a special game called Cosmo Bingo that is played using special fluorescent cards under a blacklight and the event features free drinks, prize giveaways and music. The Island Resort feature 1,200 slots and 26 table games.
Kewadin Casinos Sault Ste. Marie and St. Ignace
Of the five Kewadin casinos, all of which are located in the U.P., two offer dedicated bingo facilities. In Sault Ste. Marie there are two bingo sessions each week. Seniors can play on Thursday starting at 9 a.m. On Saturday there are two sessions open to all. St. Ignace has two yearly mega tournaments alongside a weekly bounce-in bingo game. Progressive jackpot bingo games and smaller tournaments are available at both casino locations.
Leelanau Sands Casino, Sutton Bay
As well as the 350 slots and selected table games at Leelanau Sands, you will find a dedicated bingo room. This is open each Wednesday through Friday, plus Sundays. Packets of cards are available that get you entry into the entire session, along with multiple games. Events are run here including special Ladies Days, prize-wheel spin promos, birthday bingo and buy-one get-one deals.
Northern Waters Casino, Watersmeet
There are limited bingo options at this casino, also located in the Upper Peninsula, with the only regularly scheduled game slated for each Monday. There are also bingo games on select holidays. You can enjoy 500 slots at this casino, which include video keno games.
Wrapping up: Live and online bingo in Michigan
There are a lot of options for bingo fans in Michigan. While the regular bingo games are not explicitly legal online like casino games and slots, online casinos have come up with bingo-adjacent games for you to enjoy. These include Slingo titles, which combine slot play with bingo, and many entertaining keno-style games.
The Michigan Lottery website includes some entertaining bingo and keno-style instant games. These have big jackpots, with up to 10,000 times your stake on selected titles. If you choose any online casino games, make sure you take advantage of bonus offers that give you a more play for your money.
For live bingo you have a wide choice of options. Charity bingo is huge in Michigan, with hundreds of rooms operating around the state, along with casino venues featuring bingo rooms and various one-off events at county fair and state fairs.
The next step for Michigan is likely to move regular 90-ball bingo games online. These are available at online casinos in other states like New Jersey. In the meantime, there is plenty of bingo action, both live and online, for Michigan residents to enjoy.