As Michigan becomes one of the fastest-growing gambling markets in the U.S. with legal sports betting, online gambling and more, bettors have more opportunities to cash winning tickets and earn profits at the Michigan sportsbooks and gaming and poker tables. Whether hitting a jackpot or taking home a modest return, paying taxes on those winnings is part of the experience.
All gambling income — whether you play at land-based Detroit casinos, tribal casinos or on the Michigan online casinos — is subject to tax and should be reported on your federal and Michigan income tax returns. This page answers general questions about how gambling winnings are taxed in Michigan. Tax issues can be complex, so it’s advisable to consult a tax professional or financial advisor to avoid potential mistakes.
Tax rates depend on your annual income and tax bracket. Gambling income is subject to state and federal taxes but not FICA taxes, and the rate will depend on your total taxable income (not just wages) minus deductions (standard or itemized).
Marginal tax rate is the bracket your income falls into. Effective tax rate is the actual percentage you pay after standard deductions, etc., and operate on a sliding scale depending on filing status and total taxable income. The state tax rate in Michigan is 4.25%, which is the rate your gambling winnings are taxed.
When gambling winnings are combined with your annual income, it could move you into a higher tax bracket, so it’s important to be aware of gambling income before starting tax preparation.
Yes, any and all gambling winnings are considered taxable. That includes winnings from casino games, Michigan online slots, poker, sports betting, pari-mutuel racing and the Michigan Lottery.
Depending on the amount of your winnings, your casino, sportsbook or pari-mutuel wagering provider may have already withheld federal and state tax, which is indicated in a W-2G form mailed to you. Even if you didn’t receive a W-2G form and no tax was withheld, it is your responsibility to report all gambling winnings on your tax returns.
And to be clear, this apples to all online gaming, too, including Michigan casino apps, poker games, and online sports betting.
Often sports fans' first experience with Michigan's online gambling sites is through a promotion. You can find welcome packages worth thousand of dollars but not only do you have conditions to satisfy before you can cash out, when you do, the value of the promotion is taxable.
It doesn't matter if the promotion pays out in cash or in bet credits or bonus bets or extra spins, it is taxable as income on both your Federal and State tax return.
Even if your promotion offers goods rather than cash, the fair value of the goods is taxable. Caesars made a name for itself in 2021 by offering NFL shirts as a reward for betting on the NFL when the season opened - taxable!
The fact that Michigan casino bonuses are taxable in Michigan doesn't mean you should ignore them. Even after tax they add a lot of value. The big promo is usually the welcome package. This can be worth thousands of dollars and is well worth taking time to claim. Welcome bonuses are followed by regular promotions on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. All offer you extra value.
Of course you get even more value if you open accounts at several of Michigan's online casinos. You can claim the welcome package for each of them. Longer term value comes from the regular promotions where if one site doesn't have the type of promo you are looking for another one will. And yes, all of them are taxable!
Gambling winnings are subject to a 24% withholding for federal tax, though the actual amount you owe on your gambling win will depend on your total income. That tax is automatically withheld on winnings that reach a specific threshold (see below for exact amounts).
In addition, Michigan assesses a 4.25% state tax on income, which includes gambling winnings
Depending on the amount of winnings, bettors may receive a W-2G form, which is sent by the payor (casino, pari-mutuel operator, sportsbook, online casino, online sportsbook, etc). The form reveals the amount of winnings and if any tax was withheld. A copy of that W-2G is sent to the Internal Revenue Service.
Expect to receive a W-2G form if your gambling winnings exceeded any of these thresholds the previous calendar year:
Casinos are not required to issue a W-2G for winnings for table games (blackjack, roulette, craps, etc.), though the IRS expects players to keep track of their wins and losses.
If your winnings were non-cash prizes, such as an automobile or vacation trip, the IRS instructs you to report the fair market value of each prize.
Non-residents with winnings at new Michigan online casinos or racetracks are still subject to Michigan state tax.
You will not receive Form W-2G if your gambling winnings did not meet the automatic withholding threshold. But be aware that your gambling winnings are still considered taxable income.
Without a W-2G, how do you know the amount of your winnings and losses?
The IRS expects you to keep an accurate record or diary of all betting activity and may require you to substantiate wins and losses with records and receipts. If your wagers were placed online, your sportsbook, casino or pari-mutuel provider like Caesars online casino Michigan should have a complete record of all your bets during the previous calendar year that can be easily accessed.
Yes there is. But …
The IRS may request that you substantiate gambling wins and losses. This is where accurate record-keeping becomes so important.
Your documentation may include:
Michigan Lottery winnings are subject to federal, state and local income taxes. Here’s what you need to know:
A group that wins the Michigan Lottery must submit Form 5754 or a substitute 5754 form, either in print or electronically. All members must provide their Social Security number, photo identification and sign the form.
One person in the group will be designated as the primary winner. A check and W-2G form will be mailed to each member of the group. Federal and state taxes will be deducted from the checks, if applicable.
The same tax liability applies, whether you win a Michigan Lottery game or multi-state lotteries such as Powerball or Mega Millions. That means 24% in federal taxes and 4.25% in Michigan taxes, whether the prize is claimed in a lump sum or 30-year annuity.
Your tax bill could become more expensive if the IRS decides to add penalties and interest.
If you received a W-2G form detailing your gambling winnings, so did the IRS, which is obviously aware of that income. If your winnings did not meet the W-2G threshold, the IRS may not be aware, but the agency maintains that taxpayers are legally obligated to report all gambling income.
We work to keep you informed on all things sports betting, online casinos and any Michigan sportsbook promos that are available.
With a decade in the media and gambling space in Michigan, I aim to bring you the latest news and developments in Michigan online casino and sports betting.
Cited by leading media organizations, such as: