HomeMichigan Responsible Gambling

Michigan responsible Gambling

This page contains information on how to practice responsible gambling in Michigan, including what resources are available for compulsive gambling assistance and warning signs to watch out for.

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Whether during the nearly ubiquitous gambling commercials that dominate modern sporting events or posted on flyers at the entrance to a casino, you’ve almost certainly heard the phrase “gamble responsibly” recently. But what is responsible gambling, and how do you practice it?

In this piece, we’ll take a look at how both Michigan bettors and gambling operators can uphold ethical and responsible gambling practices. We will also highlight gambling addiction resources, warning signs of compulsive gambling behaviors, and tips to ensure you are betting in a safe and reasonable manner.

Responsible gambling overview

The term “responsible gambling” is used to describe the patterns of behavior from both individual bettors and gambling operators to ensure wagering activities are conducted safely and fairly for all parties involved.

On the operator side, this includes things like responsible marketing practices such as not targeting those who are under the legal age. It also covers ensuring consumers’ personal and financial information is protected when betting online.

At an individual level, responsible gambling can include things like setting limits on the amount of time and money spent at a casino, sportsbook, or online betting site, keeping emotions in check while gambling, and being transparent with others about the amount of money won and lost while betting.

Michigan problem gambling resources

Help is always available for those struggling with a gambling addiction. For assistance in battling compulsive betting behaviors, the following Michigan problem gambling resources are available.

  • Michigan Problem Gambling Helpline: The Michigan Problem Gambling Helpline is a 24/7 service connecting individuals who are in crisis or in need of connection with professional help to trained, licensed counselors who are gambling addiction specialists. The helpline can be reached over the phone or virtually, and no appointment is necessary. To get connected, call 1-800-270-7117.
  • Michigan Association on Problem Gambling: The Michigan Association on Problem Gambling is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that focuses on education, advocacy, research, prevention, and treatment for individuals and families impacted by gambling addiction and compulsive betting. MAPG is Michigan’s affiliate to the National Council on Problem Gambling (more on them below). To learn more, call 517-672-6904 or visit www.michapg.com.

Nationwide problem gambling resources

Nationwide problem gambling resources can be beneficial as well by showing both the reach and seriousness of compulsive gambling, helping individuals to feel less local pressure as well. Here are a few of the reputable resources at the national level.

  • National Problem Gambling Helpline: Like the Michigan helpline, the National Problem Gambling helpline is available 24/7 for compulsive gamblers and their loved ones to reach out for assistance, including referral for treatment services. It is not designed to be a crisis line, but they can redirect you to a crisis helpline if needed. To get connected, call 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537).
  • Gam-Talk: Gam-Talk is a moderated peer support group to provide gambling addicts and their loved ones with a sense of community and consistent encouragement to combat their compulsions. On the website, you’ll find a support chat, stories of hope, and a community wall to share thoughts, feelings, concerns, and inspiration. The web address is https://www.gamtalk.org/.
  • Gamblers Anonymous: Gamblers Anonymous (often shortened to “GA”) is an international organization that takes the addiction recovery model used by Alcoholics Anonymous and applies it to compulsive gambling situations. GA was founded in 1957 and hosts regular meetings at a local level to share "experiences, strength, and hope" with one another. The Gamblers Anonymous website can be found at https://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/.

Tips for gambling responsibly

There are many steps you can take to practice responsible gambling behaviors. We recommend these tips for gambling responsibly.

  • Set limits: Setting limits with both your time and money is fundamental to responsible gambling. Without these safeguards in place, it can be easy to spend more of either than you intend, causing you to potentially miss work, school, time with loved ones, and more. Self-discipline is important too, but these extra steps will do even more to keep you on track.
  • Talk to someone you trust about your betting activities: Having someone in your life who you trust with your financial information who can watch out for warning signs of compulsive gambling is another great way to go. Transparency and accountability are important, so this should be someone with whom you interact regularly, such as a spouse, coworker, or close friend.
  • Consider a self-exclusion program: If you or someone you know may be at risk of compulsive gambling, entering Michigan’s gambling self-exclusion program is an extreme step to take but one that has proven effective. Entering the program will block your access to sports betting apps and websites in Michigan, and a separate program can permanently bar you from Detroit casinos.

Problem gambling warning signs

There are many warning signs of problem gambling you should be aware of in combating compulsive betting. Here are a few of the most common indicators.

  • Frequently asking/begging for money from friends and family to make wagers and pay off gambling debts
  • Lying about the frequency of wagers made and the sizes of wins and losses
  • Feeling a “need” to wager more money to feel a “rush” when betting
  • Gambling more money than intended and/or beyond what is affordable
  • Losing track of how much time has been spent gambling
  • Struggling with the ability to set and keep to limits on money and time
  • Crankiness, irritability, lack of focus in non-gambling activities, and moodiness
  • Pronounced changes in performance at work/school
  • Making the majority of conversations about gambling, even if there isn’t a connection to the topic at hand
  • Disregarding responsibilities to gamble instead
  • Chasing losses (trying to win back the amount of all losing bets with a single wager)

Responsible gaming best practices for gambling operators

Responsible gambling falls on more than just the individuals taking part in wagering activities; sportsbooks, casinos, lotteries, bingo halls, and other operators have a role to play as well. Here are a few of the best practices for gambling operators to ensure responsible gambling.

  • Practicing ethical marketing: Many gambling operators abide by a moral code when marketing. This code includes things like being transparent about promotions, not targeting underage and vulnerable individuals, and making sure compulsive gambling assistance resources are referenced in advertisements.
  • Accurately tracking time and money spent: Most gambling apps will display a “session timer” to allow bettors to observe how much time they’ve spent on the platform. At a retail betting operation, this can also include dealers and tellers keeping track of how long patrons have been at their facilities.
  • Abide by state and federal regulations: Whether it's making sure the latest cybersecurity measures are in place, fine-tuning geolocation software, updating self-exclusion lists, or making sure all gamblers and staff are approved to be in the facility (by age or exemption status), compliance is key and should not be subject to shortcuts.


Practicing responsible gambling is a team effort and is critical for keeping betting experiences as positive as possible, win or lose. By learning warning signs, reinforcing positive habits, and ensuring all parties involved are legally compliant, wagering can be enjoyable and safe.

With that in mind, gambling addiction is a serious mental health concern. For some, wagering activities cannot be conducted in a safe and responsible manner and should be avoided altogether. It is ALWAYS better to walk away, whether short- or long-term, than to continue betting when warning signs manifest.


Are there responsible gambling requirements for casinos or gambling establishments in Michigan?

Yes, there are responsible gambling requirements for casinos and gambling establishments in Michigan. These facilities must prominently display responsible gambling materials and make it easy for patrons to access self-exclusion materials as needed. There are many other rules that these facilities must also abide by to maintain licensure.

How do casinos and gaming operators promote responsible gambling?

Casinos and gaming operators promote responsible gambling by practicing ethical marketing activities, training staff on warning signs of compulsive gambling among patrons, and providing support materials so they are easily accessible at their facilities.

Can family members or friends seek help for someone they suspect has a gambling problem?

Yes, family members or friends can seek help for someone they suspect has a gambling problem. Resources such as 1-800-GAMBLER, Gamblers Anonymous (GA), and the Michigan Association on Problem Gambling are all able to provide necessary help and support for at-risk individuals and their loved ones.

Are there consequences for underage gambling in Michigan?

Yes, there are consequences for underage gambling in Michigan. Those found to have gambled or attempted to gamble while underage can be subject to fines, jail time, or both.