How Michigan Regulation Turned Me Into a Bonus Whore

As a gambler, I’ve been waiting for regulation within my state since 2012, when the US Department of Justice decided that the Wire Act didn’t apply to online betting. This made sense, as the Wire Act was passed in 1961 and the internet didn’t exist. Still, this ruling was monumental as it opened individual states up for the ability to legalize and formally regulate online betting within their borders.

Delaware and New Jersey were the first to come on-board with regulated online gaming as they launched casino services to customers. Nevada followed with poker. The floodgates seemed to open in 2018 when the US Supreme Court ruled to abolish the sportsbetting ban in the case Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association. This pushed states to introduce legislation that would legalize both sportsbetting as well as online casino gaming. My home state of Michigan was no exception and a bill doing just that made its way to the desk of then-governor Rick Snyder… who vetoed it on his way out the door.

Thankfully, Michigan’s incoming governor Gretchen Whitmer was also open to the idea of legalized online betting. A nearly identical bill worked its way through the House and Senate and back to the Governor’s desk, where this time it was signed into law. Still, there was a lengthy process of waiting for regulations to be spelled out, and it seemed like we’d be waiting forever to get our hands on regulated internet betting. On January 22nd, 2021 that day eventually did come, and that’s where I started to realize that I’m a true bonus whore.

Too Good to Pass Up

One of the good things about a regulated market is that casino operators are held to certain standards. Bonuses and terms that are predatory toward players are less likely to be acceptable in a regulated state, so the days of 40 or 50x playthrough requirements may be gone. Right now the casinos are working and competing with each other for your eyeballs and wallets, and the bonuses reflect this.

Believe it or not, there are a few operators that are offering free bets and chips with only a 1x wagering requirement. BetRivers is the best that I’ve seen, with a $250 match if you deposit $250. DraftKings was offering $100 in blackjack credits with a 1x requirement. FanDuel was also offering free money beforehand.

Looking at sportsbooks, there are a ton of free bets being doled out with a 1x requirement. Making things even better is the fact that there are no-brainer bets that are designed to attract you to a book. I leveraged a $50 free bet for a touchdown to be scored during the AFC/NFC Championship games at +100. That’s right: if any touchdown was scored during either game, you won. It was the easiest $100 you’d ever win.

Right now these bonuses are simply too good to pass up, and while I don’t think they’re here to stay, I’m certainly not too proud to pass them up when the odds are so good.

One Weekend of Whoring

Yes, bonus whoring is a vulgar term, but it certainly fits me right now. I logged onto the casinos at 12:01 on the 22nd and got to work bonus whoring myself out. Over the course of the weekend, I took advantage of the following bets:

$250 match to $250 with a 1x wagering requirement at BetRivers. Result: Withdrew $520 for a profit of $270.

I then signed my wife up for the same bonus as it wasn’t limited to one per household. She did the $250 match to $250 with a 1x wagering requirement at BetRivers. Result: Withdrew $530 for a profit of $280.

I used my $100 in free blackjack credit with 1x wagering requirement at DraftKings Casino and cashed out with $120.

I placed sports bets at BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers, TwinSpires, William Hill, and Barstool Sportsbook. Most of these were on no-brainer bets like Pistons to score 10+ points in a quarter (+100), Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers to both throw a touchdown (+100), etc. These saw me putting down a grand total of $25 and leveraging those free bets. I walked away with $369.

In all, bonus whoring over the weekend has been a profitable experience for me, as I walked away with over $1,400 (a couple of bets haven’t been posted to my account yet, so I’m omitting them). I’ve been working on playing these different bonuses as they pop up and taking advantage while I can. I don’t think they’ll be around forever, so my goal is to hit the casinos while I can and then lay back and wait for something to come up.

What the Future Will Bring

As I mentioned above, I don’t think these great deals will be around forever. They’re simply there to lure players in, and if they’re offered long-term, the casinos would be losing money. Still, there are a number of different casinos that will be opening up in the Wolverine State, as we have multiple tribes that can carry internet licenses. We still have live dealer games set to launch, and online poker will be opening up in the very near future.

For the short-term, I think this means that bonus whoring has a place in Michigan. If you live here or are coming here, take advantage while you can. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go put on my fishnet stocking and get ready to go hit the streets…

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