Interstate Online Poker Approved in Michigan
When it comes to online poker gaming in the US, to truly be successful, a state needs to offer interstate gaming. New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware have signed a compact in which they pool player liquidity so that players from each state have more competition. The size of cash game tables and tournament offering are much larger when interstate gaming is in play. Michigan was the latest state in the US to legalize online poker gaming, but lawmakers neglected to add an interstate component to legislation. However, lawmakers came back and introduced SB 991, which was just signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, allowing the state to join in with others who legally offer iPoker.
Whitmer signed the bill before the New Year began, giving the online poker market the opportunity to quickly grow with interstate compacts. In June of last year, Senator Curtis Hertel proposed SB 991. This measure would see the state be allowed to share player pools with other states. By September, the bill was discussed and was able to pass through both chambers.
The Senate heavily approved the measure in October and the House was able to get on board by December. By the time it went to the governor’s desk, it was quickly signed. Now, the state can join with other states once the bill goes into effect. It will take 90 days after online gambling launches in the state to get started.
What Happens Next?
So, what happens next? Who will offer online poker in Michigan? The best option would be for Michigan to sign deals to share player pooling in states like Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada. Already, these states work together via WSOP.com. This might not be an option in Michigan as Caesars Entertainment does not have a provisional license in the state.
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Right now, the Stars Group has been approved for licensing. This of course means that players can expect a PokerStars branded site to be launched in the state. Right now, PokerStars offers services in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. So, Michigan could sign a deal with the Garden State to share player pools via PokerStars.
Side note; it is not surprising to see that PokerStars would be the first potential online poker operator in Michigan. They often are the first to enter a new state in the US when legislation allows gambling to take place online.
Players are just ready to see some online poker action. Online gambling as a whole was approved in Michigan some time ago and it has taken quite a while to get the ball rolling for launch. Players want to be able to log online in the state and take part in poker tournaments, cash games, even casino gambling.
We shall see in the coming weeks what happens in Michigan regarding online poker. Who will they partner with? Which operators will be among the first to launch services in the state? Only time will tell, but we are excited to see what will come as this new industry gets started!