Online poker is going to become a reality in the state of Michigan. Right now, it is just a matter of when. As the new industry looks to launch possibly by the end of this year, lawmakers are considering allowing interstate online gaming. If legislation currently on the table is approved, players in Michigan would be able to compete against players in other states.
Amending the Lawful Internet Gaming Act
Senator Curtis Hertel Jr. introduced a piece of legislation that would amend the current Lawful Internet Gaming Act. The change would allow the state Gaming Control Board to enter into agreements with iPoker operators in other states. Partners could then share player pools once Michigan is live with online gaming.
Known as SB 991, the measure was first introduced in June. It started in the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee and was approved just last week. The bill can now move forward to a full Senate vote. If approved, the House would consider it and then if approved there, the Governor would be sent the measure.
This bill will only allow multijurisdictional access for poker. The bill will only allow the board to enter into agreements in the United States and not internationally. Compacts can be made with tribes if the bill becomes law.
What Can We Expect?
Michigan will be the first state to launch online poker gaming since Pennsylvania, which was back in the summer of 2019. The board is currently working through processing applications for providers as well as those for online casino and sports betting services. It is expected that iGaming will launch in some form or fashion before the year comes to an end.
So far, the Supplier License Applications submitted to the board include ones from PokerStars and partypoker. This would be two huge brands for the state and a big way to get going with online poker in Michigan.
Back in July, the board began encouraging operators who wanted to be part of a coordinated first launch should have their applications submitted by August 14. This does not guarantee a timeline for launch, but it does ensure that approved operators will be part of the first wave of the launch.
Once Michigan starts offering online poker, it will mark the first time that a state in this section of the US will provide such gaming options. Online gaming has been prevalent in the New England area via New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware as well as in Nevada.
It will be interesting to see if residents of the state as well as those nearby will take to poker gaming. Will it be instantly successful as Pennsylvania or be slow to bring in traffic like Delaware? It is a brand-new market so basically anything goes.
Players are anticipating the launch, so we do expect that traffic will be heavy, at least during the initial launch. Hopefully, players will take to the new industry and Michigan will see great success as they get started in the online gaming realm.