Michigan Gaming Control Board Updates iGaming Rules for Operators

Online gambling is coming soon to the state of Michigan. For quite some time, regulators as well as operators have been prepping for the launch, which should come by late this year or early 2021. Late last week, the Michigan Gaming Control Board filed an update of the rules for operators of the new industry, sending the new details to the Regulatory Affairs Office. The first version of the rules was provided in May.

Preparing for Online Gambling

The official draft of the rules is needed to ensure the industry starts off on the right foot. According to Online Poker Report, the Michigan Gaming Control Board communications specialists Mary Kay Bean commented that the new rules draft includes changes based on stakeholder comments.

The proposed rules cover traditional details such as licensing fees as well as how applications are process. Technical standards for the new industry are included along with testing requirements and geofencing.

Regulators also covered internal supervision of the industry as well as security and game integrity needs. Reporting requirements are included plus consumer protection, complaint handling and responsible gambling provisions.

There are also different rules when compared to other states in the US due to how Michigan operates gambling. One issue that remains under consideration is how the state Lottery will be affected by iGaming. Lawmakers and regulators have been concerned as to how online gaming might harm sales of big draw games.

Based on the rules right now, the online slots provided by iGaming operators will offer a minimum return to player of 80%. Most games offer a larger return but the contributions from a progressive jackpot ill not count. So, players will not see such gaming options as progressives most likely as they cannot offer a lottery style slot game where a large portion of the bets goes towards the jackpot.

Slot games also cannot offer prizes that have odds that are greater than 50 million to one. This allows games like Powerball to remain popular as the odds are much higher than this and the prizes can grow to massive proportions.

Will Michigan Offer Interstate Poker?

Online poker gaming has grown significantly over the past few months in the US. Michigan will be offering online poker within its new iGaming market, but it is still unclear if this will include interstate options. Right now, Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada are part of an online poker liquidity sharing pool where they all come together.

Michigan’s new rules do not include information in this regard. It does help to be part of an interstate program as it can create even larger player pools for tournaments and cash gaming. Senator Curtis Hertel Jr. has introduced a bill that would allow interstate poker but it is still in committee and requires more attention before it can move forward.

Now, while the draft rules are being reviewed, the Gaming Control Board will need to complete a Regulatory Impact Statement. This could take some time and a public hearing must be held after that. If the state is going to get started with online gaming in 2020, it will most likely be within the final three months of the year before the launch takes place.

Rebecca Kont
Rebecca Kont

Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.