Michigan online poker player pools may soon double in size. Because today, the top Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) official signed the agreement that will allow Michiganders to compete against players in Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey.
MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams said Michigan online poker operators will still need to ready their platforms and obtain approval from his office in order to offer the expanded play. However, the option of multi-state online poker play is now on the table for Michiganders.
That means if the World Series of Poker app is ready in time, Michigan WSOP players may be able to compete in next week’s New Jersey and Nevada bracelet events.
Williams said in today’s announcement:
“Michigan will almost double the potential pool of participants in multistate poker games.”
The online poker operators in Michigan are:
- BetMGM Poker, licensed through the MGM Grand Detroit
- WSOP via the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
- PokerStars with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
When Michigan online poker starts
Williams signed the agreement that will allow Michiganders to join multi-state online poker games. However first, online poker operators need to follow a 5-page set of guidelines before gaining MGCB approval to offer the option.
The executive director emphasized:
“The operators still have work to do before Michigan residents may join multistate poker games,. The MGCB must make sure Michigan residents are protected when they play multistate poker, and we will apply the same rigor to review of the new offering as we have other internet games.”
The online poker agreement Williams signed
The Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) allows interstate online poker play. At the moment, only the WSOP uses that option in all three states.
Multi-state player pools create increased liquidity due to higher traffic on online poker sites.
Williams told Online Poker Report last year that he hoped to sign the agreement then. In today’s announcement, the MGCB pointed out that Michigan lawmakers and officials have been working on multi-state online poker efforts for nearly two years.
Sen. Curtis Hertel, D-East Lansing, said in today’s announcement:
“Michigan poker players will enjoy more options and will likely play for bigger money when they can compete against players from other states. I am glad we were able to make this possible for Michigan poker players.”
Hertel sponsored SB 991, which he introduced in December 2020 to amend the 2019 internet gaming law and allow “multijurisdictional” online poker play. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed it into law that same month, but it didn’t become effective until March 24, 2021.
Despite the long road it took to arrive in Michigan, interstate online poker play will soon be a reality in Michigan.
So far, Michiganders don’t seem to be reacting much online.
However, players in the states that will now enjoy competing against Michiganders seem happy.
Player Pat Wodack tweeted to OPR:
“I’m not even from Michigan (I’m from NJ) and I’m excited. Because larger player pools.”