Online Poker Launches in Michigan

Online poker has finally gone live in Michigan. The Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians has lauched an online gaming and poker platform with PokerStars, as well as sports betting with FoxBet. They were given authority to do so by the Michigan Gaming Control Board on Friday.

According to the regulator, PokerStars is the first operator in the state to offer peer-to-peer online poker games.  As for now, play is limited within the state, however the authority is expected to approve interstate play later on this year.

Several operators went live in Michigan last week as the state opened up its online gambling market, however none of them launched an online poker platform.  They either offer sports betting, online casino games or both.

As such, PokerStars is currently the only online poker provider in Michigan, however this may change if BetMGM launches with its natural partner MGM Detroit Casino.

There are signs that PokerStars may combine its player pools in three states. The iconic online poker room already has operations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and Michigan will be the third.

Governor Gretchen has already signed legislation that will allow interstate compacts in the online poker market. Senator Curtis Hertel’s SB 991 passed relatively easily via both chambers last year, and was signed on December 29th.

The bill did not go into effect immediately, and online poker operators need to wait 90 days from the launch of Michigan’s online gambling market before they can allow their players to compete against poker fans in other states. The bill will also need an agreement from the other states invovled.

There has been some talk that Michigan’s gambling authorities have been involved in talks with their New Jersey counterparts about launching a compact before the end of this year.


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