A crucial step toward the ability of Michigan online poker players to face competition beyond their state’s borders is complete. Now, such players are, in a figurative manner of speaking, waiting on the flop.
The Multi-State Internet Gaming Association officially admitted Michigan to its membership on Tuesday. Barring unagreeable action from the state government in Lansing, it’s only a matter of time until players can start to enjoy new competition.
Michigan online poker gets a big approval
Since 2017, the Association has had three parties to its compact. Those were Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey. Now, there are four.
“The Multi-State Internet Gaming Association welcomes Michigan to its ranks, along with its nearly 10 million residents, who can now avail themselves of a full array of interactive gaming among the Association’s member states,” said Rebecca Satterfield, Manager of the Association and the Internet Gaming Manager for the Delaware Lottery.
“The Association continues to be forward-thinking and welcomes the interest of additional gaming jurisdictions in becoming [a] party to the Agreement.”
This should have the greatest impact on online poker platforms in the states. All four members states are set to participate in interstate play within that vertical. Online poker in Michigan includes:
In Delaware, 888 Poker powers the online poker sites. WSOP.com holds the “tables” in Nevada. New Jersey offers the most variety among these four states. There, in addition to the three Michigan operators plus 888 Poker, Borgata Poker and PartyPoker also offer games.
It isn’t clear yet when the interstate games will begin. There is still some administrative work to complete in Lansing before that can happen.
Michigan crossing the Ts and dotting the Is
According to a press release, the execution of the agreement is,
“Pending full execution of the agreement by the state of Michigan.”
At this point, though, it’s simply a formality. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed off on the compact in December of 2020.
Then, it will take some time for the various operators to implement the changes. Players in Michigan should expect to be able to play poker online in this expanded pool sometime this year.
That will be that for poker. For other online casino games, this creates an interesting scenario. As Satterfield alluded to, the full array of games is available in their membership. It isn’t that simple, however.
A big part of the reason why members of this compact have avoided offering slots and table games across state lines is a continuing lack of clarity from the federal government on online casino play. A lawsuit over the interpretation of the Federal Wire Act of 1961 continues litigation.
Should that ever become clear in a positive sense for online casino operators in these states, other games might be available in this compact in the future. For now, though, Michigan online poker is set to see some new faces and places.