2021 was already shaping to be a very big year for online gambling for Michigan.
Now Michigan online poker players have an even bigger reason to be excited as news came out on Tuesday that Governor Gretchen Whitmer had signed a bill that would allow the state to enter in multi-state agreements with other jurisdictions offering online poker.
A game changer for Michigan and online poker?
The development means that online poker sites or networks which are available in multiple states would share liquidity. A player in Michigan could be playing against players located in Nevada and New Jersey, for example.
In addition to an agreement across state lines, Michigan could enter in agreements with Indian casinos. One notable exception to the authorization of liquidity agreement across state lines, would be for jurisdictions outside of the United States. That has proved to be a regulatory hurdle for online poker sites up to this point.
So far only Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey have entered into a multi-state compact, through the Multistate Internet Gaming Agreement. Only WSOP.com is operational in at least 2 states, where players from either of the states can fire up a table play against players in another state.
After the agreement was established between the three states, the U.S. Department of Justice muddied the waters by calling into question the legality of wagering across state borders. The development was enough to give Pennsylvania caution in joining the multi-state player pool and focus on in-state online poker for now.
Since then, victories for the online gambling world on the legislative front have eased some of the pressure on states, which has apparently given Michigan more confidence in passing an amendment to Michigan’s online gambling law.
With Michigan and its population of 10 million giving it’s green light to multi-state poker, this could be a game changer for not only Michigan but for every state that regulates online poker.
Online poker, unlike online casino games, is uniquely strengthened with a larger pool of players, which not only increases the appeal to players but also facilitates a healthier poker ecosystem. The online poker sites are benefactors with larger online poker rooms that are essentially greater than the sum of their parts.
There’s increasingly a case to be made that online poker will be surprisingly important to the overall U.S. online gambling industry within the next 2-3 years. https://t.co/VfpA8yRAUo
— Chris Grove (@OPReport) January 5, 2021
Interstate online poker in Michigan is still months away
Multi-state poker is now legal in the state, but it still will be months before Michigan online poker players are competing against players in other states.
Online casinos and online sports betting could launch in the state by the end of the month, but online poker wont be the priority for online casino companies initially as they focus on other, more lucrative products. Furthermore, multi-state agreements can not take place until 90 days after the passage of the bill.
Still, it’s hard to argue that Michigan online poker just got a big shot in the arm, one that could be felt in other states in the months and years to come.