Posted on: May 23, 2022, 10:09h.
Last updated on: May 23, 2022, 10:24h.
Michigan online poker players will soon see more action on the interactive tables. That’s after the state formally joined the Multi-State Internet Gaming Association (MSIGA).
The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) announced today that Executive Director Henry Williams has signed the MSIGA agreement to allow pool sharing online across state lines. The pact provides better player liquidity over the internet in states where such online gambling is permitted.
Michigan legalized iGaming with online slots and table games, including poker, in December of 2019. But the gaming expansion measure signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) barred the interstate pooling of poker games. The Michigan Legislature remedied that prohibition the following year. They passed a statute that gave the MGCB the power to determine if joining the MSIGA was in the best interests of the state and consumers.
Williams concluded that pooling poker tables online with Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware would increase internet poker participation play and therefore generate larger rake and fees. Taxes from online gaming in Michigan predominantly benefit public education.
Poker Pooling Key
For online poker to thrive, adequate players are, of course, needed. In smaller states like Delaware, such numbers were inadequate prior to the state launching the MSIGA in conjunction with Nevada in 2014.
Since then, New Jersey and now Michigan have opted in. The Multi-State Internet Gaming Association, LLC, is a corporate entity registered in Delaware and managed by state gaming regulators. Williams said that by joining the MSIGA, Michigan will nearly double the “potential pool of participants” in multistate poker games.
Poker — unlike slots and other table games such as blackjack and roulette — isn’t exactly a substantial revenue generator for online casinos.
In New Jersey, for example, iGaming gross gaming revenue from interactive slots and table games excluding poker totaled $1.36 billion last year. Poker rake and fees accounted for $29.9 million.
Michigan does not break down its iGaming revenue by table game.
Robust online poker rooms are seen as iGaming entry channels for internet gambling newcomers. Luring a poker player online often leads to that customer trying an online slot or other table game, operators say.
Launch Dependent on Operators
The MGCB said in its release today that iGaming operators will need to satisfy several regulatory conditions before their poker platforms will be able to link up with tables in the three other MSIGA states. The MSIGA agreement requires the implementation of certain technical security standards and platform modifications to allow the sharing of players across state lines.
The operators still have work to do before Michigan residents may join multistate poker games,” Williams explained. “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.”
Williams did not provide a time frame as to when the first legal online poker room in Michigan might open its doors to players from Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey.