Multistate poker is scheduled to have a very merry New Year’s Day in Michigan and New Jersey through PokerStars. That day, the operator will unite online poker players in both states, celebrating with two tournaments with a total of $150,000 in prizes. Today, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) emphasized that its other online poker sites can do the same whenever they take the initiative.
MGCB announced news about PokerStars at 9 a.m. EST:
Any Michigan licensed operator may partner with a platform provider to offer multijurisdictional poker. The operator and platform provider must meet MGCB requirements before the agency would approve launch.
Other operators and platform providers would need to obtain necessary approvals to introduce poker and to offer multijurisdictional games. Currently, MGM Grand Detroit with BetMGM and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians with World Series of Poker also are authorized poker providers in Michigan, but they are not authorized for multijurisdictional play.
Michigan online poker players may be a bit more invested in the game than New Jerseyans.
So more operators combining Michigan with different states may appeal to players.
However, operators need to apply for approval. Plus, the notable online poker state of Pennsylvania hasn’t yet done the legal groundwork to allow the unions.
Meanwhile, Michiganders are spending more on legal online poker than New Jerseyans. Michigan PokerStars generated $2.3 million in gross gaming revenue (GGR) during November.
Every online poker app in New Jersey saw $2.1 million in revenue during November.
PokerStars Has the Necessary Approvals
WSOP also offers multistate poker in Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey. That operator also links its site’s bettors with World Series of Poker play.
The PokerStars union will be the first time Michigan online poker players can bet against gamblers in another state, though.
The regulator’s announcement today about PokerStars’ multistate poker authorization says MGCB granted the site permission on Dec. 20, and New Jersey did so on Dec. 23.
The MGCB hints that PokerStars can unite more player pools with Michiganders:
The agreement allows Odawa Online and TSG (Poker-Stars) to pool their Michigan players with players in the other jurisdictions in the agreement where TSG is licensed and authorized to operate.
Multistate Poker Was Already Legal
MGCB highlighted its years of efforts to enable the New Year’s Day event.
In April, Michigan asked to join the Multistate Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA). The board said today that MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams then signed that agreement in May.
Another reason PokerStars may have finally taken the initiative to introduce multistate poker is on Sept. 15, a looming threat disappeared. A court sided with online casino and poker operators and vendors regarding a 2018 interpretation of the Wire Act. Prior to Sept. 15, online gambling industry representatives were worried about federal prosecution if they shared customer data across state lines; thereby, preventing multistate poker play.
A new era begins on Jan. 1.