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Michigan Legislators Seek to Include Multi-State Player Pools In Online Poker

Written By: Maya Michaels | July 6, 2020 | Posted In Poker News

Michigan is one step closer to implementing legislation that will make online gaming legal in the state.

Now, a proposal has been lodged to include interstate player pooling in online poker operations. This would allow the state to join multi-jurisdictional internet gaming arrangements within the United States.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed The Lawful Internet Gaming Act into law in December 2019. However, it was not clarified whether multi-state player pools would also be allowed, and this is what State Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr. will try to address in his latest bill.

Hertel, who, alongside Republican Rep. Brandt Iden actively pushed for online gaming legalization in Michigan last year, has proposed that the Michigan Gaming Control Board be allowed to enter into deals with other states, including Indian tribes, on the regulation of online poker.

Simply stated, the Democrat senator wants Michigan to be included in multi-state player pools, such as the one currently in effect between New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware, provided the processes are fully compliant with state and federal laws. 

Hertel didn’t give any timeline for when his latest proposal will be approved, but he is certain it will pass smoothly.

The senator said the absence of interstate player pooling would only “limit the ability of people to find games”. 

Currently, there are only four states allowing regulated online poker in the US. These are Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, and most recently Pennsylvania (but it has yet to join the interstate poker compact between the first three states).

If online poker finally goes live in Michigan, players in the state will be a great addition to the existing pools as it has the second highest population (next to Pennsylvania) out of those offering online poker.

Online gaming in Michigan could be launched as soon as possible, considering the need for the government to secure alternative revenue streams amid the global pandemic.

The actual launch date of online gaming in Michigan is still unknown, however, Hertel is positive that online poker, along with online casino and sports betting could finally operate as early as October.

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