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Michigan Multistate Online Poker Bill Passes House

Written By: Maya Michaels | January 7, 2021 | Posted In Poker News

The Michigan State Assembly has approved with an overwhelming majority a measure allowing the state to participate in multi-state player-pooling agreements with other US states that also offer regulated online poker.

Michigan legislators sought to include multi-state player pools in online poker since July of 2020, so they can help more people find more games.

The measure, HB 991, passed the state’s lower chamber on a lopsided 85-16 vote, with nine abstentions. HB 991 is an online-poker-only addendum of sorts to Michigan’s Lawful Internet Gaming Act, which passed in 2019 and authorized poker along with several other forms of online gambling.

The version of HB 991 that passed differs just slightly from the bill sent to the Assembly from the Michigan Senate. Though virtually identical, the Senate will need and is expected to reapprove the bill in the near future. Then the bill will be sent to Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer to be signed into law, which is also expected to happen.

Once signed into law, Michigan will have authorized itself to join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MIGA), which already includes New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware as participating states. The fourth US state to already offer legalized online poker, Pennsylvania, is also considering joining the multi-state compact.

Michigan has yet to launch any form of real-money online poker yet, though its debut is likely only weeks away. Earlier this month, state gaming regulators confirmed that several online sites awaiting approval to launch were still in the late stages of that process, quashing hopes that the debuts could occur before the end of the year. Michigan’s new online gambling laws dictate that at least two licensed casino operators — one tribal and one commercial — must be fully approved before any online site can launch.

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