• Join Us
  • Follow Us
Poker News

Michigan Online Poker Expected To Be Live In November

Written By: Maya Michaels | October 7, 2020 | Posted In Poker News

Michigan is moving steady toward launching online poker and casino sites.

As of January, regulators were targeting early 2021 to roll out its market, but the COVID-19 pandemic made it urgent for state officials to get it going as quickly as possible in order to make up for the revenue loss from the brick-and-mortar casino shutdown.

Now, state regulators in Michigan are anticipating a launch of online poker, along with casino and sports betting at the end of November this year.

As we last reported, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an online gambling bill into law last December, which legalized all forms of online gambling and retail sports betting. However, it was not clarified whether multi-state player pools would also be allowed, and this is what State Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr. wanted to address. He 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.

Last week, Senate Bill 991 passed a Senate floor vote by a wide margin and now needs approval from the House of Representatives and the governor to become law.

SB 991 is a simple bill which doesn’t establish any specifics for interstate poker, only allows for it to be a possibility. It amends last year’s Lawful Internet Gaming Act (LIGA) to add a clause permitting the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) to enter into compacts for purposes of online poker with regulators in other states, as well as with tribal gaming authorities.

Such permission was included in a more general form in early drafts of LIGA. However, lawmakers stripped it out at the last minute at the state lottery’s request.

It passed by a vote of 389-36 and its sponsor, Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr. expects that things will also go smoothly in the House. However, he also says it probably won’t get a vote there until late in November.

“I think the bill is a common-sense thing all agreed to and it should move on,” Hertel told PlayMichigan. “I don’t think there’s any controversy. How fast, I don’t know. I don’t think it will be before the election. Probably right after.”

Based on actions within the Michigan Senate, it seems like the state will likely join a shared player pool with other states, though nothing is officially decided yet.

Leave a Reply