The year is almost over but it remains unclear whether interstate online poker would come to Michigan by December as gaming board officials had earlier expected. The state’s request to join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) has yet to be approved by the three participating states – New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware. Without approval from these states, Michigan won’t be admitted to the compact.
No Interstate Play in MI in 2021
The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) previously indicated that interstate play could go live in the state by the end of 2021, but that’s unlikely to happen now. The next possible date would be in 2022.
Delaware and Nevada first signed a compact to share online poker liquidity in 2015. Two years later, New Jersey joined the deal. Interstate compacts such as the MSIGA allow participating states to share player pools, resulting in increased gaming revenue. These deals also benefit the players as they get the chance to compete for bigger prizes with more players competing.
The recent developments in the Wire Act case have essentially made interstate deals legal, paving the way for more states to jump on board.
Michigan legalized online poker in 2019 becoming the sixth state to do so. In December 2020, just before the state’s regulated online gaming market went live, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer approved into law a bill that would allow the state to join multi-state compacts.
The state already submitted a request to join the MSIGA with hopes that interstate play would become a reality in Michigan by the end of the year, but according to David Murley, Deputy Director of Online Gaming & Legal Affairs with the MGCB, the ball is now in the court of the three states and all they can do is wait. Despite the ongoing waiting game, Murley gave an assurance that their request will eventually be approved.
MI Players Waiting for WSOP.com Launch
A few months ago, WSOP.com announced that it’s planning to expand to other states by the end of this year, with the target markets being Pennsylvania and Michigan. In July, the site finally went live in PA, but it is yet to launch in MI, and the hopes of it entering the state before 2022 are slowly fading. So, if the operator won’t be able to launch in the Wolverine State by December, when is the next target date?
Officials from both the WSOP and 888 Holdings PLC, which provides the software for WSOP.com could not give an exact timeline.
Michigan players currently have two options when playing online poker – PokerStars and BetMGM Poker. Both sites currently offer a host of tournaments and games, but the entrance of WSOP.com will open up a huge opportunity for players who are keen on taking a shot at gold bracelets.
Moreover, WSOP.com is the only operator at the moment that’s taking advantage of the shared online poker liquidity between New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware. The site has a presence in both New Jersey and Nevada and also shares liquidity with poker sites in Delaware which are also powered by 888poker.
WSOP.com hosted an online bracelet series for its players in New Jersey and Nevada during the summer. The series featured 33 bracelet events and awarded over $18.2 million in total prize money. Pennsylvanians were also given the chance to compete in this year’s WSOP, via a separate online series that gave away eight bracelets.
Online bracelet events are running on WSOP.com until November 21, and Michigan players cannot take advantage of that opportunity given the uncertainties surrounding WSOP.com’s launch in the state.