The state of Michigan has just become a party to a multijurisdictional poker agreement. This paves the way for residents of the state who play poker online to compete against players from other states. Poker fans in the state will compete against players in Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey.
One of Michigan’s top gaming regulators, Henry Williams, was on hand to sign the document granting his state permission to take part in the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement. The announcement of the state’s participation was initially made public a month ago, but it had to be completed before Michigan could join.
All of this started back in December 2020, when the Michigan Legislature approved a measure that would enable the MGCB to become a member of a multijurisdictional poker compact. Sen. Curtis Hertel, a Democrat who represents East Lansing, was the primary sponsor of bill PA 327, and on December 29, 2020, Governor Gretchen Whitmer gave her signature on the legislation.
“I am happy to announce Michigan has joined the multistate poker compact, and much of the increased tax revenue from multistate poker will go to support K-12 education in Michigan. By joining, Michigan will almost double the potential pool of participants in multistate poker games.”
Michigan Gaming Control Board Executive Director Henry Williams
The initial online gambling law (PA 152) that went into force in December 2019 lacked wording that would have enabled players to participate in several jurisdictions. Now, just one game has been exempted from the restriction, and that is poker.
New Requirements for Operators
The Michigan Gaming Control Board notes that licensed operators and related platform providers must fulfill several processes to obtain MGCB clearance to start multistate poker. Guidance on participation criteria for interested parties was published by the organization in April.
The multijurisdictional agreement stipulates that the operators must fulfill all criteria and regulations before starting multistate poker operations, including the need that only states included in the agreement participate. Additionally, they must get clearance for new platforms or platform updates, new remote gaming systems, and new game software.
Multistate poker providers must also seek internet gaming supplier licenses for any new suppliers utilized in conjunction with the poker game, as well as the MGCB registration for any new vendors. The Gaming Control Board may also issue occupational licenses to new multistate poker operators and platform providers.
At the moment, there are three licensed operators and providers that offer online poker in the state of Michigan. These include the MGM Grand Detroit with its partner site BetMGM, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians with its partner site World Series of Poker, and the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians with its partner site PokerStars.