Michigan could have online poker up and running this November
By Bob Garcia
The state could expand the player sharing pools already found in legal poker states
With the launch of sports betting in Michigan, state regulators are hoping to also launch online poker, which is scheduled to happen in November. Based on the bill that Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed into law in December 2019, all forms of online gambling and retail sports betting were legalized. Everything was set for the market to start early next year, but the sudden need for more tax revenue to compensate for what was lost thanks to the coronavirus pandemic is causing things to be pushed ahead to later this year.
Earlier this month, Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) Executive Director Richard Kalm said that the hopes were placed on a launch in November, which was reconfirmed by him to local media this past Monday. The rules to regulate the market are ready and regulators hope to have the same results as other states that have recently started a legal sports betting market. “We put together a rule set that we met through the 12 tribes with three commercial casinos, and we’re very close,” Kalm told a local NBC affiliate. “We didn’t reinvent the wheel. We found rules from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Indiana. Most of these operators are licensed there and operated there now. So, there wasn’t a big learning curve.”
The ruleset is pending to pass through the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules for its approval. Then, it will be sent to the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules for the final review and approval before it can be put into place. This might be a great opportunity for Michigan being that, so far, only Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are running legal poker operations.