We’re only a few weeks to the official start of online poker in Michigan and a few operators have been granted licenses to start operations from the launch.
December 2019 marked the legalization of online poker in the state, as House Bill No 4311 was signed by then Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The Governor’s signature on the package opened Michigan’s doors to regulated online poker, with the Act now referred to as Michigan’s Lawful Internet Gaming Act.
Since the legalization, the state has received applications from over 50 online betting operators all in search of a license. However, not all will be granted licenses, and not all will launch in the Michigan market.
List of Early Starters
This is one of the industry giants that is slugging it out with PokerStars for the leadership position in the US poker market. This competition is not ending anytime soon as PartyPoker is looking to continue the battle in Michigan.
To get ahead in Michigan, Roar Digital has gone ahead to sign a partnership deal with MGM Grand Detroit. Roar Digital is the official PartyPoker’s operations department in the US and will be looking to hit the ground running the minute things kick-off in Michigan. The agreement will most likely give the brand a strong presence in the poker and casino markets.
We might experience a repeat of the New Jersey scenario where both heavyweights dominated the market and organized several online tournaments in a bid to attract new players.
PokerStars is arguably the largest online poker site in the US and is looking to also offer online poker in the state of Michigan from the launch. In January, they got into a deal with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Gaming Authority, setting its sights on offering real money poker, casino, and betting products. This move followed the legalization of online poker by the state in 2019 as they hoped to get a move on at the earliest.
The brand is looking to expand its operations to Michigan as it is already active in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This will have the brand remain a dominant force in the poker industry.
Brands that have not Made the Cut
A few popular poker brands have taken us by surprise as they will not be offering online poker games in Michigan, at least not yet.
This came as a shocker as the Isreal-based poker giant is missing from the list of applicants. Offering online poker will require companies to get into an agreement with land-based casinos in the state but the company has failed to do so. This will mean that they will not be operating in the Michigan space anytime soon.
The list of applicants seeking a license in Michigan is long with a few popular names; however, some are not looking to launch an online poker site in Michigan.
William Hill applied through American Wagering Inc and is looking to launch an online sportsbook in the state. Other popular sites looking to get a license from the state include DraftKings, BetMGM, Betfair, etc.