Reasons why michigan online poker launching soon

There’s a lot of speculation about when exactly it will launch. However, there are many reasons to believe regulated online poker in the Great Lake State could be up and running this year.

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The state‘s gaming control board recently announced that , such as and . And it looks like online poker and casino games could be next on the agenda.

Any day now, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) could give the green light to five casinos that have applied for internet gaming and online gambling licenses. Once these initial operators receive approval, they can integrate their software, sign staff members, and prepare to go live. So it really just comes down to how long it takes the MGCB to complete its background checks and application reviews.

One legislator even said that he expects the marketplace to open its doors in the summer. And I think he could be right for several big reasons. With that being said, anytime between now and winter is feasible too. Let’s look at why Michigan online poker could be right around the corner.

Revenue Potential is Too Good to Pass Up

If you take a look at neighboring states like , Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, you’ll see that they’ve all legalized online gambling throughout the last decade. They’ve done so because it makes a huge difference revenue-wise. Just ask Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who is no doubt eager to balance the budget.

Michigan has 10 commercial casinos that generate more than $1.6 billion in annual revenue, according to Data-Driven Detroit. The Wolverine State also has 12 tribal casinos that make more than $2.7 billion annually. All 22 casinos have already been given permission to offer online gambling, sports betting, fantasy sports, or some combination of those three.

When the governor signed the Lawful Internet Gaming Act (LIBGA) back in December, she set the stage for an online gambling industry worth $150 million to $200 million. Of course, it remains to be seen if Michigan will reach those heights, but one thing is certain — the state stands to gain a significant amount of tax revenue from online poker sites, casino games, and sportsbooks. And I’m willing to bet that lawmakers want to start reaping the benefits as soon as possible.

Speaking of benefits, the licensing fees alone should entice them to launch online gambling quickly. Each platform must pay $100,000 to offer online poker, casino games, and sports betting, or $150,000 to offer those three verticals plus live dealer casino games. Those upfront charges will bring in $1.4 million to $2.1 million for the state. Additionally, operators will pay $50,000 each to renew their licenses every four years, generating another $200,000 to $333,333 annually. Finally, the 20% tax on revenue will provide most of the cash.

Granted, Michigan isn’t the highest-revenue state in the region. But it’s large enough that the five or six major operators active in nearby states probably won’t want to operate without a significant presence there. And they likely don’t want to fall behind competitors who do start operating in the Wolverine State.

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All things considered, jumping into the action shortly after the regulatory framework is established would seem to be the smart play for any online operator with designs on Michigan.

Top Online Gambling Operators Are Prepared

As you might expect, the top online poker and casino sites have been preparing for the Michigan online poker launch since LIBGA became law. They know what’s at stake, and acting fast will only help them in the long run.

For example, the MGM Grand Detroit, one of the state’s commercial casinos, . This move gave partypoker US a potential partner in Michigan. If both parties apply for licenses and receive approval, partypoker could enter the marketplace with a head start.

Of course, they’ll still have to contend with other big names in online gambling. For instance, DraftKings and FanDuel dominate the daily fantasy sports scene in Michigan, and they both went live in New Jersey around the same time (2018) alongside heavy hitters like BetMGM, William Hill, SugarHouse (now BetRivers), Resorts Casino, and Unibet. It took some time for the market to reach its full potential, but it brought in over $70 million in revenue in 2020.

The online poker and casino markets are much bigger than what New Jersey offers, especially when sports betting is excluded from the equation. Therefore, every operator will want to make sure that it doesn’t miss out on any potential customers.

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It’s not just the big corporations that are ready, either. Small businesses that supply iGaming with products like slots and table games have prepared for months too. For instance, has released several slot games with a “Motown” theme to honor the music genre that originated in Detroit during the ’60s. Other suppliers, like , have likely stockpiled plenty of games to choose from once the market opens.

Everyone wants a piece of Michigan’s online gambling market, and the quicker they can get in on the action, the better off they’ll be.

Infrastructure Is Already in Place

Another reason why Michigan online poker could begin soon is because the infrastructure is pretty much set.

LIBGBA contains many aspects of New Jersey’s regulatory framework. One of those similarities is that internet gaming operators can share pianky technology via “internet gaming agreements” with their land-based partners. What this means is that operators won’t have to build entirely new online gambling platforms; rather, they can use the same software they have in adjacent states.

As I mentioned earlier, MGM Resorts could offer partypoker US’s online products under the DTS Lodge Irving Https:// brand. Likewise, Greektown Casino-Palace Sports & Entertainment LLC (a subsidiary of Penn National Gaming) has a licensed through its ownership by Roar Digital, which is a 50/50 joint venture between BetMGM’s owners (MGM Resorts and GVC Holdings).

BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and others shouldn’t have trouble getting their platforms ready either. All they’ll have to do is iron out the details with their land-based affiliates, integrate their software, hire some employees, and they’ll be set to go live.

The same goes for suppliers. They may have to pass the MGCB’s technical tests, but if they meet New Jersey’s requirements, they’ll probably satisfy Michigan’s standards too.

It’s clear that Michigan lawmakers wanted to create a regulation framework that wouldn’t force everyone to start from scratch. Doing so would have needlessly delayed the Michigan online poker launch while increasing costs for operators, software providers, and the state itself. By allowing companies to build upon what they’ve already accomplished elsewhere, Michigan can establish its own online industry much faster.

Overcoming Final Hurdles Won’t Take Long

The Michigan Gaming Control Board still needs to issue official operating licenses to five casinos that have applied for them. After that, those licensees can welcome their online partners onto the scene.

Greggs Pelonis is the chief operating officer for the MGCB, and he believes that everything will come together smoothly.

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“I feel good about where we are,” Pelonis told . “We’ve vetted the applicants very thoroughly. We’ve had a couple of meetings with the suppliers, and I think everybody understands what our expectations are, and we’re almost there.”

Each casino was required to pay a $50,000 application fee, and they’ve all done so aside from the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The MGCB has revoked all of their applications because they refused to pay the fee and haven’t responded to further communication, per the Lansing State Journal. That means eight casinos and tribal gaming facilities will presumably be approved soon, which should cover all of the remaining licences.

After the operating licenses have been distributed, the aforementioned background checks and internal structure buildouts will determine when the first operators go live. The MGCB hasn’t shown any signs of inefficiency thus far, though, leading me to believe that they’ll complete the rest of the process in a timely manner.

Players Will Be Excited to Sign Up

I can’t forget about the players when discussing why Michigan online poker could debut soon. We deserve credit for being a major factor in getting this process started.

Lobbying groups, such as the (MPC) and (MiPoker), fought hard for the freedom to play real money poker from within Michigan’s borders. Their members wrote letters to government officials, made phone calls, and visited the capital in Lansing to show their support.

When everything was said and done, the MPC’S president, Timothy Harvey, along with former state Senator Joe Hune, had helped gather more than 350,000 signatures from people who wanted to put a revised version of legalization on the ballot. When Governor Whitmer didn’t attempt to veto it and instead chose to sign it into law, online gambling was officially coming to Michigan.

Once that news broke, players could finally start dreaming about signing up for their favorite sites. A influx of new customers will entice operators to spend extra money on welcome bonuses, loyalty rewards, tournament series, and special promotions. Everyone wins when the player base is strong.

You might be wondering which sites will be available.

Well, the following casinos have applied for licenses:

All of those brands should offer online poker and casino games sooner rather than later, provided their applications are approved in the near future.

Additionally, Drake Casino, BetOnline, Bovada, and other offshore poker sites likely won’t have a stranglehold on the market forever. Quality always trumps quantity, and the unlicensed sites listed above don’t hold a candle to any of the ones that’ll soon be available!

• • •

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As you can see, all signs point towards Michigan online poker sites, casinos, and poker rooms opening in the state later this year. No concrete date has been confirmed yet, but I’d start preparing by cleaning off space for your computer or mobile device. You can also keep checking here at Pokerlistings for updates on the situation.

One final piece of advice— if you haven’t played poker inside the US in the past five years, you won’t be able to for at least the first year in Michigan. The legislation was introduced to prevent Stan Jabloksly, otherwise known as “NoiQuate,” from participating in the marketplace. You can read more about him below if you’re unfamiliar with his story.

  • *«Lawmakers say Michigan online gambling ‘likely’ to arrive this year» is courtesy of .

J.W. Paine is one of the most experienced writers at PokerListings. He plays game too, but nothing is terrible to talk about. Email him at