Will online poker be available in Michigan soon?
Online poker will likely go live in November, as regulators in the state anticipate the duration with sports betting. If online poker goes live in the state, then residents can be able to participate in online tournaments before the year closes.
The Governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, passed the online gambling bill late last year to fully legalize the game and retail sports betting. The bill was to be enacted in 2021, but the coronavirus pandemic stirred some form of urgency by the state official to recover the revenue lost due to the lockdown.
Richard Kalm, Michigan Gaming Control Board Executive Director, stated earlier this month that he believes the November launch is possible, and he affirmed the time frame through local media Monday. There have been rules set already, as several other states in the U.S are experiencing success with its online marketplace. Hence, Michigan will be able to imitate other existing frameworks.
However, Kalm said to local NBC affiliate: “We put together a rule set that we met it through the 12 tribes with three commercial casinos, and we’re very close.” He also added: “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.”
These rules will be passed to the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules and approved. Once that is done, the rules will be checked on to the State Legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, and from there, it will be finalized.
It’s important to note that rule-making processes in the state of Michigan have 373 days from the beginning of the draft rules process until the office of the Great Seal files them.
In the United States online poker market, New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada can also share players’ pool with other licensed websites. On the other hand, Pennsylvania only permits players to wager with neighboring poker players.
Through the current proceedings, it seems like Michigan will join the player pool shared by other states in the U.S, although nothing has been concluded yet.
Back in May, the board also asked online operators to be licensed for advance deposit wagering on horse racing due to the fact that horse racing betting was still gaining popularity despite the global shutdown.
About two months ago, Sen. Curtis Hertel, who was very important in connecting the distance between the Republican-sponsored gaming bill and the Democrat Governor, passed a bill known as SB991, which would allow online poker in Michigan partner with other states to share liquidity.
The same bill was discussed last week as part of the Senate’s Regulatory Reform Committee. However, Hertel also inquired from a gambling outlet if the bill would go to the House before the month ends. Nevertheless, there aren’t any objections or questions about Hertel’s bill.
It is estimated that the Hertel’s bill will be passed after the Michigan online poker market has been rolled out, which means that online poker in Michigan will be available only to the players.