The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has announced that Michigan has formally joined New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada as member signees of the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA), authorizing Michigan-based online poker players to join the action against players from these other U.S.-regulated states.
In a statement issued earlier today, the MGCB confirmed that its executive director, Henry Williams, signed the agreement, which had gone back and forth between Michigan officials and Delaware-based MSIGA for amendments and modifications.
“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,” Williams said. “By joining, Michigan will almost double the potential pool of participants in multistate poker games.” Williams and the MGCB did not disclose exactly when the agreement was signed, though MSIGA had finished its side of the partnering roughly six weeks ago.
“Michigan poker players will enjoy more options and will likely play for bigger money when they can compete against players from other states,” said Michigan State Sen. Curtis Hertel. “I am glad we were able to make this possible for Michigan poker players.” Sen. Hertel championed the 2020 legislative effort to get Michigan into MSIGA, which nearly doubles the overall population of potential online-poker players able to participate on MSIGA-joined platforms.
Three platforms eligible to join multi-state pool
The MGCB’s announcement notes that three current Michigan online-poker operators will be eligible to pool players with their corresponding network offerings in the other MSIGA states where they are also licensed. The three operators are:
- MGM Grand Detroit, with BetMGM;
- Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, with World Series of Poker (WSOP.com);
- Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, with PokerStars.
However, exactly when those players will be able to join remains uncertain. The MGCB released a multi-page outline establishing various protocols and procedures for multi-state online poker play, and each operator must still receive final approval to begin merging player pools for real-money action.
“The operators still have work to do before Michigan residents may join multistate poker games,” Williams added. “The MGCB must make sure Michigan residents are protected when they play multistate poker, and we will apply the same rigor to review of the new offering as we have other internet games.”
The continuing delay due to the needed live testing approval means that the Michigan-only tournaments and cash games offered on the three online sites will continue as previously scheduled. Those include potential online qualifiers on BetMGM MI to the live BetMGM Poker Championship at the Aria in late June, plus the eight-bracelet WSOP Online Michigan-only series in June and July.
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