Michigan might be ready to embrace online gaming as a means to boost the state’s economy
There could not be a more ideal time to consider online poker legislation than right now. Governments are in need of more revenue, and, unfortunately, the sports gambling industry has its hands tight without any activity to bet on. So far, only Pennsylvania, Nevada and New Jersey have legal online poker, which has been increasing its activity in the last few weeks. On the other hand, Michigan and West Virginia are on course to start legal online poker operations within their borders. West Virginia might struggle a bit more because it has fewer people, but Michigan has even more residents than New Jersey, which makes it a potentially promising market.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board is currently working on the development of a new set of rules and regulations for online gaming across the state. The staff has been working remotely, but that has not stopped the efforts to have this rule set ready. “The agency cannot license casinos nor applicants that will support their online betting operations until the administrative rules are promulgated,” said MGCB communications specialist Mary Kay Bean. “We will share applicants’ names after we’ve completed vetting them and are ready to seek licensing approval from the five-member board. We expect online sports and casino-style betting to become available early next year.”
There are several online poker sites that are lining up for a license in the state by presenting partnerships with other local gaming facilities. The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Gaming Authority, which has three properties in the state, has signed a recent partnership. MGM Grand Detroit, the largest casino in the state, is also powering its own online poker site in other state and is planning on bringing a similar solution to Michigan.