Michigan internet gaming operator Odawa Online and platform partner The Stars Group (TSG) have permission to launch multistate internet poker games in Michigan.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board granted approval 20 December, and New Jersey granted TSG Poker Stars permission on 23 December, to launch on 1 January 2023. Michigan players can now play with New Jersey players.
“Poker players in Michigan have anticipated eagerly the launch of multistate internet poker,” said Henry Williams, executive director, MGCB. “I congratulate the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and TSG Poker Stars for being the first operator and provider granted permission to launch multistate internet poker in Michigan.”
In April, Michigan asked to join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement, and Williams signed the agreement in May. Other MSIGA members include Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada. The agreement allows Odawa Online and TSG (Poker-Stars) to pool their Michigan players with players in the other jurisdictions in the agreement where TSG is licensed and authorized to operate.
Prior to the impending launch, all Michigan poker players could play online only against other players located in the state. The agreement allows authorized operators and providers to pool their Michigan players with players in the other jurisdictions where they are licensed and authorized to operate.
“A larger volume of players likely will result in more game options, more frequent games and larger tournament prizes,” Williams said.
In April, the MGCB published participation guidance for multistate poker on its website. The requirements broadly include obtaining MGCB approval for anything new related to multijurisdictional poker, including technical security standards, games or platform modifications, remote gaming systems and game software, allowing MGCB staff to inspect any new data centers, licensing of new suppliers, including new platform providers, and registration of new vendors and licensing of certain new employees involved in the conduct of multistate poker.
Any Michigan licensed operator may partner with a platform provider to offer multijurisdictional poker. The operator and platform provider must meet MGCB requirements before the agency would approve launch.
Other operators and platform providers would need to obtain necessary approvals to introduce poker and to offer multijurisdictional games. Currently, MGM Grand Detroit Casino with BetMGM and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians with World Series of Poker also are authorized poker providers in Michigan, but they are not authorized for multijurisdictional play.