It’s Almost Go Time: State Officials Approve Multi-State PokerStars Launch Combining Michigan, New Jersey

December 28, 2022
It’s Almost Go Time: State Officials Approve Multi-State PokerStars Launch Combining Michigan, New Jersey

Gaming regulators officially gave the go-ahead on Wednesday for PokerStars to launch interstate online poker between Michigan and New Jersey.

The Stars Group (TSG) partners with tribal gaming entity Odawa Online in the state. Both are now officially allowed to launch multi-state online poker games with Michigan.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) granted approval Dec. 20 and New Jersey gaming officials granted PokerStars permission on Dec. 23. This means the multi-state compact will launch on Jan. 1 with Michigan players now pooled from those with New Jersey.

“Poker players in Michigan have eagerly anticipated the launch of multi-state Internet poker,” MGCB executive director Henry Williams said in a news release. “I congratulate the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and TSG/PokerStars for being the first operator and provider granted permission to launch multistate internet poker in Michigan.”

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Coming full circle for interstate online poker compact in Michigan, New Jersey

Michigan officially asked to join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) in April with Williams signing the agreement in May. Other MSIGA members include Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada.

The agreement allows Odawa Online and PokerStars to pool Michigan players with players in the other jurisdictions in the agreement where TSG is 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.

Pennsylvania hasn’t yet joined the agreement, and PokerStars also operates a “ringed-in” platform in that market as well.

USPoker spoke with BetMGM about what Michigan players can expect. Players also offered their impressions after the first day of play.

Michigan interstate gaming requirements

In April, the MGCB published guidance for operators seeking to offer multi-state online poker. The requirements include:

  • Obtaining MGCB approval for anything new related to multi-jurisdictional poker. This includes technical security standards, game 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.
  • Licensing of certain new employees involved in the conduct of multistate poker.

Any Michigan licensed operator can partner with a platform provider to offer multijurisdictional poker. The operator and platform provider must meet MGCB requirements before the agency approves a launch.

Currently in the state, MGM Grand Detroit also partners with BetMGM and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians partner with World Series of Poker (WSOP.com). Neither have yet been authorized for multijurisdictional play with Michigan.

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