GO TIME: Online Casinos, Sports Betting Live in Michigan Jan. 22; Poker Not Yet Launching

January 19, 2021
GO TIME: Online Casinos, Sports Betting Live in Michigan Jan. 22; Poker Not Yet Launching

While Michigan won’t be launching online poker right away, sports betting and real money online casinos are set to launch Friday. On Tuesday, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) authorized nine operators to go live on Jan. 22 at noon.

 “The Michigan Gaming Control Board and the state’s commercial and tribal casinos will begin a new era Jan. 22 with the launch of regulated online gaming and sports betting,” MGCB executive director Richard S. Kalm said in a news release.

“Michigan residents love sports and, judging by inquiries we’ve received, eagerly anticipate using mobile devices to place bets through the commercial and tribal casinos. Online gaming and sports betting will provide the casinos with new ways to engage with customers while the state and local communities will benefit from taxes and payments on wagering revenue.”

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No poker yet, but online gaming may pave the way

Michigan officially legalized online poker, online casinos and sports betting in 2019. So far, PokerStars and Roar Digital/MGM (which runs partypoker US Network) have been approved in the state.

Tuesday’s list of operators didn’t include PokerStars. The group did include Roar for online casino and sports betting. WSOP.com hasn’t been approved in the state yet.

The good news for poker players is that online casinos in Michigan will at least launch this week. Also, Kalm noted recently that he didn’t expect online poker sites in Michigan to see a significant delay.

Many Pennsylvania online poker players were left frustrated after a lengthy delay between iGaming launch and online poker. The Michigan online operators authorized to begin online gaming on Jan. 22 include:

Tribe/casinoAssociated platform providerGaming types offered on Jan. 22
MGM Grand DetroitBetMGM/Roar DigitalCasino games; sports betting
Bay Mills Indian CommunityDraftKingsCasino games; sports betting
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa IndiansWilliam HillCasino games; sports betting
Greektown CasinoPenn Sports Interactive/Barstool SportsbookSports betting
Hannahville Indian CommunityTwinSpiresCasino games; sports betting
Keweenaw Bay Indian CommunityGolden Nugget Online GamingCasino games; sports betting
Little River Band of Ottawa IndiansRush StreetCasino games; sports betting
MotorCity CasinoFanDuelCasino games; sports betting
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa IndiansWynnCasino games; sports betting

Closing in on launch date

MGCB officials noted the days between authorization and launch give operators additional time for testing and adjustments before going live.

The MGCB expects to authorize additional operators and platform providers in the coming days and weeks. Agency staff members continue reviewing other submissions to ensure they meet state regulatory requirements.

“We want the public to have confidence when they place wagers,” Kalm said, “and our agency has required the providers to prove they meet Michigan’s standards, which are designed to protect the participants.”

An MGCB spokesperson told USPoker that the board “has approved online poker games at the request of various platform providers. Operators and platform providers will decide which games they will present at launch.”

Despite that, there has been no timeline for a partypoker launch in the state. The MGCB also provisionally approved PokerStars as well. However, the operator is not among those with the initial go-ahead.

Poker fans may be in waiting mode, but a launch at least appears in sight – just not on Jan. 22.

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