Michigan Online Poker

Play online poker in Michigan

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Road to legal online poker in Michigan

When it comes to gambling expansion, Michigan has a history of being progressive. The state first sanctioned commercial casino gambling in the city of Detroit in 1996. Since, three Class II casinos have emerged in Motor City. They join the nearly two dozen tribal run casinos scattered throughout the state.

Michigan also supports a bevy of other legal gambling options. These include parimutuel wagering and the state lottery. In 2014, the Michigan Lottery launched an online lottery, which quickly found favor among residents – by mid-2015 more than 300,000 instant lottery tickets were being sold per day. Then, in early 2016, the state began a concerted push to regulate online poker and casino games.

Online gambling proponent and State Senator Mike Kowall introduced SB 889 in April 2016. Entitled “The Lawful Internet Gaming Act,” the bill would authorize poker and casino games in Michigan. It would also grant up to eight licenses to Michigan-based commercial and tribal casinos.

One interesting facet of the bill is that it doesn’t appear to pose restrictions based on location. This potentially paves the way for compacts with other US states and foreign nations. Contrarily, players that frequent regulated gaming sites in New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada must be physically located in the state where the site is based to wager real-money, although Delaware and Nevada-based online poker sites do share player pools.

In order to participate in online gambling, the bill states that a player must be 21.This is the same age required to gamble at commercial casinos. And under the bill, each licensee would pay a $5 million licensing fee, including a nonrefundable $100,000 fee. This will act as an advance against future taxes owed. The tax rate would be set at 10% of gross revenue.

Michigan Online Poker FAQ

Why is Michigan considering legalizing online poker and casino games?

Regulated online gambling generates billions of dollars for multiple jurisdictions throughout the world. By instituting its own iGaming industry, Michigan will not only remain competitive, but stands to make millions in tax revenue each year. Additionally, regulating online gambling will create consumer safeguards not present on unregulated sites, and create a multitude of much needed jobs.

What are the odds online poker becomes legal in Michigan?

Currently, momentum is on the side of online gaming proponents. In June 2016, SB 889 passed the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee by a margin of 8-1. There’s still a long road ahead, but signs point to a bill passing either in 2017.

Would Michigan allow online casino games?

Yes. Unlike proposals in New York and California, SB 889 will permit license holders to launch online casino sites, in addition to poker.

Will Michigan pool its online poker network with other states?

The current legislature allows for multi-jurisdictional agreements. It seems likely that other states or nations with regulated online poker would be open to pooling players from Michigan, which at, 9.9 million residents, has a greater population than New Jersey.

How long will it take for online poker to go live once a bill passes?

SB 889 would take effect 90 days after passed into law. Given that, and other variables, it’s likely that the first wave of regulated sites would open their doors within one year of passage.

I don’t live in Michigan, can I play on a Michigan-based site?

Possibly. There’s no hard and fast provision in SB 889 specifically restricting access based on location. However, in order to play from outside the state, players must abide by the law of the jurisdiction where are at the time of play. That, or the inhabited jurisdiction will have had to enter into a liquidity sharing agreement with Michigan.