Friday January 29 will go in the books as the first day when Michiganders can jump into legal online poker action as Flutter went live in Michigan with PokerStars MI.
It was certainly a surprise move when Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) approved the launch on Friday morning and lights switched on at PokerStars. The first hands were dealt few hours later at $0.50/$1 table.
An early look at action on PokerStars Michigan, courtesy of @Bishop847 pic.twitter.com/6WYx8CNM8C— Kevin Mathers (@Kevmath) January 29, 2021
Online poker was not the only product that launched that day, Michigan also got their 11th Sportsbook in FOX Bet and PokerStars Casino is also live.
“We welcome the addition of Odawa Casino, Poker Stars, Fox Bet and Barstool Casino to Michigan’s growing online gaming and sports wagering market,” said Richard S. Kalm, MGCB executive director. “Their participation will generate revenue to support education, tribal communities and the city of Detroit.”
Interstate poker in Michigan
Michigan is the fifth US states that provides real money poker games, behind Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware, but the market is still ring-fenced for now, which means players can only play with others inside the state.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed SB 911 bill into law that allows Michigan to share its online poker player pool with other US states in December 2020, but it’s not expected to go live until later this year.
PokerStars does not even have that ability yet as they only offer games in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, so the only other realistic option is 888/WSOP and connecting NJ, NV, DE and now Michigan. Next one in line to offer real games in Wolverine state is MGM with parthership with partypoker US owners.
What’s next for US Poker?
West Virginia is a state that has already legalized online poker, but with population of only 1.79 million no site has launched online poker yet. The pool is just too small for a poker site to run without a shared liquidity pool.
According to PokerNews, State Rep. Jim Kasper seeks to put North Dakota (0.76 mil pop.) on the poker map as well. High on the list is also Kentucky (4.4 mil pop.) with gov. Andy Beshear in favor of legalizing sports betting and online poker. Some believe that progress can be made in 2021 for New York (8.4mil pop.) as well, even though bills to legalize online poker have been filed since 2014.
Where else to play online poker in US?
There are numerous sites that are still US-friendly and offer real money games. Check out our article: 6 Best US Poker Sites 2021.