Michigan Online Poker Now Live With PokerStars Launch
Over a week ago, online gambling officially launched in Michigan. At the time, online poker did not launch but regulators claimed that operators only needed a few more days for testing. On Friday, online poker officially launch with the PokerStars becoming the first online poker site in the Wolverine State.
Along with PokerStars, both Stars Casino and Fox Bet launched on Friday. The Michigan Gaming Control Board also announced that Barstools Sports is launching, with the site opening on Monday.
PokerStars Becomes First Michigan Online Poker Site
Similar to the launch of online poker in Pennsylvania, PokerStars is the first online poker site in Michigan. The site officially launched on Friday and was announced by the MGCB. Executive Director Richard Kalm made the announcement, stating, “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.”
PokerStars is presently the only online poker site in Michigan, giving it a monopoly on the activity. This is similar to what’s currently the case for Pennsylvania. Other online poker sites have yet to launch and it is unknown when PA will get a second site.
PokerStars MI has already announced that multiple Michigan-based online poker tournaments are coming to the state. Players can expect large guarantees and massive prize pools. You can expect the MISCOOP to be coming sometime in the coming weeks, likely sometime in April.
Stars Casino and Fox Bet Also Launches
It appears that Odawa Casino waited to launch all of its online gambling products at once. Stars Casino and Fox Bet both launched at the same as PokerStars on Friday. This will give gamblers a complete online gambling experience. Players can play online slots, blackjack, table games, and bet on sports all from one central product.
The launch of PokerStars and its respective brands did not go off without a hitch though. On Friday, players had trouble downloading the client. Players were able to find a way around this but others had difficulty making online casino deposits. Visa deposits, MasterCard deposits, and Paypal deposits all presented difficulty.
Barstool Casino Arrives on Monday
The other site mentioned in Friday’s press release was Barstool Casino. You may remember that Greektown Casino only launched Barstool Sportsbook on January 23rd. It appears that the casino just needed more time to test its product rather than abandoning it altogether.
This now means that all but one Michigan online license holder has launched both online casino gambling and online sportsbook products. However, at this time the only poker room is PokerStars. The only license holder yet to launch is Parx.
What is the Future of Online Poker in Michigan?
The big question now is what the future of online poker will be in Michigan. It appears that BetMGM Poker may be the frontrunner for the next poker room in the state. BetMGM was granted an operator’s license in December 2020 and is the next likely candidate to launch online poker.
Beyond the launch of the next online poker site, players may have interstate online poker to look forward to. According to some reports, the MGCB is currently in negotiations with the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement regarding interstate online poker compacts. If this proves successful, we could see a networked PokerStars site by the end of 2021 or early 2022.
We are also watching Pennsylvania to see whether lawmakers consider modifying online gambling laws to allow online poker compacts. If so, we could see PokerStars PA also join the fray to form what would be the largest legal US online poker network.