PokerStars and Michigan Gaming Tribe Plan Online Casinos
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently signed online gambling into law. When that happened, we predicted that PokerStars would be among the first site to sign with a Michigan casino. It didn’t take long as news broke on Monday that the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians Gaming Authority has signed a deal with the Stars Group.
PokerStars will offer online casino, sports betting, and online poker services in Michigan once gaming officially launches. They weren’t the only company to sign a deal as Australian sportsbook PointsBet also signed a deal with Northern Waters Casino Resort.
PokerStars to Partner With Three Michigan Casinos
On Monday, news broke that The Stars Group signed a deal with the LTBBIOGA. The deal gives PokerStars and Stars Bet an official partner in the states. The LTBBIOGA currently operates three casinos in Michigan.
According to reports, the deal will see the LTBBIOGA receive part of TSG’s online revenues in exchange for the partnership. For now, this deal simply gives PokerStars a Michigan partner. It does not guarantee that they will launch.
The Stars Group will still need to go through the regulatory process and receive a license before operating in the state. This should not be a problem considering that PokerStars already operates in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
What to Expect from PokerStars in Michigan
Once online gambling is launched in Michigan, you can expect PokerStars to launch at the same time as casino gambling. If you remember, online poker did not immediately launch in Pennsylvania. PokerStars is presently the only operator in the state.
We do not see this being the case for Michigan. While some think that PokerStars may have a temporary monopoly in the state, we predict between two to three brands to launch.
In addition to PokerStars, we predict that partypoker and Pala Poker to launch at or around the same time as PokerStars. Due to the number of tribal casinos in the state, Pala Poker would be a natural fit. Partypoker is already operating in New Jersey and will be live in Pennsylvania soon. As such, Michigan would be another obvious choice.
PointsBet Signs Michigan Deal
The Stars Group wasn’t the only company securing deals on Monday. Australian sportsbook PointsBet announced that they have signed a deal with the Lac Vieux Desert and of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians.
The present deal will see the company offer an online sportsbook and an online casino in Michigan. However, the company is in negotiations to offer a live sportsbook at the Northern Waters Casino Resorts located in Watersmeet.
The Michigan deal is a bit of new territory for PointsBet in the United States. They presently offer sportsbook services in Iowa and New Jersey, but they don’t offer online casino services. This will be the first US online casino for the company. PointsBet does not offer online poker, so they will not be a competitor with PokerStars in that market.
Expect Other Deals to Be Announced Soon
These are just the first deals to be announced for Michigan as there are over two dozen casinos in Michigan. One deal to watch for is the MGM Grand in Detroit. They will likely sign with partypoker as GVC and MGM already have a deal in place for New Jersey.
WSOP.com and 888 are also likely brands, but it is unknown with whom they will partner. One announcement on the horizon will be from FireKeepers casino. VP of Marketing Jim Wise recently revealed that the casino is in negotiation for an online sportsbook and an announcement on a partner may be coming soon.
Of course, there will be plenty of time for casinos to sign deals. It is unlikely that we will see online gambling launch before the fall of 2020, and maybe not before sometime in 2021.