GO TIME: Online Gaming, Sports Betting Begins 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 iGaming will at least be launching this week. Also, Kalm noted recently that he didn’t expect online poker to see a significant delay in the state.

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/casino Associated platform provider Gaming types offered on Jan. 22
MGM Grand Detroit BetMGM/Roar Digital Casino games; sports betting
Bay Mills Indian Community DraftKings Casino games; sports betting
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians William Hill Casino games; sports betting
Greektown Casino Penn Sports Interactive/Barstool Sportsbook Sports betting
Hannahville Indian Community TwinSpires Casino games; sports betting
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Golden Nugget Online Gaming Casino games; sports betting
Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Rush Street Casino games; sports betting
MotorCity Casino FanDuel Casino games; sports betting
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Wynn Casino 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 site – just not on Jan. 22.

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