Published on
Update on
  • PokerStars and partypoker subsidiary companies enter the Michigan market in anticipation of official online gaming, betting and poker launch
  • The companies’ poker domain names have not yet been registered, suggested a late launch for any poker action in Michigan
  • Adding Michigan to the shared-liquidity with others states would be another step forward for the online poker community in America

Michigan is drawing closer to becoming the latest US state to have an online poker operator after the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) issued 15 licenses to household names in the online gaming and sports betting industry last week.

Among the awardees were companies such as TSG Interactive US Services Limited d/b/a Fox Bet. A mouthful, we know, but the company operates the PokerStars brand, or at least its parent does.

This gives hopes that we may see online poker sooner rather than later as part of the Michigan gaming ecosystem. There are no promises, however, and if anything, no operator is expected to launch before mid-2021, give or take.

So, what of it? PokerStars is not the only potential brand eyeing an entry in the state. BetMGM is teaming up with Roar Digital to bring its partypoker US Network to the Wolverine State, or so we hope.

While partypoker and PokerStars are likely to make their mark on the state, WSOP and 888poker have not seemed too intrigued by the latest development, choosing to bid their time instead.

How Close Is PokerStars to Launch in Michigan?

Not very close, but it’s definitely coming. The Stars Group (TSG), which was bought out by Flutter Entertainment, has a partnership with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Gaming Authority, allowing it to run various digital skins and specifically online poker.

On the other hand, you have MGM Resorts, which owns the MGM Grand Detroit, and has partnered with the partypoker brands. All of these developments are great, and the gaming and betting industries are both going to probably launch in Q1 2021.

Poker may not be among the first verticals, however, as it’s considered a bit of a niche market, which is ancillary, not main for any of the companies on the list. Poker is definitely growing though, as US traffic continues to pick up.

In the meantime, there has been no confirmation of a PokerStars or partypoker MI, suggesting that the companies are more than likely taking their sweet time with deploying poker across the Wolverine State.

The companies themselves are still debating what should go up first, but sports betting and iGaming are the two biggest drivers of revenue that poker definitely cannot quite match.

However, better times are coming and if Michigan and Pennsylvania joined the shared liquidity network with New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware that will more than put a dent in the revenue that continues flowing out to offshore poker sites.

Some $100 million are wagered on poker offshore at Americas Cardroom running on the Winning Network.

That is right, $100 million are bet outside the United States on ACR alone. Eventually, the US market has the potential to pack a much more powerful punch and it more than likely will, but this is definitely going to take longer and as other markets mature.