Online poker arrives in Michigan with Flutter Entertainment brands PokerStars and Fox Bet receiving the go-ahead to launch officially on Friday, January 29.
PokerStars Sets Dips Feet in Michigan Online Gaming Market
Online poker is officially live in Michigan as the state moved towards rapid legalization of all three gambling vertical, to name sports betting, casino gaming, and now – online poker. With the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) giving a former go-ahead to the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians, PokerStars and Fox Bet were able to launch in the morning on Friday, January 29.
PokerStars is making another important debut, after being the sole poker card room in Pennsylvania for close to two years now, claiming exclusivity over another state yet. MGCB executive director Richard Kalm was happy with the progress achieved by companies and the legislature in allowing the state to introduce new gambling markets.
While Michigan will limit poker play to state-only players, it’s possible for further permission to be extended, allowing PokerStars to share liquidity across other states from the United States, the MGCB confirmed.
Michigan is the fifth state to ever offer legal online poker in the United States as part of a renewed push to legalize the industry across the board. Meanwhile, Fox Bet joins as one of the many sportsbooks in the state, as Michigan legalized online gambling specifically to focus on sports betting.
Apart from sports betting, PokerStars and Barstool’s online casinos were also approved on Friday, introducing Michiganians to other forms of gambling. Both Fox Sports and PokerStars are owned by Flutter Entertainment, which owns The Stars Group and Fox Sports, meaning Fox Bet.
Commenting on recent events, Fox Bet CEO Kip Levin had this to add: “Behind FOX Bet Sportsbook, PokerStars and Stars Casino, customers create one account for all three apps, unlocking a wide variety of exciting and entertaining options to supercharge the experience for our Michigan audience.”
Online Gaming and Betting to Bolster Failing Tax Revenue
Online gaming will be a lifeline for a beleaguered state that used significant revenue from casino shutdowns throughout 2020. With Internet gaming booming right now, and not least because of covid-19, the Great Lakes State will seek to make up for that and even start chipping away at state deficits.
According to GeoComply, Virginia and Michigan which launched online gaming at the same time, there have been already 7.5 million online transactions related to the activity from across 400,000 accounts.
Poker usually draws the least interest from all three verticals, i.e. online casino, betting and poker, but the state is off to a promising start.