Launch of online poker in Michigan likely delayed until 2021

The chances of legal online poker launching in the state of Michigan before the end of the 2020 are looking bleak.

Reports in late September estimated a November launch for online poker in Michigan after legislators attempted to fast-track the launch. November will now likely pass without a launch and state regulators are looking at 2021 as the earliest timeline for a launch after delays.

Meantime, US poker site enthusiasts remain locked into their favorite online sites

How did Michigan online poker delay happen again?

At a meeting of the Michigan Gaming Control Board officials put the new expected launch date of sometime in 2021 on the table. Regulators submitted rules and regulations for the launch of online poker back on October 6. However, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules has not convened to approve them. During the meeting of the Control Board, Executive Director Richard Kalm surmised that there likely was not even time remaining in the current legislative session for a 2020 launch to still take place.

Kalm was quoted by local Michigan press saying, “We’re counting session days and it doesn’t look like we’re going to get 15 session days in if we just let this run out to the end of the year.” So conceivably, it would have to roll over to the next session in January and we would start another 15-day clock.”

Kalm referenced 15 days because there is a rule that states the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules has 15 legislative sessions to either act on the rules delivered or send them back to regulators. The Committee has only had the rules for three sessions and there are only 10 sessions remaining on the 2020 legislative calendar. Obviously, that math doesn’t add up to 15.

Michigan legislators had originally tabled an expected launch for online gaming in the state as sometime in early 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic caused them to try and move that up that to late 2020 to make up for huge revenue decreases on brick and mortar gambling brought on by the pandemic.

Unless something changes in the next few days it looks like Michigan is back to their old timeframe of launching sometime in 2021.