Michigan signs multi-state poker compact

Online poker players in Michigan will soon be able to play against players from other states after Michigan signed on to multi-state poker player compact earlier this week.

On 6 April Michigan lawmakers announced through the Multi-State Internet Gamming Association LLC, that Michigan has entered a joint agreement with Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey to be accepted into the Multi-State Gaming Agreement.

The first compact to share player pools was signed in 2014 between Nevada and Delaware because Delaware’s population was too small to sustain its own in-state poker network. New Jersey joined the compact in 2017.

It was expected that Michigan would announce an interstate poker agreement sometime this year after guidelines for multi-state poker operators were posted on the Michigan Gaming Control Board website in March. It ended up coming much quicker than expected.

Michigan has been on the online poker fast track sign since online poker officially launched in the state last year. In the original laws that made online poker in the state legal, which were first announced in 2019, multi-state agreements were left out. This was rectified in December 2020 when lawmakers passed a separate bill that allowed the Michigan Gaming Control Board to enter multi-state compacts for online poker. By comparison Pennsylvania, which launched online poker in 2019, has yet to enter into any multi-state agreements.

Michigan’s agreement may have been signed, but no dates have been announced for when Michigan poker players might be able to play their first hand against out-of-state competition. For comparison, when New Jersey entered into the multi-state compact in 2017 about six months passed between the announcement of the agreement and the launch of shared player pools. It’s possible the process could take less time now since poker rooms have more experience in getting a multi-state network up and running.

WSOP just launched in Michigan last week is the only poker room that is operates in all three states previously in the agreement. It was believed WSOP was waiting for Michigan to enter the compact before setting up shop in the state.

The new link between Michigan and New Jersey could also benefit PokerStars and BetMGM Poker, which operates in both states.