Shared players pool allowed in Michigan

The state of Michigan will be allowed to join interstate online poker compacts when online poker finally launches this year.

When online poker was legalized last year language that would allow the state to sign player compacts to share players was not included. That oversight was fixed after Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed SB 991 into law.

SB 991 was introduced by Senator Curtis Hertel in June last year. It will allow online poker operators in the state to share players pools with other states that allow regulated online poker. The bill passed through the Senate by a 36-1 margin in October and got through the House 85-16 in mid-December. Not long after it arrived on the Governor’s desk where it was signed on December 29.

Why now for shared players pool allowed?

Online gambling is expected to go live in the state sometime later this month. According to reports, online casinos and sports betting will go live in the middle of the month, followed by online poker a few weeks later. However, state compacts won’t be allowed right away. Online poker operators must wait 90 days from the launch of online poker until they can setup interstate poker compacts.

There is already an interstate compact which shares players between Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. However, that compact only serves, which have not yet received a provisional license to operate in Michigan.

There’s also the chance that Pennsylvania could be involved in future compacts. Pennsylvania opted to stay out of interstate compacts until a decision was made on the Wire Act lawsuit. The state of New Hampshire won their lawsuit last year that the Wire Act only applied to sports betting and not all forms of gambling. An appeal by the Department of Justice on the ruling has yet to be heard.