PokerStars becomes the first online poker service to go live in Michigan a week after the state launched its regulated mobile sports betting and iGaming industries, following its legalisation in December 2019.

On Friday, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) stated that it authorized Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians and platform provider PokerStars for digital gaming to launch at 11 AM. The Wolverine State has become the third state, after New Jersey and Pennsylvania, where PokerStars now offers legalized real money online poker. Overall, Michigan is the fifth US state to allow real money poker games.

What does PokerStars Offer?

The Flutter Entertainment-owned PokerStars is the world’s largest online poker operator. It has dealt more than 200 billion poker hands and hosted more than 1.8 billion tournaments so far, and it is the first operator in Michigan to extend peer-to-peer service. The software client, PokerStars Michigan, includes a full array of ring games besides MTTs, SNGs, and the famous Spin & Go jackpot format.

However, according to MGCB executive director Richard Kalm, Michigan residents can only play against players within the state, though interstate play is likely to be approved later this year as recently, lawmakers approved a law allowing the state to join Multi-State Internet Gaming Association. Once the law takes effect subject to MGCB approval, the Wolverine State will join New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware in the shared liquidity group. To put it simply, players from Michigan will be able to play against the players from those states for real-money card games. The two other states, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, that offer online poker may also soon join the gaming association.

Chances for expanded interstate digital poker increase after a federal appeals court earlier this month ruled against Trump Administration Justice Department’s opinion that sought to expand the scope of the Wire Act.

Other Operators Also Launch

The other operators whose launch coincided with PokerStars are FOX Bet and Stars Casino, sports betting provider and online casino gaming provider, respectively. The brands are paired with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indiana Gaming Authority.

To join PokerStars, FOX Bet sportsbook, and Star Casino, customers set up one account for all three apps, unlocking a huge variety of exciting options for the Michigan residents, FOX Bet CEO Kip Levin said. He added that the company intends to benefit from its media relationship with FOX Corp and the brand name of PokerStars to attract bettor to all three gaming apps. FOX Bet is optimistic that it can draw off of the subscribers registering for PokerStars, enticing them to use the FOX-labeled sports betting brand, as they did in Pennsylvania.

Michigan becomes the fourth state to allow FOX Bet to operate sports betting, joining New Jersey, Colorado, and Pennsylvania. The online sportsbook is also the 11th digital sports betting app in the Wolverine State after ten launched January 22. In addition, there are now ten authorized digital casinos after the state regulator approved PokerStars and Barstool’s online casino Friday. In a news release, MGCB executive director Richard Kalm welcomed the latest additions to Michigan’s swelling digital gaming and sports betting market. “Their participation will generate revenue to support education, tribal communities, and the city of Detroit.”

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