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Michigan Governor signs interstate poker bill


Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed a bill that would allow online poker to be played across state lines.

The bill – Senate Bill 991 of the 2019-20 legislative session – would allow liquidity for poker games to be pooled with other states, or other jurisdictions such as Native American tribes, that allow the same.

Currently, Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey all offer interstate poker.

The bill was introduced by state senator Curtis Hertel and co-sponsored by Jeff Irwin, Erika Geiss, Dayna Polehanki, Paul Wojno, Jim Ananich and Adam Hollier.

It passed the Senate by a 36-1 vote, with EdMcBroom the lone dissenter, before passing the House by an 85-16 margin on 30 December. Whitmer then signed the bill into law, just over a year after signing bills legalising betting and igaming.

Online gaming in Michigan is set to launch early this year, after the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) approved 15 provisional licenses in December 2020.

Among the initial 15 licensees were the American Wagering division of William Hill, GAN, Golden Nugget, Scientific Games’ NYX Digital Gaming arm, Parx Interactive and PointsBet, BetMGM, DraftKings and FanDuel’s online casino brands.

Further provisional licenses have since been issued, with Gaming Realms joining Continent8, slot giant NetEnt and AGS among the latest licensees.

“We are delighted to have obtained our provisional iGaming license in Michigan, which presents a larger player market than New Jersey, where the Group operates at present,” Michael Buckley, executive chairman of Gaming Realms,  said.

“We already have a number of deals signed with operators licensed in Michigan and we are confident that it will be a strong market for us, given the awareness of Slingo as a successful gaming brand.

“We look forward to being amongst those helping to launch its new iGaming market.”