Odawa Online has received approval from the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) to offer online multi-state poker with New Jersey-based The Stars Group beginning New Year’s Day.
The MGCB announced Tuesday that it had approved Odawa Online to launch on Dec. 20, while TSG PokerStars was given approval by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement three days later. That means poker players in Michigan will be able to compete against poker players in New Jersey, which offers the potential of more gaming options and higher tournament payouts.
“Poker players in Michigan have anticipated eagerly the launch of multi-state internet poker,” said the MGCB’s executive director, Henry Williams, in a statement. “I congratulate the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and TSG Poker Stars for being the first operator and provider granted permission to launch multi-state internet poker in Michigan.”
TSG PokerStars announced Friday there will be two special tournaments to launch interstate play on Sunday, one with a $100 buy-in for a $100,000 online tournament starting at 6 p.m. ET, and a second with a buy-in of $10 offering a guaranteed $50,000 payout beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.
How Michigan got to this point
Michigan became the fourth state — joining Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware — to be accepted to offer interstate online poker in April by signing the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement. The MGCB has been working on technical and regulatory details in the run-up to Sunday’s launch, which included PokerStars shutting down its site for two days earlier this month to accommodate multi-state play.
Currently, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) platform is the only one operating multi-state play in Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada. Neither BetMGM nor WSOP, which entered Michigan earlier this year, have offered a potential timetable for multi-state play in the Wolverine State, and they have yet to be approved by the MGCB for multi-jurisdictional play.
Shortly after signing the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement, the MGCB provided guidance for interested operators. That included obtaining approval for “anything new” when it came to multi-jurisdictional offerings, allowing MGCB staff to inspect new data centers, as well as guidelines concerning the licensing of new suppliers and the registration of new vendors.