It looks like PokerStars won’t have a monopoly on the Michigan regulated iPoker market for long.
A product for peer-to-peer internet poker from BetMGM is expected to launch by the end of this month, PokerFuse reported. The online gambling operator will use the BetMGM Poker brand in Michigan, rather than partypoker. Roar Digital, MGM’s online gambling arm, is a joint venture between the Las Vegas-based casino operator and the online gambling firm Entain (formerly named GVC Holdings), which owns the partypoker brand.
The poker platform will join PokerStars, which launched late last month.
It’s a good sign for the Michigan online poker market, as it wasn’t clear at one point how long it would take for online poker to join the equation. Online slots/table games and sportsbooks launched a week ahead of PokerStars’ Michigan-facing platform.
Michigan will be BetMGM’s second state for online poker, with the other being New Jersey. The firm is also planning to offer online poker in Pennsylvania. It’s possible New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania could pool players by the end of 2021. It’s up to regulators.
While Michigan is a strong intra-state poker market considering its population size, the vertical is much more appealing to operators if they can pool their players across multiple jurisdictions, generating more robust cash games and tournament prize pools.
Michigan is expected to release its first online poker revenue figures this week, showing a small glimpse into how PokerStars performed right off the bat in the Wolverine State. On its own, PokerStars could average about $2.3 million in revenue per month, based on how its sister site in Pennsylvania has performed in about 14 months of being live.
BetMGM Poker will add to the market, but it will also take some action away from PokerStars.
In New Jersey, where MGM leverages its poker room at the Borgata casino, it trails PokerStars in monthly online poker revenue. In Michigan, MGM owns Detroit’s flagship casino.
That hierarchy could be the case in Michigan as well, as PokerStars is well-known as the world’s largest poker site in terms of traffic. PokerStars enjoys the brand awareness stemming from offering unregulated online poker in the U.S. for years before online poker’s infamous Black Friday in 2011, which forced PokerStars out of the U.S. entirely before later getting licensed in New Jersey.