Buisness is back. Slowly, step by step and state after state, but they are definitely picking up. After long months of politico-judicial procrastination Around the Wire Act, American justice determined in early 2021 that this sixty-year-old piece of legislation did not apply to online poker… and that states were therefore free to collaborate and share their cash. The end of a soap opera of more than two years caused by a circular from the Trump administration.
Since then, the States which had adopted a waiting position have therefore been able to resume their march forward, in the forefront of which michigan. From the beginning of 2021the Mitten State opened the door to the implementation of PokerStars on its territory. There was then only one unknown left: when this market of ten million inhabitants (the equivalent of Portugal) join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA), this shared liquidity agreement involving Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey?
The answer fell on Monday with the formalization of the maneuver by the state authorities, which is no longer suspended except on the operators’ compliance with a certain number of technical requirements. Why is this important? Quite simply because Michigan becomes de facto the most populous state in American shared liquidity, bringing at the same time to 23.5 million people the population included in the MSIGA.
Not yet a panacea, but an important step forward for all players in the US industry: PokerStars of course, WSOP Online which deployed its tables in Michigan last Marchor even BetMGM whose pokerfuse indicates that the launch in Nevada would be imminent. An article in which appears in particular this extract: “Nevada has only three million residents, and summer is the only time the state generates enough traffic to warrant launching a platform. Since BetMGM is preparing its Poker Championship ahead of the WSOP, the network has good reason to take the plunge.“.
But above all, the good news does not stop at Michigan and the current borders of the MSIGA. In their announcement yesterday, the authorities clarified that “other states may join in the future“. Should we see a link with the statements of the governor of Pennsylvania last month, who then recognized that the state was seriously considering this prospect? Without a doubt, and if necessary it would be another big step forward since the Keystone State now has thirteen million inhabitants.
It remains to be seen if the movement will then fall back into a form of lethargy or if, on the contrary, it will accelerate. Apart from Pennsylvania and the MSIGA member states, only Connecticut and West Virginia have already legalized online poker in their territories. Due to a lack of sufficient population pools (3.6 million for one, 1.8 for the other), neither of these two States has however managed to convince an operator to apply for a license. To see the common market gain in scope, it will therefore be necessary to wait until possible thrills in other more populated states:
- In California (40 million inhabitants), discussions aimed at regulating online poker broke down in 2016 after years of negotiations. The legislator focuses today on the regulation of sports betting only.
- In Texas (29 million inhabitants), hope could come from Beto O’Rourke in the event of a gubernatorial election in November. The interested party has indeed been very open on these subjects, going so far as to commit to supporting the legalization of casinos and sports betting.
- In Florida (21 million inhabitants), the last attempts at regulation worthy of the name date back to 2014. Since then, two fervent opponents of this cause (supported by the late Sheldon Adelson) have succeeded each other in the post of governor.
- Finally, in New York State (20 million inhabitants), Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr expressed his optimism last March in an interview with Pokerfuse, suggesting that the horizon could emerge in 2023 given the openness of the governor and the discussions already started in recent months. To be continued…
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United States: Michigan joins the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement
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