Michigan Signs MSIGA as US Online Poker Needs Boost
This month, the US online poker industry took a big step forward. Michigan signed the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) with Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware.
Last month, Michigan put all of the pieces in place. The other states approved the agreement, welcoming Michigan into the interstate online poker realm. Everything was ready for poker sites operating in Michigan to link with sites in the other states, most notably PokerStars, WSOP/888, and BetMGM/partypoker. The only problem was that the Michigan Gaming Control Board had not yet signed the agreement.
This week, they did sign it. Michigan is officially a part of the interstate poker partnership.
Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) Executive Director Henry Williams made it public on May 23. “I am happy to announce Michigan has joined the multistate poker compact, and much of the increased tax revenue from multistate poker will go to support K-12 in Michigan. By joining, Michigan will almost double the potential pool of participants in multistate poker games.”
One of the igaming bill sponsors in the legislature, Senator Curtis Hertel, also commented on the agreement. “Michigan poker players will enjoy more options and will likely play for bigger money when they can compete against players from other states.”
The three companies and tribes that offer online poker in Michigan are:
-MGM Grand Detroit: online poker on BetMGM in partnership with partypoker
-Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians: online poker on WSOP.com on 888poker platform
-Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians: online poker on PokerStars
When Will It Happen?
It will not happen right away. The MGCB even admitted in its press release that there are several steps to complete before sites can link across state lines.
-1. Operators must meet all conditions in the MSIGA.
-2. All regulators must approve new platforms and software or modifications.
-3. An operator must establish a new data center. The MGCB must review, inspect, and approve it to combine Michigan poker action with that in other states.
-4. New suppliers for multi-state poker must obtain a license from the MGCB, and vendors must register.
-5. Employees of the new platform must obtain an MGCB occupational license.
The WSOP has done it before. It connected its sites in Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey. But since Nevada and Delaware are single-operator states, other operators have not yet done this in the United States market. PokerStars and BetMGM/partypoker will need to navigate new waters to make it happen and satisfy the requirements of all New Jersey and Michigan.
This could take up to a few months.
If you're wondering when Michigan players can actually play with players from Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey pic.twitter.com/e06NL0HZqd
— Kevin Mathers (@Kevmath) May 23, 2022
April US Online Poker Revenue
While on the topic of US online poker, let’s take a look at revenue from the industry in April.
The states for which we have poker-specific revenue numbers show a reduction in revenue from March to April. There are yearly gains in most states, but the big money remains with other internet games, like slots and table games.
The inability for online poker, specifically, to grow will not change until more states link via the MSIGA.
Connecticut: April 2022
The state of Connecticut legalized state-regulated online poker in May 2021. There has yet to be a single online poker operator announce a partnership with a land-based casino in this state.
Delaware: April 2022
After a positive month all around for Delaware’s igaming market – even for online poker – in March, April brought everything back down to reality. Online poker dipped on the month and year, while nearly every other segment showed growth.
|Delaware||Only iPoker||Total iGaming||Monthly iPoker||Yearly iPoker||Monthly iGaming||Yearly iGaming|
Interestingly, despite overall revenue increasing by 22% from March to April, registration decreased more than 5% for that same time period. Even so, everything increased on the year, including new registrations.
Michigan: April 2022
The Michigan Gaming Control Board does not separate online poker revenue from the rest of internet gaming.
The entirety of Michigan igaming grew in April as it has since the industry launched nearly a year and a half ago. It is now at the point of paying $24.3M per month in total internet gaming state taxes.
Nevada: April 2022
Same story, new month. There is still only one online poker site regulated by the state of Nevada. Therefore, Nevada does not report its online poker revenue, so the WSOP does not reveal numbers to the public.
However, this may – finally – change. BetMGM recently admitted that it is hopeful to offer “more of our services” in Nevada soon. That person went on to name online poker in Nevada as something in progress but without an official launch date.
Exclusive: BetMGM says it Hopes to Launch Online Poker in Nevada "Soon" https://t.co/rd0XdmAWQo
— pokerfuse (@pokerfuse) May 20, 2022
New Jersey: April 2022
April was an odd month for New Jersey igaming. The entire sector dipped nearly 3% from March to April instead of maintaining its usual upward trajectory. It did rise significantly year-over-year. But online poker took the biggest hit, which is typical. Online poker took an 11% dip on the month and even 6% on the year. New Jersey desperately needs some online poker liquidity.
|New Jersey||Only iPoker||Total iGaming||Monthly iPoker||Yearly iPoker||Monthly iGaming||Yearly iGaming|
Meanwhile, the overall New Jersey gambling industry had a solid month of $422M, up more than $70M year-on-year. Even on a monthly basis, total gaming revenue only dropped by 0.3%.
Pennsylvania: April 2022
Online poker revenue in Pennsylvania dropped more than 10% from March to April, much more than the 3% igaming slots dip and that of 6% for table games. But year-on-year, the market remained solid, with even online poker up nearly 23%.
|Pennsylvania||Only iPoker||Total iGaming||Monthly iPoker||Yearly iPoker||Monthly iGaming||Yearly iGaming|
The state’s entire gaming industry mimicked that pattern but on a smaller level. The overall revenue was up more than 14% for the year, but it was down for the month, though only by 0.3%.
West Virginia: April 2022
The state of West Virginia legalized state-regulated online poker in March 2019. There has yet to be a single online poker operator announce a partnership with a land-based casino in this state…more than three years later.