Michigan looks forward to allowing its citizens to participate in multi-jurisdictional poker.Michigan has requested that the three member states of the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) insert language throughout the document that serves as the basis for the interstate gaming compact.
While the additions are not lengthy, they include verbiage that specifies who can sign the agreement — something that was rumored to be an issue in Michigan. It also includes new parts in the section of the document that covers the operation of internet poker and other forms of internet gaming and five new minimum technology standards for iGaming operators.
MSIGA currently includes Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey. Michigan was formally invited to join the compact last week and will become the group’s fourth member once the State of Michigan has fully executed the agreement.
Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) spokeswoman Mary Kay Bean told Michigan Gaming Review that a few steps remain.
“Once the Michigan Department of Attorney General reviews the agreement provided by MSIGA and finds it legally sound, we are confident the MGCB Executive Director will sign the agreement expeditiously,” Bean said Monday. “Michigan looks forward to allowing its citizens to participate in multi-jurisdictional poker.”
More Minimum Requirements for Online Poker Operators
MIGR was provided a copy of a 16-page document that outlines every detail of the compact. The document shows that it was first created on February 25, 2014, and last amended on March 29, 2022. Most of the document is identical to an earlier version dating back to 2017 that is available to the public via New Jersey.
It is assumed that the latest 16-page document is still a work in progress and that officials from Michigan or the other states could still insist on last-minute changes. In determining what verbiage was added at Michigan’s request, the latest document — which was provided by the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) — was compared to the 2017 version made available by New Jersey.
One of the most striking changes is five additional minimum standards being applied to operators. In addressing the technical capabilities of an operator, MSIGA said potential operators must be able to demonstrate that their software or platform can to a reasonable extent:
- Prevent and detect cheating, fraud, collusion, theft, embezzlement, use of funds derived from illegal activity, money laundering, or other illegal activities
- Prevent and detect the use of automated computerized software or any other equivalent mechanism, such as a “bot,” to engage in Internet Gaming
- Protect Patrons’ personal, financial, and wagering information, including procedures to enforce applicable privacy policies
- Ensure sufficient data and records regarding Patrons, transactions, and system events are generated and retained, including, without limitation, records, and data necessary to investigate Patrons’ complaints and compute and verify revenue
- Be protected by adequate physical, logical, and other technical security controls
Tribal Casinos Excluded From Progressive Jackpots
It appears that MSIGA will allow a request from Michigan that operators not be allowed to target customers across multiple member states unless the states allow it.
Under Article V of the document, which covers the operation of internet poker and other internet gaming, a new section stipulates that operators “shall not offer internet gaming directly to patrons of another member state unless permitted under the applicable state laws of both the licensing state and the patron state and offered in accordance with this agreement.”
Michigan also wanted a section on progressive jackpots changed so that tribal casinos are excluded. “A land-based gaming facility that is not regulated by a member state is not eligible to offer or otherwise participate in a progressive jackpot funded by both online and land-based patrons under this agreement.” Michigan has no regulatory authority over tribal casinos in the state.
Despite launching online poker in Ontario last week, the province won’t be a member of MSIGA anytime soon. A new entry stipulates that “internet gaming under this agreement may be conducted only within the United States.”
The amount of revenue each state gets from gaming tournament fees was also modified.
Article VI, which covers internet gaming revenue, includes a section on calculating internet poker revenue. MSIGA said that “aggregate prizes or other amounts paid to winning tournament entrants shall be attributed to each patron state proportionally based on the percentage of total entry fees paid by tournament entrants physically present in each patron state at the time of entry.”
Some minor changes were also made in Article III of the document, which includes definitions. Michigan asked to have definitions for “designated signatory” and “person” added, and for the definition of “member state representative” to be expanded.