Two months after Michigan officially joined the interstate compact for online poker, little progress is apparent so far with getting the state’s three operators ready to enter the market.
Michigan signed on to the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) to much fanfare in May. It joined Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey in the compact.
At the time, Henry Williams, executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), said the three MI online poker operators — BetMGM Poker MI, PokerStars MI, and WSOP MI — “still have a lot of work to do” before they could launch interstate poker.
Specifically, the three operators were required to:
- Satisfy all of the conditions and requirements outlined in the MSIGA agreement.
- Receive MGCB approval for any new platforms or platform modifications, as well as any new remote gaming systems and game software.
- Have their security standards reviewed and data centers inspected — MGCB must also sign off on any servers capable of receiving sports wagers placed out of the state.
Additionally, suppliers and platform providers expected to play a role in interstate poker in Michigan must obtain internet gaming supplier licenses through the MGCB.
While Michigan is the newest state to join MSIGA, state regulators had a list of five additional minimum requirements it wanted to add to operators. Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey all agreed to the changes, which call for operators to:
- Prevent and detect cheating, fraud, collusion, theft, embezzlement, money laundering, or other illegal activities.
- Prevent and detect the use of automated computerized software or any other equivalent mechanism to engage in iGaming.
- Protect customers’ personal, financial, and wagering information, including procedures to enforce applicable privacy policies.
- Ensure sufficient data and records regarding customers, transactions, and system events are generated and retained, including, without limitation, records, and data necessary to investigate customers’ complaints and compute and verify revenue.
- Be protected by adequate physical, logical, and other technical security controls.
No News or Details From State Regulator
Progress has been slow. To date, none of the three online operators in the Mitten State are offering interstate poker. It’s also unclear if either BetMGM, PokerStars, or WSOP has even started the process of obtaining permission from the MGCB.
“The MGCB does not discuss the status of applications,” MGCB spokeswoman Mary Kay Bean told US Gaming Review on Tuesday. “When multi-state poker is ready to launch, the MGCB will announce it. We do not have a timeframe for an announcement.”
Bean made similar comments when asked for an update on where Michigan stood with its application to join MSIGA in April.
Representatives for BetMGM, PokerStars, and WSOP did not return calls seeking comment (see our Real money Michigan online poker for more).
It remains unclear if MGCB plans to conduct its review of the three online poker operators one at a time, of if it plans to conduct a review of all three simultaneously. The length of time for the regulator to conduct its review is also not known.
Pennsylvania, another state with legal regulated online poker, is rumored to also be interested in joining MSIGA but the office of Governor Tom Wolf said the governor is still considering whether the state should join or not.
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