MI Gaming Review provides you with everything you need to know about playing real money online poker in Michigan. We offer honest, in-depth reviews that detail bonuses and promotions, the quality of the software, and the availability of the most popular online poker games. We also evaluate rewards programs, deliver news and updates, and provide the necessary information for you to choose the Best MI Online Poker Room for you.
All online poker rooms reviewed by MI Gaming Review are licensed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB). This makes them 100% legal and safe for anyone who wants to play poker online.
Online Poker in Michigan
The Lawful Internet Gaming Act passed on December 20, 2019, making online poker and casinos legal in the state of Michigan, becoming only the sixth state to legalize online poker. However, it was not until January 29, 2021 that playing poker online became available for players. After approval of the Michigan Gaming Control Board, PokerStars MI became the first legal and regulated online poker room in the Great Mitten State. A few months later, on March 22nd, BetMGM Poker MI became the second online poker room to go live in the state, and WSOP MI joined in early 2022.
This poker room was the first to launch in MI on January 29, 2021. As an industry giant, this company offers its users a great experience. You can pick from many large-field MTTs that have significant cash prizes. PokerStars MI also uses high-quality software that is highly acclaimed the world over, giving players a seamless gaming experience on its desktop platform and mobile poker app.
PokerStars operates in a few other states like Pennsylvania and New Jersey, but Michigan players cannot currently play with people from those states. In the future, however, PokerStars is expected to have shared liquidity among the states it operates in. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation at the end of 2020 that allows MI poker rooms to have interstate player pools. However, before the regulators in the state give final approval for poker rooms like PokerStars MI to begin combining their player pool with their players in other states, they are looking for additional clarification on the legality of interstate online poker from the federal government. PokerStars is expected to combine its players in Michigan with those in Pennsylvania and New Jersey before the end of 2021.
On March 22, 2021, BetMGM Poker MI became the second online poker room in MI. Utilizing the partypoker software, BetMGM Poker provides players with desktop software and mobile apps that are reliable and user-friendly.
Because it is a well-established online poker operator, BetMGM has experience running some of the best online poker tournaments and tournament series in the US.
Currently, BetMGM Poker is the only online poker room in the state of Michigan that operates on the partypoker platform, meaning it does not share a player pool with any other online poker room in or out of the state of Michigan. But, there is a possibility that we may see a partypoker-branded online poker room launch in the state, which would allow BetMGM and partypoker to form a network and combine player pools.
Also, once the issue of the legality of interstate online poker is completely settled, the MGCB is expected to sign on to join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA). This would allow players on the BetMGM US Network in other states that are part of the agreement (such as New Jersey) to play at the same cash game tables and in the same tournaments as players at BetMGM Poker Michigan.
The online arm of the World Series of Poker (WSOP), which utilizes the Poker 8 software from 888poker, went live in Michigan on March 28, 2022. The arrival of WSOP MI has been long anticipated in the state, but the company waited for the right moment to join the market.
As one of the biggest brands in poker, the WSOP is popular with players all around the world. As the popularity of online poker has grown, the WSOP has also grown, first expanding its annual poker festival in Las Vegas to the internet, where it now offers online bracelet events in New Jersey, to offering its online bracelet events internationally in partnership with GGPoker.
Like the traditional WSOP live events, the prizes for the online bracelet events offer a chance at life-changing money with one WSOP series in 2020 awarding a total of $27.5 million in prize money for a single event and setting a Guinness World Record.
Multi-State Online Poker in Michigan
Governor Whitmer signed the Lawful Internet Gaming Act in 2019, which made online poker legal, but it did not explicitly allow for interstate player pools. However, a little while after this bill became law, Whitmer signed another bill into law that made it legal for poker rooms in the state to share liquidity with those in other states that also offer legal regulated online poker.
This law gives Michigan the ability to administer, facilitate, and regulate these agreements as long as they comply with current federal and state laws. However, there is a restriction that operators can only work with other jurisdictions in the US.
When passing this bill, the Senate acknowledged that allowing states to have shared liquidity will result in more people playing the game, which will increase the state’s fund.
Even though interstate online poker was not available at launch, it is expected to happen soon in Michigan. Michigan is expected to join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement whose current members are Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware. Pennsylvania is also expected to join, and both states are likely to be sharing liquidity before the end of 2021.
Gaming regulators are currently waiting on clarity from the Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding previous opposing opinions on the Wire Act from different administrations. The courts have made it clear that online poker that crosses state lines does not violate the Wire Act, and the DOJ declined to appeal the case any further. So, clarification from the DOJ is a foregone conclusion at this point.
When shared liquidity does come to Michigan, the online poker rooms in the state will see bigger tournaments with large prize pools, Sit and Go (SNGs) tournaments will fill quicker, with expanded peak hours, and some of the less popular cash game variants will get more action. In addition, as state revenues rise from the increased activity at the online poker rooms, other states may consider legalizing online poker which could cause even more growth in the game.
When Michigan joins the agreement, it will lead to a sizable multi-state network from PokerStars and partypoker. And, since WSOP MI is now alive as well, this means the nation’s only interstate online poker network is also present in Michigan.
Types of Online Poker Bonuses Available in Michigan
Online poker bonuses give players a chance to get extra money to play with at the tables. With these offers, players typically get free tournament tickets or bonus funds. However, some sites will offer promotions that include both. The most common types of online poker bonuses you will find in Michigan include:
No-Deposit Welcome Bonus: This offer is free money added to your account when you sign up to the website for the first time; however, these bonuses are not standard for existing customers. The money from this bonus is given in free play credits and must be used at the tables before you can withdraw it from your account.
Deposit Bonus: Bonuses like this are for both new and existing players. Poker sites will either match a portion or 100% of your deposit, doubling the amount you have to play with on their site. When using one of these offers, be aware of the requirements associated with it; there is often a maximum amount the site is willing to match. The poker room may also give you the funds in increments after playing at a certain amount of tables.
Rewards Bonus: Some online poker rooms offer loyalty programs where you earn points for playing at their site, and you can redeem the points for discounts, cash, or prizes such as bonuses and merchandise. A standard reward is a tournament ticket, allowing you access to various MTTs and SNGs without using your funds.
How to Play Online Poker Legally in Michigan
When playing poker online, it is essential to choose a legal poker room. Playing at a legal, regulated online poker room is important for a number of reasons including protecting your personal and banking information, knowing that the games are fair and on the level, and knowing that a portion of the fees and rake you pay will benefit your community through tax dollars paid to the state.
The easiest way to know if you are at a legal Michigan site is to check that the poker room you are signing up for has a Michigan Gaming Control Board license — all legal online poker rooms in the state will display the MGCB logo on their site and in their poker room and mobile app. Having this license means the company follows all the stringent safety measures regulations, making them 100% legal, safe and secure.
To help ensure that the board has the public trust, they use certified third-party testing and audit firms to confirm that a poker room conforms to the highest industry standards. As a result, when you play at a site with the proper licensing from the state’s gaming control board, you will know that they have taken the proper measures to protect your personal data, banking information and that their games and practices are fair.
How To Tell If An Online Poker Room Is Legal And Regulated
To tell if a poker operator is legal, you can check the MGCB’s website for the complete list of providers that have been issued licenses. Also, legal and regulated online poker rooms will have the gaming regulators seal displayed on their website and in the app. However, if the poker room does not have the seal or if it has a seal from another country, it is not a legal Michigan iGaming site and should be avoided. Offshore sites are risky and unregulated, meaning the MGCB has no jurisdiction and will not be able to help if you run into trouble, such as loss of funds, credit card fraud, or identity theft. Always ensure the site you use is clear about where it is legally allowed to operate and that it is headquarters is in the US.
Another way to know if a poker room is legal in Michigan is if it is associated with a land-based casino in the state, as this is a requirement of the state gaming regulator. This information should be readily available on their website, often seen displayed at the bottom of the page. Also, at legal poker rooms in Michigan, it will be easy to contact customer support through phone or live chat. Signing up with a site that meets these criteria will ensure that you stay within the law and are safe.
How to Choose the Best Online Poker room in Michigan
Deciding which online poker room is best for you can be an important decision that affects your level of enjoyment as well as your bankroll. Luckily, MI Gaming Review has you covered. Below, we outline some of the main things to consider when choosing an online poker room. And for those of you that may want to sign up to more than one poker room, our tips will help you make sure you have the best experience and get the most out of what each online poker room offers.
We have compiled the following list of topics that we think are imperative to consider when deciding to register at an online poker room.
- Safety and Security: The first thing to consider when choosing an online poker room is whether or not the site is legal and regulated through licensing by the Michigan Gaming Control Board. The regulations the board sets protect all players’ personal and financial data, making sure all your info is safe and secure. As mentioned earlier, online poker rooms that are licensed will have the MGCB seal proudly displayed on their website and in their desktop and mobile poker apps. The MGCB also makes sure that there are Responsible Gaming mechanisms in place to help prevent problem and underage gambling. In addition, regulation by the MGCB also means that the games are fair and, when players do have a dispute, there is a method in place to have those disputes resolved.
- Bonuses and Promotions: Determining which online poker site has the best welcome bonus and promotions is an excellent factor to consider when choosing an online poker site. While enjoyment may be your primary reason for playing, extra money is almost always a consideration and the welcome bonus is a prime opportunity to take advantage of available offers. Each legal and regulated online poker site in Michigan offers some form of welcome bonus for new players and they also have promotions for existing players. Check our individual site reviews for PokerStars MI, BetMGM Poker MI and WSOP MI, and look for the best offers that will allow you to play more games and get the most free money.
- Rewards Program: Loyalty reward programs are a great way for players to get rewarded for playing on their favorite site. These systems allow you to earn points for your play at the poker room, and you can redeem them for different prizes like cash, tournament tickets, merchandise from the company’s store, discounts at land-based casino properties, exclusive access to events, and more. PokerStars rewards its loyal customers with its Star Rewards program. In addition to letting you rack up points in the poker rooms, you can also earn Star Rewards points across its sports betting and casino sites, so you can level up and win prizes even faster.
- Mobile App: The best poker rooms will have an app that is available on both iOS and Android devices. When using the app, players should be able to access everything that is on the website. The mobile app should also be responsive and provide an easy way to play your favorite games — whether it be in portrait or landscape mode, the buttons in the app should be clearly visible and easy to operate. Some poker rooms even have a casino and sportsbook that you can use from their mobile app without creating a new account.
- Banking Methods: The payment methods a poker room accepts are also an essential aspect to consider when you are looking for a poker room. You will want a room that accepts your preferred banking method for both deposits and withdrawals. You will also want to make sure that you are charged little to no fees and that the processing time fits your needs.
- Customer Support: Look to see what customer support options are offered and what people are saying about the service. At a quality poker room, you are not likely to have many issues while playing, but if you ever have a problem, it is essential to know there is a qualified team ready to help. It should not be difficult to contact the support team by phone, email, or live chat. Whether they offer support during business hours or 24/7, you should be able to get your issues resolved promptly.
How to Start Playing Online Poker in Michigan
Getting started playing online poker in Michigan is an easy process. However, you need to be 21 or older and within the state to start playing. Below are the steps you need to take to play poker in MI:
- Follow Our Exclusive Links: Click on the included links in this article for the poker room you want to join, which will open a new tab. Then, you will be provided with instructions to start creating your account.
- Create Your Account: The first thing you will have to enter is your email address, then you can make a username and password. After finishing this step, you can click to continue to the next.
- Verify Your Account: This step is essential in the registration process; it ensures you are who you say you are. Poker rooms do this by having you fill out a form with your first and last name, date of birth, last four digits of your SSN, address, and phone number. Using a regulated, MGCB-licensed site ensures this info will be safe and secure.
- Confirming Your Account: With the information you provided, the poker room will try and verify your identity. If they can, you will get a message saying that your identity has been confirmed. If not, then you will have to reenter your personal information into the form; make sure that you did not make any typos the first time around. If the details you entered are correct and the room still cannot confirm your identity, you will need to go through the manual verification process. To do this, you will need to upload a copy of your ID and your social security card or a signed copy of your W9.
- Terms and Conditions: Once your identity has been confirmed, read through the terms and conditions, so you can click the box agreeing to them. You will also need to check a box saying you are at least 21 years old.
- Downloading The App: To be able to actually play online poker at the room you selected, you will need to download the desktop app and/or the mobile app appropriate for your device. Just follow the steps that will appear after you finish registering to start the download.
- Depositing Money: Once you are logged into your account, go to the cashier section to use one of the accepted payment methods to add funds to your account.
- Claiming a Bonus: Finally, go to the website’s promotions section to claim your welcome bonus and get your free play credits or tournament tickets.
When did Michigan start allowing legal online poker?
The Lawful Internet Gaming Act passed on December 20, 2019, made online poker rooms and casinos legal in Michigan. However, it was not until January 29th, 2021, that playing poker online became available for players. On the same date, PokerStars MI launched with licensing from the Michigan Gaming Control Board. A few months later, on March 22nd, the second online poker room BetMGM Poker MI became available to residents of the state.
Is Michigan online poker rigged?
No, online poker rooms are closely monitored to ensure they follow the rules and regulations set by the MGCB. As part of the regulatory oversight performed by the MGCB, certified testing and audit firms verify that the software used at the online poker rooms is fair and that the cards dealt are completely random. The MGCB also ensures that the online poker operator has policies and procedures that align with industry best practices for protecting your personal data and banking information.
Who can play online poker in Michigan?
To play poker online in Michigan, you need to be 21 or older and located within the state. Online poker companies use geolocation technology to figure out where someone is logging in from. You can download the app and view the tournaments and games available from outside the state, but you will not be able to play unless you are physically within state borders. You do not need to be a resident, you just need to be physically in MI.
Does Michigan have multi-state online poker?
No, currently, Michigan does not have shared liquidity. However, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation at the end of 2020 that allows MI poker rooms to have interstate player pools as long as doing so does not violate federal law. The courts have ruled that online poker does not violate the Wire Act, and once confirmation is received from the US Department of Justice that it also believes interstate online poker is legal (expected in 2021), the gaming regulators in the state are expected to clear the way for its online poker providers to combine their player pools from other states where online poker is also legal and regulated.
Is it safe to play online poker in Michigan?
Yes, all legal Michigan online poker operators have a license from the MGCB, which makes them 100% legal and safe for anyone who wants to play online poker. Additionally, the regulations set by the gaming board make sure that the poker room follows strict security procedures regarding your personal and banking information.
Can I play online poker in Michigan on my phone?
Yes, all regulated and licensed Michigan online poker rooms have mobile betting options for players. Simply download the company’s mobile app that is appropriate for your device from the App Store or Play Store to start a game. However, you need to be in the state of MI with your device’s location services on to start playing.