PokerStars Arrives in Michigan Through Local Partnership

After aprolonged legalization process, Michigan finally welcomes PokerStars as itsnewest digital card room opportunity. The Stars Group brand has teamed up withthe Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Gaming Authority.

PokerStars Enters Michigan’s Market

One of the latest developments in the gambling industry in the US, in the aftermath of the 2018 US Supreme Court decision to remove the federal ban for online poker and gambling thus letting every state decide for itself, was the announcement that PokerStars, in a partnership with an Indian tribe, have agreed to enter the Michigan Market.

And all this less than a month ago after Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer passed a package of bills to complete a U-turn on her predecessor and approve sports betting and online gambling, making the state the sixth to legalize internet gambling.

Of course, partof that package was the increase of taxes for online poker and casino operatorswho will now have to pay between 20% and 28%, depending on theirrevenue, with sports betting being taxed at 8.4% – all these tax rate hikeswith the idea to offset the supposed negative effect on the state lottery.

In a recentannouncement by The Stars Group Inc., an agreement with LittleTraverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Gaming Authority gives them first skinaccess to operate and brand real-money online betting, poker and casino inMichigan, subject to license availability, state law and regulatory approvals.

Will PokerStars and Odawa Deal Amount to Shared-liquidity?

Under the termsof the agreement, Odawa will receive a revenue share from the operation of theapplicable online offerings by The Stars Group, while the latter will providethe state’s population of almost 10 million people with casino games, frompoker to sports betting along with blackjack and other table games.

Though PokerStarsis the largest online poker operator in the world, with regards to the US ithas been present only in New Jersey so far, with the State of Michigan becomingthe second one in an attempt to enlarge their presence.

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But there is adrawback, though: residents of the Wolverine State will have access only toPokerStars local state platform, the way New Jersey players canparticipate only in their local one, as no access to the PokerStars globalplatform will be granted.

Whether both local state platforms will be integrated to form a massive base for liquidity is still unclear as there is an ongoing legal action surrounding the Department of Justice (DOJ) appeal regarding the latest interpretations of the 1961 Wire Act that leave online poker in a state of limbo.

Nevertheless,the current developments emphasize the social role of the online gambling kagame industry and show that there can be situations in which all parties involvedwin:

the State Government increasingthe expected tax income, giving them the opportunity to allocate funds intoother areas of concern; the online operator enlarging their presenceand customer base by gaining access to new markets, with the strong idea ofintegration further down the road, and; customers, being granted first class servicesand entertainment and real value for their money.

No doubt therewill be other online operators to follow in the footsteps of PokerStars,provided that other states consider the benefits of legalizing online gambling.