It was expected that online poker would launch in the state of Michigan in the fall of 2020, possibly even this month. However, it seems that the target date is now pushed back to 2021. Recent meetings within the Michigan Gaming Control Board signal that the industry will be delayed in launching for quite some time.
Rules were submitted by regulators in early October, but the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules have not returned the submission with an approval. During a recent meeting, Executive Director Richard Kalm said that there was most likely not enough time left in the current session to see the launch happen in 2020.
Most likely, the process will roll over to next year and another 15 day countdown would begin. There is a 15 day rule that says the Joint Committee has 15 sessions to act on rules or they must send the rules back to the regulator. The rules currently have been in session three days and there are 10 sessions remaining this year.
There is still a possibility that the rules will be sent back early, and the committee has requested that this happen. However, nothing has taken place yet. It looks like the industry will go live in the early months of 2021.
The online poker revenues are much-needed as Michigan is trying to bounce back from COVID-19 closures. The commercial casinos in Detroit were shut down for several months which created millions in losses for the operators.
With online poker gaming, the state would have an additional revenue source which would help bring in more money that is needed due to the loss. The new industry is expected to bring in around $650 million in yearly tax revenues.
We shall watch and see if any movement happens this year or if 2021 will be the time when Michigan finally launches online poker gaming.