Thursday, July 18, 2024

Michigan Regulator Give WSOP Online Green Light to Share Poker Liquidity

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Michigan Regulator Give WSOP Green Light to Share Liquidity
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Michigan gaming regulators released an official statement documenting its approval for WSOP Online to extend its multi-state poker network in Nevada and New Jersey to include Michigan online poker.

Clearance from the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) comes after Caesars Entertainment submitted an application to include the Great Lakes State in its multi-state poker network in late April.

“By offering seamless connectivity between players in Michigan, New Jersey, and Nevada, the board’s approval of Caesars’ platform establishes another opportunity for online poker collaboration and innovation,” said MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams.

It was the second such approval granted by the MGCB. PokerStars received the same authorization from the regulator just before combining its player pools in Michigan and New Jersey on January 1, 2023.

“Michigan citizens can anticipate a safe, secure gaming environment — in what will likely be a larger pool of online players — as they engage in World Series of Poker games across state borders in a responsible manner,” Williams said.


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Similar announcements by the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) had not been made as of Tuesday morning EDT, although Caesars did put out a separate statement on Saturday. Caesars owns WSOP.

“This platform upgrade is long overdue and is a big win for our players,” said Danielle Barille, vice president for online poker at Caesars Digital. “The best is yet to come for WSOP Online tournaments, and we’re thrilled to bring Michigan players into the fold with Nevada and New Jersey, resulting in a better experience, more value, and the biggest prize pools of the year.”

In a not-so-subtle dig at PokerStars and BetMGM, Caesars bragged that WSOP Online is now a part of “online poker history, as WSOP becomes the first poker operator to pool liquidity across three US jurisdictions.” PokerStars only shares liquidity between two states (Michigan and New Jersey) while BetMGM has yet to share liquidity between states anywhere.

In addition to benefits for Michigan, WSOP’s Nevada online poker room and its New Jersey online poker room are expected to see an increase in revenue.

Pennsylvania Online Poker Left Out

WSOP will share liquidity across three states but a fourth state remains out of reach — Pennsylvania.

Not that the operator doesn’t have a Pennsylvania online poker room. Caesars launched WSOP PA in July 2021. At the time, the room launched with 888poker’s newer Poker 8 software.

BetMGM Poker and PokerStars US also have online poker rooms in Pennsylvania. But all three operators are unable to connect their player pools in PA with those in other states. That’s because Pennsylvania is not a member of the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA), a multi-state compact that supports poker.

MSIGA currently has five member states — Delaware, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, and West Virginia. The arrangement allows PokerStars to share liquidity across MI-NJ, and similarly gives WSOP access to the MI-NJ-NV network it has established for its online product, which Caesars officially rebranded as WSOP Online.

With WSOP sharing liquidity in three states, Pennsylvania will likely fall behind in terms of online poker revenue when compared to other states.

Efforts to get Pennsylvania to join MSIGA date back to the previous administration. Former Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation to launch real money online poker in 2017, but demurred over the state joining MSIGA. His successor, Josh Shapiro, has also declined to take action — up until now.

Legislation was introduced in March to authorize the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) to request the state’s membership in MSIGA. Advocacy efforts to support the proposed legislation are taking place on social media using #GrowPApoker.

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