There are currently six countries that have legalized online poker, a market that has boomed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused demand for poker to fall instantly. But only four states, Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, have the infrastructure and run for consumers.
That could change in 2021 when the Michigan Gaming Control Board began accepting applications for online gaming licenses last week.
In a press release announcing a step forward, Richard Kalm, executive director of MGCB , said that all forms of internet gambling, including poker, could be operational in less than 12 months when regulators finalize legislation around the new industry.
“We continue to make progress in setting rules for internet games and online sports betting,” Kalm said. “While we hope to launch Halo69 these forms of betting in early 2021, we hope it can happen sooner.”
Obtaining a license will cost the operator a $50,000 application fee, an initial license fee of $100,000 and an annual renewal fee of $50,000. Only three commercial casinos in Detroit or 23 tribal casinos across the state are allowed to apply for licenses to visit a credit deposit gambling agency without deductions.
Those operators will be allowed to have two separate brands for their online gaming ventures, meaning that partnerships can be formed between major online poker operators, such as 888 or PokerStars, and a rock-and-mortar casino to operate its online poker rooms.
West Virginia is the only state that has legalized online poker, but has yet to launch a product. Earlier this month, the West Virginia Lottery Commission approved a series of emergency regulations that could allow The Mountain State to launch online poker in the summer.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed the online gambling bill into law 14 months ago, while Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the same law into law last December.