Michigan Senate Approves Interstate Online Poker Bill

The State Senate in Michigan approved a bill, enabling interstate poker games. After SB 0991 was approved, it is now up to the House of Representatives to vote on the changes.

Following Approval of the State Senate, SB 0991 Goes to the House of Representatives

A bill enabling interstate poker in Michigan was approved by the Senate and is now proceeding to the House of Representatives. State Senate officials voted yesterday and approved Senate Bill 0991 to proceed to the House. The bill was passed by the Senate after a vote of 36-1, with 1 state official who was excused. The bill proposes changes in the Michigan Lawful Internet Gaming Act, which would allow players from the Great Lakes State to compete against players in other U.S. states with regulated gaming markets.

Although SB0991 does not contain the exact language, enabling interstate poker, it outlines that the Michigan regulator will be allowed to make agreements with other jurisdictions allowing interstate games. The bill reads: “The board may enter into agreements with other jurisdictions, including Indian tribes, to facilitate, administer, and regulate multijurisdictional internet gaming for poker.” Furthermore, SB0991 outlines the definition of poker as a “traditional game of poker” but also adds “any derivative of the game of poker”.

Back in June, Senator Curtis Hertel Jr introduced the bill. Currently, if the bill is accepted by the state’s House and is signed into law, it will enable licensing for online and mobile casino games to be issued by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB).

Michigan’s Online Sports Betting Is Moving Forward

Last week, the Michigan regulator announced that a “key step” was completed in the rulemaking process for both internet gaming and internet sports betting in the state. After the public hearing was conducted, the regulator collected valuable feedback. Now, the next step is for the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules (MOAHR) to approve the proposed changes to the rules. MOAHR’s response is expected soon and after that, the rules must be submitted to the Michigan Legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR). Unless delayed, the standard period for review by JCAR is 15 days.

Although the state’s regulator has started accepting license applications, before the accepting of the rules, no licenses can be issued. And for online sports betting to launch in the state, the MGCB must license all of the applicants. With that in mind, the MGCB executive director Richard S. Kalm expressed hope that online sports betting in the state may launch by late fall. Given that SB0991 is also moving forward, we can guess that unless delays are observed, online sports betting in Michigan may be a fact around Thanksgiving this year.

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