The news that Michigan is entering the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) has given poker aficionados some reason for optimism insofar as the future of online poker in the United States goes. Now, poker pros and fans are looking toward Pennsylvania and hoping that the Keystone State will follow suit although the state has given no indication of any such plans.
Michigan’s Entry Paves the Way for Others to Join Shared Gambling
The MSIGA is a cornerstone of shared online gambling in the United States, first set up by Nevada and Delaware, and later complemented by New Jersey’s decision to similarly join the compact. Players from these three states have been able to play poker together, pooling the amounts across different networks and creating more compelling pools and tournament opportunities.
Michigan, another state that regulates online poker, will now contribute to the total poker liquidity. Pennsylvania though seems less inclined to join as there has been no reach out to Multi-State Internet Gaming Association by state representatives. Michigan only joined after officials formally requested this to happen, seeing the benefit of the potential addition of more liquidity.
Even though Pennsylvania is one of the biggest gambling states in the United States and a keen proponent of interactive wagering, there seems to be very little interest in this move. Previously, a testy interpretation of the Wire Act made it difficult to forge ahead with such a decision but the contentious point has been overturned to uphold a previous verdict that allowed the transmittance of data across the state borders.
Pennsylvania would no doubt be a huge boon to the Interstate Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement as it would add another 12.8 million with potential access to online poker and boost prize pools, but also help the vertical develop at home.
Question of Player Satisfaction, Question of State Revenue
Pennsylvania may be an isolated market, but it’s one of the most vibrant ones when it comes to poker. Gambling sites in the state are amassing $3 million in rake on tournaments and cash monthly, or around $36 million annually, based on Pokerfuse data for last year. This is better than New Jersey’s $29.9 million for 2021.
As an isolated market, Pennsylvania is doing pretty well and the state is benefiting. A possible fear may be that since the Keystone State is already doing well, there is no need to risk linking up players and seeing this revenue go elsewhere, potentially.
However, the way poker is regulated means that the rake is collected in each state separately and this should not impact the bottom line. If anything, it should drive interest in poker and see more people join the pastime.