The long-awaited Lawful Internet Gaming Act has been signed into law, allowing online gambling operators to apply for a licence in Michigan. Online poker is now legal in the state, along with sports betting and other online casino games. The new law came into effect on 20th December 2020 when Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the bill.
Michigan is now the sixth US state to legalise online gambling, along with Delaware, Iowa, Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Unlike smaller countries such as the UK, where there are national gambling laws, each state in the USA is free to set its own gambling rules. Only 2 states have outlawed gambling entirely – Utah and Hawaii. Nevada and Louisiana are the only two that allow all forms of gambling state-wide, while other restrict casino-style gambling to small geographic areas – for example Atlantic City in New Jersey.
Pokerstars and 888 Poker already operate in the United States and both are expected to expand their operations into Michigan. Industry experts also anticipate that new operators will emerge and take advantage of the new laws.
Romours are starting to circulate that Nebraska – which already operates a number of tribal casinos – could be the next state to legalised online betting.