Home Online poker Michigan and Multistate Online Poker: USA Online Poker Predictions

Michigan and Multistate Online Poker: USA Online Poker Predictions


Our industry experts take a look at what the online poker landscape in the United States would look like once MI online poker operators could finally connect player pools with NJ.

Three months ago, Michigan gaming regulators officially signed the Multi-State Internet Gambling Agreement (MSIGA), making it the fourth US state to join the pact, joining Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey.

This paved the way for operators to be licensed in at least two states as part of the deal to combine online poker player pools. In effect, this allows three US operators – WSOPPokerStars and BetMGM Poker — to combine their Michigan online poker apps with those in New Jersey.

Various steps are still required for this to become a reality – operators must obtain all necessary authorizations and adhere to all guidelines to allow interstate online poker. To date, no further progress on this project has been made public. Despite requests for updates from all interested parties, none will report on the steps completed and those that remain.

“The MGCB does not discuss the status of applications”, a MGCB informed spokesperson MI Game Review last month. “When multi-state online poker is ready to go, the MGCB will announce it. We don’t have a deadline for an announcement. »

However, fuse poker understand that there is momentum behind the scenes. Based on sources within the industry, similar project schedules in the past, and Fall Tournament Series schedules, our best estimate puts a go-live date in Q4 2022.

In this spirit, fuse poker predicted what we expect once Michigan online poker operators join the market – identifying three changes that will impact immediate impact on online poker players in Michigan, New Jersey and Nevada:

  • The immediate cash impact on cash games
  • Increased competitiveness in the market
  • The effects of large pools of players
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Cash game traffic will double overnight

The change in the number of ongoing gambling in the two markets will be dramatic for players in New Jersey and Michigan.

The total market size in Michigan is currently just over 300 cash game slots filled; the New Jersey market, which already includes Nevada and Delaware for WSOP/888, totals just over 400. Combined, the market will be north of 700 seats filled.

For Michigan players, they will see more than double the number of cash games in progress. There will also be a much wider spread of stakes, with more micro-stakes and high-stakes games on offer; more tables will operate at off-peak times of the day and week; tables should break much less frequently.

New Jersey players will see a similar effect, albeit slightly less pronounced. Observable cash game tables will increase by almost 75%.

Cash game traffic in Michigan and New Jersey/Nevada/Delaware in 2022

Operator Michigan NJ + NV + DE Combined
PokerStars 158 75 233
BetMGM 77 92 169
WSOP 66 251 317
All 301 418 719

Data is the average of concurrent gambling seats filled from 2022 through August 20, 2022. Tracked by GameIntel and taken from poker industry PRO Data Platform. Only WSOP/888 is operational in Nevada and Delaware.

The effect will be more pronounced in specific markets at the individual operator level. For example, a player on _PokerStars New Jersey will see cash game traffic triple overnight. For a WSOP Michigan player, this effect will be almost five times more action at the tables.

Pooling of Michigan and New Jersey increases competition

A curiosity of these two markets is that the composition of one is the reverse of the other. In Michigan, PokerStars is the clear leader, with over 50% of the market. WSOP is third with a 22% share, and BetMGM Poker is a close second.

The reverse is true among operators in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware. The cash game traffic of WSOP and 888 – the only network that currently covers all three states, with one room in Nevada, two in New Jersey and three in Delaware – is the undisputed market leader, with 60% of gambling traffic. PokerStars is last, and BetMGM is once again ahead in the middle.

A similar breakdown can be seen in the New Jersey market data. As NJ Game Review reported last week, the state gaming regulator reports the monthly revenue of online poker operators in the state – WSOP leads the market, with BetMGM and PokerStars vying for second place.

When we look at the numbers reported so far this year, WSOP controls just under 40% of the market. BetMGM is second with 34% and PokerStars is third with 27%. These figures resemble gambling traffic, except for the reduced share of the WSOP due to the absence of Nevada and Delaware represented in these figures.

BetMGM Poker WSOP PokerStars Total
Jan-22 848 788 961 931 747,070 2,557,789
February 22 890 387 834 982 502 191 2,227,560
March 22 981 831 907 472 641,860 2,531,163
Apr-22 805128 788798 661006 2,254,932
May-22 828108 864031 619423 2,311,562
Jun-22 639327 960162 594302 2,193,791
Jul-22 617620 997213 662439 2,277,272
2022 to date 5,611,189 6,314,589 4,428,291 16,354,069
Market share 34% 39% 27%
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It means that when they combine, the market will be much more competitivewithout a clear leader controlling most of the traffic.

From day 1, WSOP will lead the combined four-state market, but its unique position as the only interstate online poker network will disappear. Its market share – which now stands at 60% in the tri-state market – drops to 44%.

PokerStars currently captures more than half of the Michigan market, but only 18% of NJ-NV-DE (and only 27% of New Jersey’s revenue). Its share in the four state markets would be 32% – almost exactly its “fair share” against two competitors.

Curiously, BetMGM holds second place in Michigan and NJ/NV/DE, but would slip to third when the markets combine. However, at almost 25%, it remains very competitive.

Gambling Traffic Market Share in Michigan and NJ/NV/DE in 2022

Operator Michigan NJ + NV + DE Combined
PokerStars:/go/pokerstarsus-poker/ 52% 18% 32%
BetMGM Poker:/go/betmgmus-poker/ 26% 22% 24%
WSOP:/go/wsopus-poker/ 22% 60% 44%

The advantage for players of increased competition is that operators invest more in their platforms to gain market share. Right now PokerStars and BetMGM may not be focusing on New Jersey as it struggles to compete with the WSOP multi-state offer. Once Michigan joins, this competitive advantage diminishes; suddenly there is a lot more to fight.

In the same way, WSOP seems happy enough sitting at the bottom of the MI market. But once it connects to the existing interstate network, there will be a great reason to invest more in promoting its expanded online poker offering in all states.

Expect bigger US online poker deposit bonus offers, reload bonuses and tournament series once Michigan joins as the three operators compete for market share.


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There will be longer term network effects – and hopefully regulatory changes too

The naive analysis above – simply combining Michigan’s existing player pools with existing traffic in New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada – underestimates the potential impact of Michigan operator membership under MSIGA. Network effects should be in play – bigger and more competitive offers should attract players to the tables, further developing the sites.

Examples of player clustering are limited, although some evidence of this effect exists. Spain and France joined their closed liquidity markets in 2018. Traffic on PokerStars Spain and France surged after the combination, although after a year the growth was in the single digit percentage points. This was against the tide of players moving from cash games to tournaments (this was during the explosive days of lottery sit-and-gos), so the overall growth would have been more considerable than these numbers indicate. .

Perhaps the most significant long-term effect will be on the broader landscape of online poker in the United States. MSIGA has been in business since 2015 — when Delaware and Nevada first pooled their cash — and it expanded to New Jersey in 2018. Yet more than four years later, there has been no no further progress – just three states and one network.

Connecting Michigan to New Jersey will be, by far, the most crucial development in American online poker in a decade. This will signal to other states – notably Pennsylvania, but also smaller states like West Virginia and Connecticut – that the signing MSIGA can provide a pathway to safe and regulated online poker.

And that will end all lingering concerns with the Wire Act and multi-state online poker.

US Online Poker States and Launch Times

US state Launch of online poker Pact joined Launch of shared player pool
Nevada April 2013 February 2014 March 2015
Delaware November 2013 February 2014 March 2015
New Jersey November 2013 October 2017 May 2018
Michigan Jan 2021 May 2022 ?
Pennsylvania November 2019 Not yet