Michigan has officially become the sixth US state to fully legalise online poker. US poker is once again on the up. Last week we reported this was likely, and US poker players will be delighted to hear it really did happen.
US Poker Wins Again
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer officially signed the HB4311 bill into law on Friday morning. Online poker, online casino gaming, and online sports betting are now all legal for the residents of Michigan state.
This is a great victory for US poker and will soon see a whole roster of new US poker sites clamouring for a piece of the action.
The Wolverine State is the sixth to complete online poker legalisation, along with Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
Michigan’s poker players have nervously waited for a full 12 months to see if the legislation would pass into law. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s predecessor Gov. Rick Snyder used his veto on a similar bill last year, as one of his final acts in power.
Fairly Taxing US Poker
Snyder claimed that tax income from the state lottery would be hit too hard by the legalisation of online poker, online casinos, and sports betting. The deal that has successfully been put together now shows his reasoning to be completely unfounded.
The tax revenue from the newly legalised industry is expected to more than compensate for any hit to the state lottery.
The lottery raised $1 billion for state education over the last fiscal year, which will have worried some in power. But all that was needed were amendments to the tax structure. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer personally requested the adjustments before she was prepared to support the bill.
Speaking to Fox 2 Detroit, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said,
“My top priority in signing this legislation was protecting and investing in the School Aid Fund, because our students deserve leaders who put their education first.”
“Thanks in part to the hard work and leadership of Senator Hertel and Representative Warren, these bills will put more dollars in Michigan classrooms and increase funding for firefighters battling cancer. This is a real bipartisan win for our state.”
Looking to the Future
Another perk of this new legislation is the prospect of Daily Fantasy Sports and other charitable gaming operations fitting into the framework.
Daily Fantasy Sports is becoming incredibly popular in the US, with many US poker stars taking part successfully.
High stakes star Aaron Jones won $5 million nearly four years ago for his victory in the DraftKings Fantasy Football World Championship. And Jesse Martin won $2 million two weeks ago after winning the same event.
As far as online poker is concerned, it is unclear what the predictions are for Michigan. Pennsylvania has raced out of the blocks after only two months of action, but New Jersey looks to be struggling.
Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware have merged their player pools for the last 18 months which gives hope that the country will eventually play together as a whole.
If this goal is ever reached then it will become much easier to hammer out a deal to once again see American players dueling with the rest of the world for the first time since that fateful day in April 2011.
US-based poker players can check out our review of the current best US poker sites.
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