PlayUSA Rewind: Online Poker Arrives In Michigan Via PokerStars

Posted By Nicholaus Garcia on February 3, 2021 - Last Updated on March 18, 2021

Well, it looks like we are in for six more weeks of winter. Hopefully, those braving the storm hitting the East Coast have enough provision to last till Super Bowl Sunday.

If you do, then strap in. It’s time for another round of gambling news. Online poker has made its way to Michigan, Google has some big news for its users, and a pair of sportsbooks get formal approval in Tennessee.

On the rewind:

Michigan online gaming continues to heat up with legal poker

The online gaming market in Michigan continues to sizzle, this time with the news that PokerStars is the first to launch Michigan online poker.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) released a brief statement welcoming several new online operators to the market and, among them, PokerStars. The popular poker site is also available in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It’s also noted that users only have to create one account to access all three states.

Overall, 10 mobile sportsbooks and real money online casinos launched on Jan. 22 (with more following.)

The takeaway: It may not sound like much, but online poker in three states is a pretty big deal for PokerStars. There is also a chance Michigan joins the multi-state poker agreement. This would allow customers to compete against other poker players in other states, including Delaware and Nevada. For now, baby steps.

Gambling apps coming to Google Play store

Weaving into the fabric of our first story, significant news impacting online poker comes by way of Google.

According to Google’s Developer Program, both online casino and online poker apps will be available for download on Google Play effective March 1, where permitted.

The updated policy states:

“Subject to restrictions and compliance with all Google Play policies, we allow apps that enable or facilitate online gambling in the following countries in the table below as long as the Developer completes the application process for gambling apps being distributed on Play, is an approved governmental operator and/or is registered as a licensed operator with the appropriate governmental gambling authority in the specified country, and provides a valid operating license in the specified country for the type of online gambling product they want to offer.”

Android uses must download sports betting apps the archaic way by going directly to the operator’s website. However, now that Google is updating its policy, this is good news for Android users and the online gaming market.

The takeaway: About time, right? Sports betting, online casino, and online poker apps have been available on iOS devices for a while. Look, downloading an app from an operator’s website isn’t the end of the world. But the ability to downloads apps quickly and easily will be a relief for some.

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Two Tennessee online sportsbooks adding to the line-up

Our last story takes us to the Volunteer State where mobile sports betting is preparing for its first Super Bowl.

As you know, Tennessee sports betting is mobile-only. Meaning, there are no physical locations where customers can place bets.

The Tennessee Education Lottery, the entity behind sports betting, gave formal approval to William Hill and WynnBET. The downside, neither will be able to launch before Sunday’s big game.

In December, TN sportsbooks took $180.9 million in bets, which translated to $3.1 million in tax revenue. For a state with only four mobile sportsbooks, that’s pretty impressive.

The takeaway: Unfortunately, William Hill and WynnBET will miss out on Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes. As you know, the Super Bowl is the single most bet-on sporting event. The good news, Tennessee will most certainly see increased traffic from neighboring states as customers look to place wagers before kick-off.

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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick has had stints in Chicago and Washington, D.C., writing about politics, financial markets, and sports betting. He graduated from Texas Tech University and completed his master's degree in journalism at Columbia College Chicago.

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