Two hands high-fiving in a cartoon style. Michigan Online Poker Market Thrives with Multi-State Expansion Two hands high-fiving in a cartoon style. Michigan Online Poker Market Thrives with Multi-State Expansion

The Michigan online poker market has made significant strides in just under three years. The state not only swiftly joined the multi-state online poker compact, outpacing Pennsylvania, but also achieved this milestone just a year after the MI online poker market went live.

Michigan surpassed Pennsylvania in speed and the number of choices for players, offering two options within a few months compared to Pennsylvania’s year-long wait for the end of its de facto monopoly.

Today, the Michigan online poker market boasts three well-established operators — PokerStars US, BetMGM Poker MI, and WSOP MI. PokerStars has already taken advantage of Michigan’s participation in the multi-state online poker compact by linking its New Jersey player pool with Michigan. However, WSOP and BetMGM are yet to do so.

This presents a clear opportunity for further market growth and expanded options for online poker players in the Wolverine State.

Michigan’s total market size in cash game traffic, based on the 90-day moving average, shows that it currently accommodates 311 cash game seats.

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MI Online Poker Market Cash Game Traffic Size Today (90-day moving average)

Network Seats
PokerStars US (MI+NJ) 187
BetMGM Poker MI 73
WSOP MI 51
Total 311

Before the merger, the three individual MI online poker apps collectively reported an average of slightly above 250 concurrent seats during this period.

MI Online Poker Market Cash Game Traffic Size Last Year (90-day moving average)

Network Seats
PokerStars MI 128
BetMGM Poker MI 81
WSOP MI 53
Total 262

The launch of the shared liquidity network by PokerStars, which included merging the Michigan player pool with New Jersey, had a clear positive impact on the market, helping it grow by almost 20% year-over-year in cash game traffic (up from 262 to 311).

A 90-day moving average is useful to see long-term seasonal trends, smoothing over short-term fluctuations due to promotions and monthly cycles.

If BetMGM and WSOP were to follow suit, the Michigan online poker market could potentially double in size, providing players in the Great Lakes State access to a more extensive player pool.

Currently, BetMGM MI reports an average of 73 concurrent cash game seats. In parallel, its counterpart, the BetMGM NJ network, maintains an average of 70 seats. Combining both states through a merger would result in a total traffic of around 143 seats.

On the other hand, the WSOP/888 network operates a shared liquidity network that spans states such as New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware (although the WSOP/888 network could soon lose access to Delaware). This tri-state shared network reports an average of almost 260 seats based on a three-month moving average. Even if access to Delaware is lost, the network would still maintain an average of around 250 seats, considering Delaware’s smaller population.

This implies that the combined MI online poker market could see an additional expansion of 320 seats, bringing the total traffic to over 600 seats, not to mention the potential for organic growth resulting from a larger player pool.

MI Online Poker Cash Game Traffic Once All Operators Have Merged

Operator Michigan New Jersey/Nevada/Delaware Shared Network (MI+NJ)
PokerStars - - 187
BetMGM 73 70 143
WSOP 51 259 310
Total 640

In fact, BetMGM’s shared liquidity network has the potential to include three or even four states.

The operator enjoys a distinct advantage as it holds licenses in both Nevada and West Virginia — the latter having recently joined the interstate online poker compact just this month.

Following West Virginia’s inclusion in the MSIGA, the operator would be compelled to launch online poker in West Virginia and possibly in Nevada as well, thereby establishing a four-state online poker network.

While both West Virginia and Nevada are relatively small states, adding 20 to 40 seats to the player pool would be a welcome development for Michigan online poker players.

The current question revolves around whether or when these operators will connect Michigan with New Jersey player pools. In the case of BetMGM, it’s not a matter of if, but rather when this will occur. According to a recent statement to pokerfuse, the operator is actively considering the merger of Michigan and New Jersey and plans to announce further details when the time is right.

In contrast, WSOP has not shown any indication of such plans. The software used in New Jersey and Nevada still relies on 888poker’s old-generation software, while its Michigan platform utilizes 888’s modern software. If a merger were to occur, WSOP would need to upgrade its software in New Jersey and Nevada before proceeding with its shared liquidity plans.

Despite these considerations, the Michigan online poker market is positioned for further growth, and 2024 could potentially be the year it realizes its full potential.