PokerStars Becomes First Online Poker Site to Start Dealing in Michigan

Posted on: January 31, 2021, 08:34h. 

Last updated on: February 1, 2021, 11:36h.

A week after mobile sports betting and iGaming launched in Michigan, the state became the latest to offer online poker to its residents, thanks to the arrival of PokerStars.

FOX Bet PokerStars Michigan
Kip Levin, seen here speaking at New Jersey’s Monmouth Park during a May 2016 press conference, said FOX Bet’s relationship with FOX Corp. will help it draw customers to its sports betting app in Michigan. (Image: Monmouth Park/Facebook)

The Flutter Entertainment brand came online Friday, according to a press release. Its launch was also coordinated with the roll out of sports betting app FOX Bet and Stars Casino.

FOX Bet CEO Kip Levin said in a statement the company plans to leverage its media relationship with FOX Corp. and the popularity of PokerStars to draw bettors to all three gaming apps.

Behind FOX Bet Sportsbook, PokerStars, and Stars Casino, customers create one account for all three apps, unlocking a wide variety of exciting and entertaining options to supercharge the experience for our Michigan audience,” he said.

The operators are licensed in Michigan through an agreement with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. Through that partnership, they are able to take wagers from anywhere in the state.

Michigan becomes the fourth state to license FOX Bet, joining Colorado, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

FOX Bet representatives are hopeful they can draw off of the players registering for PokerStars and entice them to use the FOX-labeled sports betting application. They noted success in doing that in Pennsylvania.

Interstate Real-Money Poker Coming Soon to Michigan?

PokerStars claims to be the world’s largest online poker product, with more than 200 billion hands dealt. That’s more than any other site. It’s also hosted more than 1.8 billion tournaments.

For now, though, Michigan players can only play real-money games against other Michiganders. Late last year, the legislature passed a law allowing the state to join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Association.

If that happens, it’ll be up to the Michigan Gaming Control Board once the law takes effect later this year. The state will join Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey in the shared liquidity group, meaning players can play against people from those states for real-money card games.

Pennsylvania and West Virginia, two other states that offer online poker, may end up joining the gaming association as well.

Prospects for expanded interstate online poker improved after a federal appeals court earlier this month ruled against a proposed opinion from the Trump Administration Justice Department that sought to expand the scope of the Wire Act.

Strong First Week for Online Gaming

The first week of online gaming in Michigan has been a very fruitful one, according to media reports and information from sportsbooks.

Last Sunday, GeoComply announced that Michigan, in its first weekend of online sports betting, outpaced even New Jersey for transaction data. Nationwide, last weekend was the busiest ever for the online books in legal states.

Penn National Gaming announced it would match first-time deposits to its Barstool Sportsbook in Michigan with a donation to the Barstool Fund. Last Tuesday, the company announced a donation of nearly $3.2 million to the small business relief campaign.

FanDuel said it paid out more than $1.7 million to Michigan bettors last weekend as part of its special odds boosters.

FanDuel, another Flutter product, enjoyed one of its best state launches, if not its best launch, Chief Marketing Officer Brad Raffensperger told

“I think our projections have proven right… I think we have exceeded our expectations in terms of consumer appetite for both our sports betting and our online casino product,” he said.