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Michigan Becomes Latest State to Approve Online Gambling


Online gambling in the United States continues to make an evolutionary leap. Lawmakers in Michigan worked late into the night on December 20 to deliver a bill that will legalize online poker for Michigan residents that are 21 years of age or older. 

The measure is significant. It will bring the total number of states with legalized online gambling to five, and more than thirty million US residents will have access to online gaming. Some believe this could be an important catalyst in nationwide online gambling legalization. 

Online gambling in Michigan was first proposed in 2016. Like many other lawmakers, Michigan legislators were hesitant to move online gambling bills forward. The state took a wait-and-see approach throughout 2017. The midterm election cycle in 2018 also slowed passage of a bill to permit online poker. 

Ultimately it became impossible for lawmakers to ignore the economic impact of online gambling in early adoption states like Nevada and New Jersey. In those states online gambling is providing much-needed revenues to the states' coffers. 

Governor Rick Snyder is expected to sign the bill into law. Once signed, online poker operators will have the opportunity to apply for state licenses. It is currently unknown how much operators will have to pay for online gaming licenses. 

What all of this means for residents of Michigan is that online poker should be available sometime in the early months of 2019. Operators in other states where online gambling has been legalized have shown a willingness to move quickly in setting up their platforms.

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