The software for PokerStars is now being updated so that players from both Michigan and New Jersey may compete against one another on the same site.
PokerStars, its sportsbook, and its casino was down for 48 hours beginning on Monday due to the update in Michigan and New Jersey. Both locations in their respective states should go live on Tuesday.
Users in the state of Pennsylvania were spared the upgrade.
PokerStars informed its users of the merger’s impending arrival through Twitter, saying it will occur “in the coming weeks.” CardsChat has contacted PokerStars for comment and will provide an update if we get a response.
In May, Michigan joined the ranks of the MSIGA’s other four signatory states. The Multi-State Internet Gambling Agreement (MSIGA) was signed in 2014 by governments from across the world to provide online poker operators in member jurisdictions the legal framework and authority to consolidate all of their players into a single web client.
Only WSOP.com uses MSIGA to pool players from New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware at this time. There is currently no clear date for when this expansion will reach Michigan, but it will happen sometime in 2019.
Since the Poker 8 software used by WSOP.com in Michigan is newer than that used in Nevada and New Jersey, this will also need a large software upgrade.
And what does it imply for the participants in the game?
There will be “additional games, greater prize pools, and guarantees in poker tournaments,” PokerStars said.
Look at the buy-ins and guaranteed prize pools of the ongoing WSOP Online Circuit events in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey/Nevada, and you’ll see that this is the case.
The only state that permits online poker, has an online poker business, and is not a member of MSIGA is Pennsylvania. Newly elected Governor Josh Shapiro, who will take office on January 17, will make the application judgment. There has been no sign from Shapiro one way or the other. CardsChat has contacted his workplace.
Companies like Flutter, the parent company of PokerStars, think that West Virginia and Connecticut, the two other jurisdictions that allow their internet gaming firms to promote poker, are too tiny to maintain a poker business. That’s why, despite the rise in popularity of online gaming, no online poker sites have launched in those areas.
John Myers, the director of the West Virginia Lottery, told CardsChat in late June, “West Virginia is absolutely interested in joining MSIGA, but at this time, we have not submitted any application to join the association.” We are keeping an eye on the situation and plan to apply when the time is right.
Although West Virginia has shown interest in participating, the Nevada Gaming Control Board and MSIGA have yet to hear from their counterparts in Connecticut, according to a lawyer for the Nevada gaming regulators who spoke with CardsChat. Bets are being taken on when West Virginia will join as the fifth state.
PokerStars has lately taken steps to fortify its reputation in the Great Lakes State. It has recruited Michigan-based poker streamer David Kaye as an ambassador and signed a sponsorship deal with the Detroit Red Wings, which will see its brand displayed at ice level.