Is Online Poker Legal in Michigan?
Michigan is still a new entrant to the market when it comes to regulated gaming which means the law is still a tiny bit of a mess at the moment, although this is something which does look set to change in the near future. At the moment, Michigan remains one of the harshest states when it comes to the punishment of unregulated gambling. Let’s take a little look.
Firstly, let’s take a little look at what is classed as gambling in the eyes of the law of Michigan:
“Gambling game” means any game played with cards, dice, equipment or a machine, including any mechanical, electromechanical or electronic device which shall include computers and cashless wagering systems, for money, credit, or any representative of value, including, but not limited to, faro, monte, roulette, keno, bingo, fan tan, twenty one, blackjack, seven and a half, klondike, craps, poker, chuck a luck, Chinese chuck a luck (dai shu), wheel of fortune, chemin de fer, baccarat, pai gow, beat the banker, panguingui, slot machine, any banking or percentage game, or any other game or device approved by the board, but does not include games played with cards in private homes or residences in which no person makes money for operating the game, except as a player.
In short, anything which involves playing a game for money that isn’t regulated will be seen as illegal. This is one of only a few states which makes mention of a number of games within the legislation, which of course makes it very clear what is and what isn’t allowed. There are also a number of other key points here that we will cover in a little.
There are a number of commercial and tribal casino ventures operating within Michigan as well as a state lottery.
Casinos and Live Poker
As mentioned previously, there are a number of different places to head if you want to head to a casino and play Live poker within Michigan. Playing poker outside these regulated environments could be seen as illegal, unless it is a social game. In the legislation above you may have noticed this little line:
does not include games played with cards in private homes or residences in which no person makes money for operating the game, except as a player.
It basically says that as long as a game is played within a private residence then it is exempt from the regulation. Also nobody is allowed to charge for the game. This means that you can play live poker in a social environment in Michigan.
There is no law dealing with the issues of Online Poker in Michigan. However, the website for the state mentions that gambling online is illegal, and it could probably fall foul of the legislation mentioned above anyway. Many players have played games online in other states as players aren’t really targeted for this sort of thing.
There is currently very little chance that online gambling will be allowed in Michigan any time soon. No legislation is currently going through, and the state is probably too small to make a site like this a viable option.