If January is any indication, interstate poker play can be a big asset for Michigan online poker operators.
PokerStars launched combined play for Michigan and New Jersey players on Jan. 1.
What resulted was a big boost in revenue for the online casino operator.
Will interstate play continue to boost PokerStars? When will the other poker operators get in the mix?
PokerStars MI online casino makes big revenue jump in January
The Michigan Gaming Control Board includes all online poker revenue in with its Michigan online casino numbers.
So, while it’s hard to say just how impactful interstate play was for PokerStars, it certainly had an impact.
In January, PokerStars Casino MI saw a 64.6% growth in revenue from December 2022.
December 2022 saw Stars report $2.2 million in revenue. That was followed by $3.6 million in January.
Along with it being a 64% month-to-month boost, the January total was the largest since December of 2021 for the operator.
Initial projections called for a 30-50% increase in PokerStars traffic in Michigan with intestate play. Through January, the traffic had more than doubled.
New Jersey also sees boost for PokerStars
Interstate play between Michigan and New Jersey also provided a boost for PokerStars in the Garden State.
NJ does report its online poker revenue separately from its overall online casino revenue. In January, PokerStars brought in $1.1 million in revenue. That took the top spot of the three online poker operators (WSOP, BetMGM). Both competitors were just over $800,000.
January marked the first time PokerStars had won the NJ revenue battle since May of 2020.
It was also the first time it crossed $1 million in revenue since July of 2020.
That momentum shouldn’t stop anytime soon, as PokerStars now has weekly guaranteed prize pools of $1 million for Michigan and New Jersey players.
WSOP benefitting from interstate play elsewhere
While World Series of Poker has yet to crack the code for interstate play in Michigan, it’s no stranger to it elsewhere.
WSOP has a compact that has featured shared pools between Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey for nearly five years.
Due to that, it remains the all-time online poker revenue leader in New Jersey ($97.1 million). That’s well ahead of PokerStars ($62.7 million).
WSOP has helped Caesars Casino MI see a boost in its revenue since it launched in Michigan on March 28, 2022.
From January 2021-March of 2022 Caesars recorded just $25.9 million in revenue. Since April of 2022-January 2023, Caesars has tallied $59.6 million in revenue.
Late in January, WSOP was the first to bring mystery bounty events to Michigan on its online product. Pennsylvania was soon to follow.
While the impact is unclear yet in terms of boosting Caesars revenue, it appears to be helping in terms of overall player pools.
According to GameIntel, WSOP jumped to over 400 average players per event, a current high among the online poker competitors across the US.
When will WSOP, BetMGM add interstate play in Michigan?
Both WSOP and BetMGM Michigan Poker have the door opened for interstate play on their online platforms.
Michigan officially joined the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement in May of last year.
However, the MGCB has requirements for the operators’ software to meet before it can allow them to combine pools with other states.
There has been no timetable update for WSOP or BetMGM to be officially cleared for interstate play.
WSOP has its 2023 World Series of Poker beginning on May 30 this year. It will run through July 18 in Las Vegas.
While WSOP has its own online bracelet series for MI, potential revenue for combined online pools during this period could be too significant to miss.