It could have been a Christmas to remember, until Rick Snyder decided to play the role of Grinch. Poker players in Michigan were thisclose to being able to play online poker again until one of Sheldon Adelson's puppets stiff armed us once again. A bipartisan house bill was passed by the state senate and it seemed like Michigan was on a sure-fire path to become the fifth state in the union to legalize online poker. However, Snyder surprised many legal experts by vetoing the bipartisan bill known as House Bill 4926. Then again, we should've seen this coming. When Adelson is your sugar daddy, you do exactly as he says.
Snyder is currently on his way out the door, but that did not prevent him from saying nans to HB 4926. Snyder pulled the data card and said they needed a study and more data before they should make a final decision.
To be blunt, Snyder cowardly wrote: "Due to largely unknown budgetary concerns, I believe this legislation merits more careful study and comparison with how other states have, or will, authorize online gaming. To be blunt, we simply don't have the data to support this change at this time."
Synder also used the old trick stating legalized online gambling will hurt the state lottery, which in turns helps fund public schools. Oh no, not lotto sales! Yup. A bogus answer from another spineless politician on the take from an antiquated fat cat.
Don't forget, Michigan is shady AF. This is the same state that has allowed Flint, Michigan to operate without drinkable water since 2014. They don't care about its citizens, so why would they care about the online gambling industry since it's a direct competitor to Adelson?
If you follow the money, you'll also learn that it's no coincidence that online poker's biggest foe, Venetian owner Sheldon Adelson, is also Snyder's primary sugar daddy. Adelson and his wife were the largest contributors to Snyder's campaign over the last decade. Adelson uses his anti-online gambling coalition to fund right-wing politicians all over America. Adelson dumped nine figures to various GOP candidates (at least $120 million) in 2018. Most of them were losers.
Unlike in California, the Michigan bill had both tribal gaming and corporate gaming support. The Michigan House of Representatives passed a bill in June and then the Michigan state Senate passed the bill shortly before Christmas. All it required was a signature from the Governor to put it into law.
Instead of Michigan becoming the fifth state to legalize online poker, it's one of the 46 states were you can bust donks online... legally. Michigan missed a chance to become the fifth state in the United States of America to legalize online poker.
Both Nevada and New Jersey were the first two states to offer virtual gambling to its citizens. Both were among the first states to offer legal casino gambling. Delaware followed suit shortly after by allowing online gambling, especially poker. Pennsylvania became the fourth state with legalized poker at the end of 2017.
Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware entered a pact to share liquidity among its player base. This pact is what poker players have been dreaming for since Black Friday 2011. Alas, it's only a handful of states for now, but it is expected to grow when more states legalize online poker.
Alas, at the start of 2019 more states have taken steps to authorize legalized sports betting. Meanwhile, it looks like online poker is being left behind once again as the sportsbetting world is experiencing their boom days.
Michigan State Representative Brandt Iden introduced the original bill in 2018 and he said he would re-introduce legislation in 2019.
Democrat Gretchen Whitmer was sworn in as Governor on the first of January. Her stance on online gambling and legal online poker is unknown, but she is not on Adelson's payroll. So, the future looks bright.