Remember those days when you had to take time off work and travel to a casino resort to enjoy playing poker? We don't either and luckily, more and more players from all around the world get to enjoy online gambling with minimal effort.
In fact, the latest poker news reports show that the poker industry has been particularly prolific in the past year, and it might keep growing in the upcoming months. Stay tuned and find out more about how well online gambling did in Michigan, who tried to bend the law, and much more!
Michigan Poker – Past, Present, and Future
The past year made many poker fans happy, as it seems that the online gambling industry in Wolverine State was rather impressive.
According to the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), internet casino gaming and online sports betting reported $1.98 billion in gross receipts in 2022. We're talking about a 41% rise from the year before, which is already a good sign. In December alone, online gambling generated gross revenue of $201.6 million, which turned out to be an 8.2% increase compared to November ($186.27 million in revenue).
The total handle for the previous year was $4.6 billion, compared to $3.7 billion in 2021, showing that despite the fact people are no longer homebound, they still prefer online poker to other forms of gambling.
Man Arrested for Poker-Related Charges
While online gambling has been available in Michigan for about two years, it seems as if the market has established itself and it's not going anywhere. And apparently, some people are prepared to take advantage of this flourishing market.
According to some poker latest news reports, Joshua T. Thatcher, a 42-year-old poker pro from Michigan, was sentenced to 12 months of probation. Apparently, the poker enthusiast pled guilty to one felony count after operating an illegal poker room.
As part of his plea agreement, Thatcher agreed to forfeit to the state all items seized at the casino. That included six poker tables, $13,050 in cash, and any money connected to the case that was held in bank accounts.
The casino, also known as the 906 Poker Social, opened on April 1, 2021, and closed on July 8 of the same year. Henry Williams, executive director of the MGCB, conducted a joint investigation with the Michigan Department of Attorney General. He said: "Unregulated gambling operations do not offer Michigan residents the same protections provided through legal, regulated gambling", explaining why they took the matter so seriously.
Various reports stated that the 906 Poker Social was a private club, where members had to pay a weekly, monthly, or even yearly fee. In addition to that, they were charged $10 per hour when actively playing. Later on, Thatcher was charged with five other felony counts, which were all dismissed. Those included two counts of using computers to commit a crime and other charges.
Slowly but steadily, Michigan is embracing live and online poker, turning the exhilarating game into a popular pastime activity. If you are an avid poker player, join in on the fun, but remember! You must pick out legal and regulated gambling venues. Otherwise, there is no guarantee your money and personal information will remain secure. Once you choose the right gambling venue, nothing can stop you from having the time of your life!