Michigan Senate To Launch New Bids For Legalizing Online Gambling

It seems that online gaming’s future in Michigan is going to see some better days, as the Senate has decided to give it another try and launch new bids to legalize it.

Ups And Downs for iGaming In Michigan

The whole idea came into focus at the end of last year when the state’s lawmakers decided to open its door to sports betting. The final step, the Governor’s signature to approve was only a matter of formality…

…when things unexpectedly changed.

For the worse, if you are looking at it from iGaming’s point of view. Despite the fact that final approval was MORE than certain, the government suddenly vetoed the legislation.

Nevertheless, the turbulences seem to be going on and on, as the latest, yet this time POSITIVE, trends seem to be favoring the legalization.

Legislation In Numbers

Brandt Iden, Republican Representative, proposed a bill almost identical to the one former governor Snyder refused to sign. His idea was for licenses to cover online slots, table games, and poker. The Division of Internet Gaming would have the option to choose whether…

…to allow online sports betting or not.

Iden has filled H4311 in the lower chamber, while Democrat Senator Curtis Hertel has filled SB0189.

As for the costs, the license application in Michigan would cost venues $100,000 and the actual license another $200,000. In addition to this, successful applicants would be…

…taxed 8% of the GGR as well as an additional 1.25% of the total (GGR) amount to the municipality where the venue is based.

30% of tax revenue will go to the city where the license is based, and some additional sums will be used for various programs to improve the overall quality of life for citizens.

Speaking in percentages, the distribution of money looks like this:

  • 5% will go to the State School Aid Fund
  • 5% for the Michigan Transportation Fund
  • 5% to be invested in the Michigan Agriculture Equine Industry Development Fund

The calculation leads us to the remaining 55% for the Internet Gaming Fund. Michigan Compulsive Gaming Prevention Fund will take $1m of the total sum, whereas the rest should cover the regulatory costs.

Legalization (Not) To Have Impact On State Lottery

This was allegedly the main concern and the ultimate reason why Snyder refused to approve the bill in the first place. Moreover, he also had concerns that signing the legislation would result in more gambling, which would lead to the state losing revenue.

Yet, if all the factors and details of the bill are well-discussed, there is no reason why things would go wrong, as web-based gambling has been present in many states.

One thing is clear, the bill should amend the state’s existing regulations regarding gambling to reflect Iden’s framework. In addition to this, it should amend the statute of limitations for those charged with violations related to the same issue.

For the time being, each of the bills has been referred to the amenable institution for further scrutiny.

Source:

“Michigan lawmakers resume iGaming push”, igamingbusiness.com, March 8, 2019.

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