Michigan Governor Issues Surprise Veto of Online Gambling BillsPublished December 31, 2018 by Elana K
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has issued a somewhat surprising veto of the state’s newest online gambling bill. The bill had been approved by the Michigan legislature a few days before Christmas and the governor’s veto came on Friday after the holiday.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has issued a somewhat surprising veto of the state’s newest online gambling bills. The bills had been approved by the Michigan legislature a few days before Christmas and the governor’s veto came on Friday after the holiday. Online gambling wasn’t the only bill to get the ax; it found itself among good company among 40 other bills.
Why the Veto?
Snyder issued a letter elaborating on his decision, saying that the government simply doesn’t “have the data to support this change at this time.” However, he then went on to explain that if online gambling was legal in Michigan, it could detract from the state’s iLottery program, which launched in 2014 and currently brings in a significant amount of revenue to the state. The latter seems to be the real reason for the veto, since there's been plenty of research done on online gambling over the past few years.
Rep. Brandt Iden, the sponsor of the bills and an outspoken proponent of online gambling in the Great Lakes State, commented that the governor’s veto was “incredibly disappointing,” and came somewhat out of left field. Even more disappointing, perhaps, is that Snyder is the outgoing governor; he will be replaced by Gretchen Whitmer on January 1. But despite his upcoming exit, his veto has set Michigan online gambling back at least a year.
Iden further criticized the governor’s decision, calling the veto a “ploy to monopolize money coming into the lottery,” which is not a “free-market approach.”
Plans for the Future
Iden plans to reintroduce his online gambling bills in 2019, and will also work on drafting sports betting legislation. While the stance of the incoming governor is not yet known, it can’t get much worse than Snyder’s veto. At the same time, there will be new lawmakers on the scene, which means that Iden will have his work cut out for him in getting approval once again.
However, he’s optimistic and said that he’s ready to “educate people on these issues and get them up to speed on where we are." He continued, "I’m fully prepared to do so and confident we will have a successful 2019.”