Michigan House Approves Online Gambling BillPublished June 26, 2018 by Elana K
In a 68-40 vote, Michigan lawmakers in the State House have approved a bill that would legalize online gambling; the legislation allows currently-existing commercial and tribal casinos to apply for online casino licenses.
In a 68-40 vote, the Michigan House has approved a bill that would legalize online gambling; the legislation allows currently-existing commercial and tribal casinos to apply for online casino licenses from the Division of Internet Gaming, a body that would be created within the already-existing Michigan Gaming Control Board. Michigan’s tribal casinos, however, would have to amend their existing compacts in order to apply.
About the Bill
Rep. Brandt Iden introduced the legislation in December 2017 and since then has been pushing it forward. He believes that Michigan residents are gambling on illegal sites and wholly unprotected. Regulating legal sites would provide consumer protection as well as revenue to the state.
The revenue would come from an 8 percent tax on online gambling and application fees. Of the total tax revenue, 35 percent would go to the Internet Gaming Fund, 5 percent each to the Michigan Transportation Fund and School State Fund, and 55 percent would go to Detroit, the most populous state in Michigan and where all 3 of Michigan’s commercial casinos are located.
The bill also calls for a $100,000 application fee for an online gaming license, and if approved, $200,000 to receive the initial license and $100,000 each subsequent year. While it certainly sounds like a lot of money, it’s all relative; Pennsylvania is currently charging $10 million for comprehensive gaming licenses.
What’s the Next Move?
While the House’s approval is the first step, the next step is for the bill to be sent to the Senate. The Senate, however, is not due back in session until September 2018.
If the Senate approves the bill, Michigan governor Rick Snyder will then need to sign it. And perhaps, at the bill awaits approval or after it’s received, Michigan lawmakers may consider legalizing sports betting, which is now possible due to the Supreme Court’s recent repeal of PASPA. Delaware and New Jersey have already legalized sports betting, and it's just a matter of time before other states follow suit.