Michigan Introduces Bill to Legalize Online GamblingPublished April 18, 2016 by Elana K
Last week, Michigan jumped into the discussion of legalizing online gambling when state senator Mike Kowall introduced a bill that would legalize and regulate online gambling in the Great Lakes State.
While New York, Pennsylvania and California have been the frontrunners for being the next state to legalize online gambling, Michigan has now become a likely candidate as well. Last week, state senator Mike Kowall introduced a bill that would legalize and regulate online gambling in the Great Lakes State.
About the Bill
SB 889 cites three valid reasons for regulating internet gambling: consumer protection, generating revenue and creating jobs. The three states that have thus far regulated internet gambling (Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey) have all found that their regulations have been successful in bringing these three things about.
Part of the consumer protection that the bill mentions includes prohibiting Michigan citizens below the age of 21 from participating in online gambling. Revenue would be generated from a $5 million licensing fee that operators would need to pay in order to be approved, plus a 10% revenue tax on gross gaming revenue.
Most of the states that have legalized or are considering legalizing online gambling have submitted multiple drafts of bills, so it won’t be surprising if Michigan’s SB 899 undergoes some revisions of its own, which might include the amount of the licensing fee and taxes.
One interesting point in the bill is that it does not require wagering to take place within state borders, providing that the wagering is not inconsistent with federal laws. With this clause, Michigan has opened the door to interstate compacts. Of course, it still needs to be approved, and this might be one of the clauses that other lawmakers object to.
Online gambling seems to be a natural progression for the direction Michigan is headed; in January of 2015, the state legalized online sales of lottery tickets, one of the first states to do so. Michigan is also looking into regulating Daily Fantasy Sports, which makes it a great candidate for passing regulations for online casino games as well.