The state of Michigan is inching closer to a brand-new set of regulations for the online gambling industry. A new bill by Brandt Iden geared towards legalizing the industry has passed a committee at the House of Representatives.
Passing the first hurdle
Recently, the Ways and Means Committee of the Michigan House of Representatives approved the online casino and sports betting bill by Brandt Iden. Now, the bills will be debated at the House, which could then put them to the vote. The state of Michigan has always adopted a fair and welcoming approach to the gambling industry but has never legalized the market. In a way, the gambling market status of both Michigan and Illinois are the same, and both the states are waking up to the possibilities only now.
Michigan’s politicians have had a hard time getting a legalized gambling bill through. Former Governor Rick Snyder vetoed legislation that would make online gambling legal. After last year’s disappointment, the lawmakers are debating the bill yet again in hopes of getting it through. Earlier this year, Iden presented his bill to the lawmakers as a single bill dedicated to betting and online gambling. In September, he separated the two bills hoping that it would be easier to tackle an online gambling bill if presented separately.
“This is really about updates. This is about the future of the industry. This is about making sure Michigan stays competitive.”
Can Michigan change history this time?
Most of Michigan lawmakers are throwing their weight behind the bill, but Governor Gretchen Whitmer fears that online gambling would eat away at the revenue of the state lottery. That criticism may not last long given that Nevada and New Jersey have not experienced any issues with the lottery even after legalized online gambling.
The bill will not just create a regulated market for online gambling and betting but would also confer an 8% tax on their revenue. The three licenses casinos in the state alongside the 23 tribal casinos will be able to offer the service to customers. The state is expected to follow the New Jersey model of gambling framework, which means that revenue expectations could also be similar. As cross-border gambling is not legal, the options will only be open to legal age players located in the state.
Given the size of the Michigan market, the interest in gambling and the performance of New Jersey’s newly legalized market, the state is expected to add $54.8 million to its coffers via online gambling revenue.