Michigan online gambling bills filed

Online Gambling in Michigan

Legislators in Michigan are making another strong push to bring legalized gambling to the state after efforts once again stalled late last year.

Michigan came as close as a state can get to bringing in legalized online gambling last year before it failed at the final hurdle. House Bill 4926 passed through both the House and the Senate and only needed the signature of the Governor to be passed into law.

That’s where the bill died after then Governor Rick Snyder vetoed the bill and would not sign it.

Despite the last-minute death of HB 4926 Michigan legislators are trying again. Earlier this week two new bills that would legalize online gambling in Michigan were filed in both the House and the Senate.

In the Senate Curtis Hertel filed S186, while in the House, Brandt Iden, who was also behind HB 4926, filed HB 4311.

How do Michigan online gambling bills compare?

Both bills are very similar and if passed would establish the Lawful Internet Gaming Act and legalize online gambling in Michigan. All players would need to be 21 years of age or older and within the state boundaries.

Current brick and mortar private casino operators and tribal casino operators would be eligible to apply for an internet gaming license. Licenses would be valid for five years. The original license fee would be $200,000 with additional $100,000 fees due each year.

All gross gaming revenue would be taxed at eight per cent.

Seeing how a bill very similar to the news ones just filed passed through the House and Senate in Michigan last year one might expect the same result for then new bills. However, elections have changed the faces and numbers in both chambers, so nothing is guaranteed.

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If another bill does make it through both chambers it won’t come before Rick Snyder again. There’s a new governor in Michigan, Democrat Gretchen Whitman. Whether she will be more accommodating to online gaming legalization in Michigan remains to be seen.

She she has not spoken publicly on the issue nor has she firmly placed her support on either side, yay or nay, of the issue.

The next stop for both bills is the House Committee on Regulatory Reform. According to reports the next hearing for the committee is Tuesday, March 12.


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