Internet Gaming Bills
Last Wednesday, March 8, 2017, the Senate Committee on Regulatory Reform favorably voted out of committee internet-related gaming bills Senate Bill 0203 (“SB 0203”), Senate Bill 0204 (“SB 0204”) and Senate Bill 0205 (“SB 0205”) (collectively “Internet Gaming Bills”).
SB 0203 is entitled the “Lawful Internet Gaming Act “(“Act”) and seeks to allow for the legalization, regulation and taxation of privately operated internet gaming in the state. SB 0203 is tie barred with SB 0204, a one-page bill that seeks to amend the penal code to allow for gambling conducted under the Act. SB 0205, which is also tie barred with SB 203, would amend the sentencing guidelines for violations of the Act.
According to Casino City Times, several witnesses testified before the committee including Poker Players Alliance, Amaya Gaming, Innovation Group, Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, and a representative of the Michigan Gaming Control Board (“MGCB”).
If passed, the Internet Gaming Bills would create the Division of Internet Gaming within the MGCB, and grant the MGCB the authority to issue applicants an internet gaming license if certain criteria are met. Furthermore, the bills would authorize commercial and tribal casinos (Class III) to allow both intrastate and interstate internet wagering (if permitted by federal law). Furthermore, it allows tribes to offer internet wagering by complying with the Act or by way of a compact amendment
The Internet Gaming Bills now go to the senate floor for consideration.
In connection with the committee meeting, the Senate provided an updated Bill Analysis on the Internet Gaming Bills, which can be found here.
Simulcast Horse Wagering at Detroit Casinos
On Thursday, March 9, 2017, State Rep. Robert Kosowski (D-Westland), introduced House Bill 4338 which seeks to amend the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act to allow the Detroit casinos to televise and accept wagers on simulcast horse races held either inside or outside of the state. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Regulatory Reform.
Sports Wagering at Detroit Casinos; Legislative Analysis Published
On January 18, 2017, State Rep. Robert Kosowski (D-Westland) introduced House Bill No. 4060 (HB 4060), which proposes to amend the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act to authorize wagers on sporting events to be placed at the state’s commercial casinos. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Regulatory Reform. Notably, a legislative analysis has been produced by the Michigan House which projects the three Detroit Casinos could generate $25.0–30.0 million in adjusted gross receipts annually.
The enactment of this legislation remains contingent upon a change in federal law, as federal law currently prohibits sports wagering in all states except Nevada, Oregon, Montana, and Delaware.
Bingo Act Overhaul
On February 9, 2017, Substitute 1 to Senate Bill No. 0035 (SB 0035) received approval from the state Senate. Introducedon January 18, 2017 by Senator Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) the bill seeks to amend the “Traxler-McCauley-Law-Bowman Bingo Act” and overhaul the Bingo Act’s provisions regulating charitable millionaire parties held within the state. The bill moved to the House for consideration where it was referred to the House Committee on Regulatory Reform.