On Wednesday of this week, the Michigan House Regulatory Reform Committee approved House Bills 4926-4928 which would legalize regulated online casino gaming through casinos currently operating in Michigan, including Detroit’s three casinos and any tribal casino that reworks its compact with the state to reflect the new technology.

The Bills are sponsored by Representative Iden, who chairs the Regulatory Reform Committee.  Following the vote, he stated the following (per the Michigan House GOP website). 

 “Today’s vote was a significant first step toward approval,” Iden said. “We’ll continue to work with our colleagues in both the House and Senate next year to finalize a system that works for all involved to benefit the state of Michigan.”

“This extension of existing gaming will boost revenue to the state and our local communities for essential public services, without asking for more money through general taxes.  People already are gambling illegally online. As technology and market forces evolve, legalization of online gaming is inevitable. Michigan should be proactive – legalize it, make it safe for customers by allowing them to play on a secure and regulated system, and capitalize on its revenue benefits for the public services we all use every day.”

The legislation calls for 10 percent of gross gaming revenue to go to the state and local communities, potentially translating to millions of dollars. The plan includes a variety of built-in safety measures for consumers, including an additional $1 million to help problem gamblers.

Notably, the HB 4926 also indicates that the gaming regulators may authorize sports wagering to occur on-line with respect to college or professional sporting events if such wagering is not prohibited by federal law.   As reported in last week’s newsletter, the United States Supreme Court is currently considering a case that may overturn the federal prohibition.


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