The Michigan House and Senate passed an omnibus package of gaming legislation late Thursday evening.  The legislation, encompassing a package of seven bills, covers revisions to charitable gaming, authorization and regulation of internet gaming, authorization and regulation of fantasy sports, permitting third party advance deposit wagering companies to work with Michigan’s racetracks to permit live and simulcast horse races over the internet, and amends the Michigan Gaming Control Act to modify and modernize supplier and occupational licensing procedures.

The bills regarding the charitable gaming (SB 35 and HB 4084) focus on the Millionaire Parties currently permitted under state law and provide an overhaul of the licensure of suppliers, requirements for the presence and participation of charitable organizations, increase the daily dollar limit on games, and contains several other refinements.

The third-party advance deposit wagering bill (HB 4611) legalizes horse track facilities to work with third party companies to offer wagering on live and simulcast horse races over the internet and through mobile phones.

The bill addressing fantasy sports (HB 6420) sets up regulation and licensing of operators of fantasy sports game with the MGCB having regulatory oversight.

Perhaps the most talked-about bills are the ones that authorize internet gaming (HB 4926 and HB 4927).  The bills restrict operators to the existing three Detroit casinos and Indian tribes with existing gaming compacts with the State of Michigan, and sets up a regulatory and licensing process to be followed. 

Finally, the Michigan Gaming Control Act was amended to update and modernize supplier and occupational licensing procedures in HB 5881.  The Michigan Gaming Control Act required a supermajority approval of 75% of both the House and the Senate for this bill.  The Gaming Control Act has not been amended since 1997 and was due for revisions to reflect the many changes that have affected the casino industry over the past 20 years.

The legislative session officially ends December 31, 2018.  Per the legislative process, the governor must either sign enacted bills within 14 days of passage or veto them.  Generally, if a bill is not signed or vetoed within 14 days, it automatically becomes law.  The exception is if the legislative session ends before 14 days have passed.  In this instance, if the governor does not sign the bills into law, it will constitute a “pocket veto” and they will not become law.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board is tasked by the various bills to develop rules and regulations governing internet gaming and fantasy sports.  The legislation sets a period of one year for the development and promulgation of the rules and regulation.

Please contact us if you would like a copy of any of the bills as passed by the legislature.


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