HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveVolume 25Issue 23MICHIGAN HOUSE INTRODUCES SPORTS WAGERING BILL

Michigan has joined the growing number of states that have authorized or are considering authorizing sports wagering.  On September 4, 2019, Rep. Brandt Iden (R-District 61) introduced the Sports Betting Act, HB 4916, which was subsequently referred to the House Committee on Regulatory Reform.  The Sports Betting Act joins several other gaming-related bills that Rep. Iden has introduced this legislative term, including bills proposing to authorize online wagering, modernize Michigan’s Gaming Control & Revenue Act, and authorize and regulate fantasy sports. HB 4916 is in fact tie-barred to HB 4311, the internet gaming bill.

HB 4916 contemplates allowing the three commercial Detroit casinos as well as any federally recognized tribe that operates Calls II gaming to apply for a licensee with the Michigan Gaming Control Board to offer sports wagering.  Tribal casinos would not have to apply for a licensee to offer retail sports wagering, but if they want to offer internet sports wagering, they would have to apply for a license as an internet gaming operator pursuant to Rep. Iden’s HB 4311 that authorizes and regulates internet wagering.  HB 4916 proposes annual license fees of $100,000 for a sports betting license ($200,000 for the initial annual fee), $50,000 for a management services provider license, and $5,000 for a supplier license.  While HB 4916 does not initially mandate a payment of a sports integrity fee to professional sports leagues, it does indicate that the sports leagues may request that the MGCB determine that only official league data be used and to be compensated “on commercially reasonable terms”.  HB 4916 sets a tax rate for sports wagering receipts at 8%, with 30% of that tax being allocated to the locality in which the casino is located.

As with similar sports wagering laws, HB 4916 requires operators to utilize monitoring system software to detect any irregular betting activity as well as “geo-fencing” technology to determine that any mobile wagers are made from within the State of Michigan or any other state that permits sports wagering and has entered into a multi-jurisdictional agreement with Michigan.  The draft legislation also deems any internet sports wagers to be placed at the casino’s physical location, regardless of where the bettor is located.

The House Regulatory Reform Committee is scheduled to take up HB 4916 at its Standing Committee Meeting on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.


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