At a committee hearing on Tuesday, September 17, 2019, the Michigan House Regulatory Reform Committee voted on a package of bills relating to the casinos being able to offer sports wagering in the state of Michigan.  The Committee voted 11-2 with 2 passes on the main bill creating the Sports Betting Act (HB 4916), 12-2 with one pass on a related bill to modify the Penal Code to exempt sports betting conducted under the proposed Sports Betting Act from certain provisions of the Michigan Penal Code (HB 4917), and 12-2 with one pass on a bill to place the maximum term of imprisonment for a felony violation of the Sports Betting Act within the sentencing guidelines under the Code of Criminal Procedure (HB 4918) to refer the bills to the House Ways and Means Committee with a recommendation that they pass.  The House Ways and Means Committee is chaired by Rep. Brandt Iden (R-District 61), who is the sponsor of HB 4916.  In previous testimony before the Regulatory Reform Committee, Rep. Iden indicated that he will not advance the package of bills out of the Ways and Means Committee to the House floor for a vote until he is able to reach agreement with the Governor’s office on the appropriate taxation rate for sports wagering.  Currently, the tax rate is set at 8% in the draft legislation.

Before the vote, the Committee heard testimony on the sports wagering bill package (HB 4916-4918) from the Michigan Association on Problem Gaming (“MAPG”).  Michael Burke, President and Executive Director of MAPG, stated that MAPG and the National Council on Problem Gaming are neutral on the package of bills.  On behalf of MAPG, Mr. Burke noted the need for appropriate resources to be provided for gambling addiction and treatment (see related story below).


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