HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveVolume 26Issue 22Representative Brandt Iden Receives Golden Eagle Award
Gambling.com awarded Michigan Representative Brandt Iden a Golden Eagle Award which recognizes exceptional leaders and innovators.  Commenting on his receipt of the award, Representative Iden stated:   
“It is truly a fantastic honor to be the recipient of this year’s honorary Golden Eagle Award and have Michigan’s iGaming policy recognized by Gambling.com. I would like to thank my staff, colleagues, the Governor of our great state of Michigan and the industry advocates who spent thousands of hours and over four years of hard work helping me to make this policy a reality.”   
In an interview posted on the Gambling.com website and Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ve28RLx39wA#action=share, Representative Iden gave advice to other policy makers.   
“In the era of the pandemic and of COVID, my colleagues need to be looking at new revenue sources, and I recognize that sports betting part of that and is taking shape across the country, . . . but it is not just about sports betting but it is also about regulated online casino gaming as well. . . . It is also about making sure that it is regulated to protect consumers.  We need to protect folks that are already playing …  All of our state budgets are going to be hurting and we need new revenue opportunities and this one is one that I believe is easy to capitalize on.”     
Representative Iden noted that the effort to get online gaming in Michigan was over a four year effort with many twists and turns including getting bills passed on a bipartisan basis in 2018, only to have the Governor veto them.  He noted that he learned lessons from this and ultimately the process likely resulted in better legislation.     “What I always come back to, the driving force for this four years ago  is that I am a player myself.  I’m a gambler inherently.  . . . But I just enjoy it and I think it should be regulated, I think people should have the opportunity to play, and play safely.”
In closing remarks, Representative Iden noted that Michigan will likely be a model for other places to follow.  “Michigan is really a leader out there.  Whether it is working with these tribal entities, the commercial entities, whether it is the tax rate, we have set great public policy and it is an honor to be recognized.” 

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