Michigan passes online gambling bill

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Michigan legislators have sprung a surprise by passing Rep. Brandt Iden’s online gambling bill on a 68 vs. 40 vote.

As per the bill, licensed land-based casinos can now obtain licenses from the state to offer internet gaming. They will have to pay an 8 per cent tax on GGR based on intrastate activity. The minimum age for betting would be 21 years. The total cost for each application and five-year licensure would be $800,000.

 “It will allow internet gaming as it relates to all of the currently allowed games in a brick-and-mortar casino, that’d be poker, roulette, black jack, craps,” Iden told local media, noting that his legislation also sets up the framework for legal sports betting, although he said the Michigan Gaming Control Board first would need to legalise sports betting state-wide following the recent US Supreme Court decision striking down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.

“The gaming commission is looking for the Legislature to take the initial step,” said Iden. “They believe they have the parameters to do it, but one of the things we need to set up is that tax rate.”

Iden said tribal casinos would be included in the online gambling provisions.

“I believe that the tribal casinos ended up with 90-plus percent of what they wanted in this,” Iden said, indicating a “poison pill” that would rescind online gambling from tribal casinos if the federal government rules that tribal casinos are not able to participate in gaming off-reservation.

According to a House Fiscal Analysis, tax revenue from online gambling would be divided four ways, Iden said. Five percent would go towards school aid, with 5 per cent for transportation, 55 per cent to the city of Detroit and 45 per cent to the Internet Gaming Fund, which will administer the online gambling programme.

The bill now moves to the state Senate, but likely will not be taken up until August this year. 


Source: reviewed-casinos.com