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Michigan Legislature Approves Sports Betting and Online Gaming Bill

The US Supreme Court overturned the controversial PASPA Act last month, effectively putting an end to the federal ban on sports betting in the US.

Following the decision, a number of US states started preparing their respective legislation in hope of offering sports betting as soon as possible. New Jersey and Delaware have already made it legal, and many others are getting ready to do the same in the coming period, although some states, such as California, will have a bumpy ride before they reach their desired destination.

Michigan Wants a Piece of the Action

Lawmakers in Michigan have been busy this month. Last week, the Michigan House of Representatives approved a bill that will not allow the legalisation of online casino and poker games but will also lead to the legalisation of sports betting in the Great Lakes State.

The proposal titled H 4926 initially reached the state Legislature back in September 2017 but failed to gather support. It was reintroduced earlier this year, but it drew the attention of the lawmakers this month and was approved on the last day before the ten-week summer break.

Now, this piece of legislation will require the Senate’s approval, but we’ll have to wait a bit for this since it won’t be possible before the Legislature reconvenes in September. The good news is the bill will be on top of the Senate’s list – at least that’s what Rep. Brandt Iden is saying. Iden, who is the main sponsor of the bill, said that Michigan needed to approve the bill as soon as possible.

Michigan’s efforts to make online gambling legal go way back, and are related to the authorization of Internet gaming services in other US states.

So far, only Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware were allowed to offer services of this type, while Pennsylvania is expected to do so in the near future.

About the Latest Proposal

If H 4926 gets approved by the Senate and gets signed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, it would create a legal framework for offering online gaming services and even sports betting. Under its provisions, all three commercial casinos operating in the state, as well as 23 tribal casinos, will be allowed to offer online casino games and poker to their customers.

The bill stipulates that online gambling equipment needs to be located at gaming facilities, and also enables Michigan to make agreements with other states for sharing their player pools. The legal age for gambling online is set at 21.

According to Iden, all casino games available at the brick and mortar casinos in Michigan, such as slots, blackjack, craps, and roulette, will also be available online.

When it comes to taxation, online gaming operators will have to pay an 8% tax on their revenue. Of the tax revenue, 55% will go to Detroit casinos, 35% to the state Internet Gaming Fund, while the rest will be split between other state funds. The tax rate on sports betting is yet to be determined.

H 4926 will pave the way for the legalisation of sports betting in Michigan.