Michigan Governor Kills Online Gambling Before Exit
January 9, 2019
Michigan lawmakers spent the final hours of the 2018 legislative session hammering out the details of a bill that would legalize online gambling for Michigan residents. In a surprise move, outgoing Governor Rick Snyder vetoed the bill. Now, those in Michigan will have to wait until later in 2019 to see if online casinos will be making their way to the state.
Online gambling has been under consideration in Michigan for some time. This identifies with a growing trend in the United States where more states are pushing for online gambling legislation. Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and a host of other states have made it legal for state residents to play slots, blackjack, poker, and other gambling games online for real money.
The revenues from online gambling are used to support important programs such as highway maintenance and education. Michigan was looking to make online gambling legal as a means to solve the economic problems that have beset the state in recent years. The online gambling bill introduced by the legislature provided for licensing to companies that already own land-based casinos in the state.
According to the bill, a portion of revenues from online gambling was to be allocated to the cities in which the physical casinos were located. All physical gambling venues in Michigan at the present time are located in Detroit. The city has been hard hit by the state's economic downturn, and lawmakers believed that the revenues would boost the economy and create jobs.
Governor Snyder offered no firm reasons for vetoing the bill beyond a desire to protect the Michigan lottery. He also voiced concerns that the tax and revenue portions of the bill were not clearly defined.
Lawmakers have vowed to try again in the next legislative session, but it is unlikely that Michigan will see online casinos made available until late 2019 at the earliest. In the meantime, players in the US continue to flock to overseas casinos that welcome them despite the prohibitions in some states regarding online gambling.