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Michigan legislature filed a hearing about the possible legalization of online gambling

October 12, 2017

Michigan legislature recently filed a hearing about the possible legalization of online gambling, which accompanied two other Michigan House bills. State Representative Brandt Iden also chaired in the hearing from last week. It's worth noting what you will find on House Bill 4926. This bill has become the primary vehicle for the House version of online gambling, and Iden describes it as the "streamlined" version.

Online Poker Report conducted an interview with Iden, and they learned his optimism for H 4926. He introduced the bill in the middle of September as a means of regulating the company iGaming from Michigan. This bill will pass through the House during the middle part of next month. Iden thinks it can be done if the bill can gain some headway. With everyone at the table to put a bill together, it will be ready. It'd be great if this could happen before Thanksgiving holiday but only time will tell how much headway we can make on it. None of the three commercial casinos of Detroit Greektown, MotorCity Casino and MGM have expressed interest in it. 

In addition, none of the 12 tribes operating within the 23 gambling facilities have testified at the informational hearing either, which could make things interesting. However, one tribe and three of the commercial casinos have already expressed opposition to the bill as it has been written so far. Still, Iden thinks the gaming interests of Michigan will cooperate once the details between the tribal casinos and corporate casinos have been fully fledged out. 

Iden expresses hope everyone will understand how legalization in the online industry should continue moving forward. They want to expand their operations because they realize the new generation of gamblers grew up on the internet. Iden says they will all work on the basis of how revenues across the industry have dropped, and casinos have to look at new ways to bring gamers back to the table if they will keep their doors open.

Hopes are that the casinos will work with Iden. However, he has said he will continue to press forward with the bill even if the casinos don't back him. If he goes it alone and they don't come forward, they will miss their opportunity. Tribal sovereignty remains one of the key problems because Michigan doesn't have the general regulatory authority over the tribal casinos. Nevertheless, earlier in the year, Michigan passed a bill that opened the doors for an online horse betting bill. We will see what happens with the future of this bill.

 


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