Michigan Moves Forward Internet Poker Bill
November 5, 2019
Michigan has long been thought of as a likely place for legalized online poker to take hold. Most expected that Michigan being a rather blue state politically might push forward legalized online poker sooner rather than later. However, there have been a number of roadblocks along the way.
The state has moved towards legalization in fits and starts. All of a sudden it now appears more likely than not that it is headed for passage. In a whirlwind, this bill has gone from an idea to passage on the House floor. It is something that proponents of legalized online poker are cheering, and it is something that may be signed once it reaches the Governor's desk.
A lot of this is due to the hard work of State Representative Brandt Iden. He has worked extremely hard to keep this issue on the table and under discussion. It is one of the causes that he has taken up as a State Representative, and one that he continues to push for even when there is not pending legislation ready to go.
Most observers believed that there was not any hope of legislation coming to the floor in 2019 in Michigan. That is when Representative Iden hit everyone with a surprise. On October 29th he introduced a new version of the bill with tiered taxation systems in place for the various online operators. It is something that the Governor's office had been looking for, and it appears that Iden is trying to reach some kind of compromise with the Governor. However, the Governor's office has not made any similar moves and could not be reached for comment on this.
The vote in the House was 63-45 in favor of passage. It will now move on to the Senate. Representative Iden was wise in his timing of this legislation as the Senate has a busy couple of weeks ahead of it. There is a greater potential than usual that they may be able to slide this piece of legislation into their agenda. It definitely makes action on this bill more likely than it otherwise would be.
What we don't yet know is what the Governor will do. The newly-elected Democratic Governor has expressed some reservations about the legislation, and it is entirely possible that she may decide to veto the entire thing. Poker players everywhere are keeping a close eye on this one to see which way Michigan will finally decide to go.