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Michigan Legislature Passes Sports and Online Gambling Legislation

November 4, 2019

It's Official. Michigan is on the way to becoming the 16th US state to legalized sports gambling for it's residents. The state could also become the fifth state to legalize online casino and sports gambling.

While some members of the House of Representatives admit to having reservations about moving forward with such legislation, it looks like Michigan gamblers could soon be getting access to a full slate of sports betting options, plus an opportunity to play casino games of chance (Blackjack, Slots, Craps, Roulette, etc.) online through one of Michigan's current land-based casinos in operation.

In all, there were 10 bills that were passed in the House to help setup the infrastructure to allow for such gambling activities. Access to sports and online casino gambling would be restricted to people who reside in Michigan and can offer proof of being at least 21 years of age. Under said legislation, there would be at 8.75% tax on sports betting revenues with an additional 3.25% tax slated to go right into the coffers of Detroit with said tax revenues designated to help rebuild the city.

On the online gambling side of the ledger, taxes would be phased in over the next few years based on the amount of profits derived from said activities. In year 1, the tax rate would range from 4 to 19 percent in the first three years, going to 6 to 21 percent through the fourth year and ending up at a bill high 8 to 23 percent after five years.

House Ways and Means Committee Chair Brandt Iden served as the lead sponsor on the legislative package, which was specifically designed to be on par with what most other states already have in place. There's also language in place to make sure residents are protected from predatory practices.

According to Iden, “We are making great progress on this plan to move sports betting and gaming into a safer, regulated, and modern environment – but we are falling behind other states and we must move forward. The longer we delay, the longer we put our citizens at risk, and the longer we miss out on economic benefits and needed revenue for schools and public services.”

The legislation will now move to the Senate where Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clark Lake claims he is more than willing to take up said legislation. If everything clears the Senate, it would then move to the desk of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for signature. There's currently no clear indication of where she currently stands on the issue at hand.


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