Magic City Casino Owners Challenge Florida Gambling Compact With Seminole Tribe

Florida State Seal With a Casino Background

Florida’s gaming compact with the Seminole tribe has been challenged by a federal lawsuit from the owners of Magic City Casino.

The lawsuit alleges that the sports betting component in the compact is based on legal fiction and that it violates the federal law.

It was filed last Friday at the U.S. District Court or the Northern District of Florida by the Havenick family owned Southwest Parimutuels. It argues that the agreement authorizing sports betting outside Florida’s tribal lands is in violation of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and asks the Court to stop the implementation of sports betting.

Said Isadore Havenick, vice president for public affairs of Southwest Parimutuels:

“While we are fully supportive of Gov. DeSantis and his work to secure a new Seminole Compact, the lawsuit focuses on a very narrow aspect of the Compact — the legality of off-reservation and online sports wagering.’’

The company claims that it stands to lose “millions” in revenues if Florida residents are allowed to make sports bets from their homes using the internet or mobile apps. It adds that this will significantly or even completely hinder their ability to compete with the tribe.

Online Bets on Sports Events

The compact, signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis and Seminole Tribe chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr. last May, would allow online bets on sports events using the internet or web applications from anywhere withing Florida beginning October 5th. All transactions however, would have to go through servers located on tribal lands to bypass both federal and state law which prohibit sports betting in Florida.

It also allows sports bets to be placed at six of the tribe’s reservations but also permits the state’s existing race tracks an jai alai frontons to develop their own mobile apps to conduct off-reservation bets if they are picked by the Tribe as its partners. Under this agreement, the parimutuel would get 60% of the bets’ proceeds while the tribe will receive the remaining 40%.

Bets “Deemed” to Bet Placed on Tribal Land

The main issue is the provision in the compact that says that a bet is “deemed” to be placed on tribal land just because of the location of the operator’s server. The lawsuit argues that this violates the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, the Wire Act, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, and other court decisions interpreting those mentioned laws.

In its 67-page complaint, Southwest Parimutuels argues that “contrary to the fiction that the 2021 Compact and Implementing Law, a bet is placed both where the bettor and the casino are located”. It also claims that such a compact between the state and Tribe can only “occur on Indian lands”. Furthermore, it says that the deal clearly allows bets to be placed outside tribal lands.

Pending Federal Review

The deal is currently awaiting approval from the U.S . Department of Interior which has 45-days to decide after the compact is submitted. A representative from the office of the governor said that it was mailed to the approving authority last June 3rd, although the lawsuit states that it was presented to the DOI on June 21st.

The tribe is also threatened by a constitutional amendment for the 2022 ballot which would authorize online sports betting at all Florida parimutuels, professional sports stadiums, and anywhere else in the state using a mobile sports betting platform. This was proposed by FanDuel and DraftKings.

Massachusetts Sen. Brendan Crighton Refiles Sports Betting Bill

Odds Board and Money
After last year’s sports betting bill was left out in the final version of the state’s economic development bill during the previous session, Lynn Democrat Sen. Brendan Crighton has refiled a new Massachusetts sports betting bill.

With the state needing additional revenues due to the pandemic, Crighton is confident that his latest bill will be passed this year. Combined with the pressure from the neighboring legal markets in New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and possibly Connecticut, Crighton believes that those could convince enough lawmakers to pass the bill in 2021.

Left out of the Economic Development Bill

Last summer, the Massachusetts House included sports betting in the original version of the economic development bill and voted 156-3 to pass it. However, the Senate never held a vote on the policy and it was left out in the final version of the economic development bill.

At that time, Sen. Eric Lesser, the lead negotiator in the senate and a Democrat from Longmeadow, said that the Senate would “like to do sports betting”. However, Lesser added that the economic development bill was not the venue to do it while preferring a stand alone bill, like the one that Sen. Crighton has filed this session.

Changes in the New Bill

While Crighton’s refiled bill is the same in most aspects. Only player aged 21 or older can place sports bets at the state’s casinos, slots parlors, horse racing tracks, simulcast facilities, and via legal online Massachusetts sports betting. However, there are several changes in some provisions, most notably in the revenue figures.

Last year’s bill proposed an application fee of $1M while the new bill provides for a $10 payment. The tax rate to be imposed on gambling companies was increased from 12.5% to 15% or revenues. Also a 1.25% renewal fee will charged to the operators every five years. These revenue changes are expected to bring in $100M in initial application fees and $45M in annual recurring revenues.

Legal Sports Betting Has Support From Stakeholders

Crighton started working on the Massachusetts sports betting bill right around the time that the U.S. Supreme Court repealed the Professional and Amateurs Sports Protection Act in 2018. Since then, he has been in contact with the stakeholders of legal Massachusetts sports betting and says he doesn’t see any deal breakers.

Massachusetts legal sports betting has the backing of the state’s major professional sports teams. Last November, the Bruins, Celtics, Patriots, Revolution, and Red Sox all co-signed a letter to the Economic Development Conference Committee showing their support for sports betting. Boston-based gambling companies DraftKings, FanDuel, and MGM Springfield also signed that letter.

Ho-Chunk Ready To Build Three Casinos After Nebraska Approval

Split Image of Four Casino Games
With Nebraska voters solidly approving Las Vegas-style gambling at the state’s horse tracks during Tuesday’s election, Ho-Chunk Inc. says it is ready to spend $300M to build three casinos at horse tracks in South Sioux City, Omaha, and Lincoln.

Ho-Chunk, which bought Atokad Park at South Sioux City in 2016, joined forces with the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protection Association to collect enough signatures to place the measures in the ballot of Tuesday’s US Elections. They were successful this time around, after failing to do so two years ago. The horsemen’s group will partner with WarHorse in managing the proposed Nebraska casinos.

Said Mike Newin, CEO and GM of Horseman’s Park Lincoln Race track:

“The casinos are going to employ over 4600 people, but we can’t turn a slot machine on or take a sports wager of playing a blackjack game until the gaming commission is established and regulations are ready to go.”

Finalizing the details and passing the legislation will take some time. But that’s just formality. Getting the approval was the biggest hurdle. And it passed that with flying colors.

65% Approval

65% of voters said YES to three ballot initiatives that would amend Nebraska’s constitution to allow casinos as the state’s six licensed horse tracks, with some the revenues to be collected from the casinos going to property tax relief and local governments.

Proponents of the measures have long argued that Nebraskans cross the state border to gamble at casinos in Iowa and other nearby states, and spend over $500M in doing so. By allowing Nebraska casinos at the state’s race tracks, that revenue can be captured and its benefits enjoyed by the state.

But Gov. Pete Ricketts, former Nebraska Football team coach Tom Osborne, and other opponents of the initiative warned that the approval of Nebraska casinos would lead to more bankruptcies, crime, and other social ills that are associated with gambling addiction.

Ready to Move Forward

Ho-Chunk Inc, which is the economic entity of the Winnebago Tribe, revealed that they have already formed a new group called WarHorse Gaming LLC, which will manage the proposed casinos. According to Ho-Chunk CEO Lance Morgan, WarHorse was just formed this week.

If all goes well, Morgan said that construction will commence next spring. The tracks in Lincoln and Omaha already have facilities and could start gaming after six months. On the other hand, Morgan estimates that it would take around nine months to build a Nebraska casino is Atokad, which only has a race track right now.

Additional live racing dates will be added at the race tracks as part of the expanded gambling plan. In recent years, Ho-Chunk held just one date of live racing at Atokad which is the minimum to retain a state license. However, with the expected boom in gambling which will be brought about by the Nebraska casinos, they are expanding the schedule.

Budget Shortfall Looms in Atlantic City Due to PILOT Bill

View of Atlantic City Beach

The crippling effect of the coronavirus pandemic to Atlantic City’s casinos will have a direct impact in the Garden State’s 2021 budget. That’s because the casinos’ total direct revenue is the basis of their annual payment to the city based on the 2016 PILOT bill.

Under the bill, which was enacted in 2016, casinos make annual payments to the city based on revenue rather than pay property taxes based on property value. Last year, Atlantic City’s casinos had a total revenue of $3.2B and they made a total of $150M payments to the city in 2019.

But with the pandemic halting casino operations for four months starting March 2020 and the imposition of health and safety restrictions that limited gaming operations since they were allowed to reopen, the casinos in Monopoly City are unlikely to duplicate last year’s performance.

Unlikely to Duplicate 2019 Performance

From January to July 2020, Atlantic City’s nine casinos have reported a total gaming revenue of $1.2B. That’s well off the $1.845B they made through the first seven months of 2019. Also, the casinos reported an average revenue increase of 11.48% per month beginning August 2019 to the end of the year.

But with the current restrictions, it’s not expected that they will overperform their previous month’s income and because of that, they are expected to come up very short of last year’s totals. Casino win has been down by more than 58% through July and is not expected to pick up with the prohibitions and restrictions currently in place.

Need For Tangible Solution

The PILOT Bill was passed to put an end to the casinos’ property tax appeals filed before the city. It was seen as a means to stabilize Atlantic City’s tax base. The bill was projected to bring a steady $120M in annual payments from the city’s nine casinos and it had been working before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

Sen. Chris Brown (R-Atlantic) who voted for the PILOT bill in 2016, recognizes the need to modify the legislation. Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-Atlantic), a prime sponsor of the PILOT bill, recognized the need to do something but noted that the city has to “be careful on how to navigate” through the looming shortfall. Meanwhile, the absence of a tangible solution has made locals fear of an imminent increase in property taxes or a decrease in municipal services.

Borgata Casino Files Lawsuit Against Ocean Casino

Borgata Hotel-Casino

Atlantic City’s top casino has filed a lawsuit against one of its competitors, claiming that the rival hired half-a-dozen of its former Marketing Executives in an effort to steal trade secrets.

The case was filed on Thursday by MGM Resort International’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa against Ocean Casino after the latter allegedly poached former Borgata executives in an attempt “to cripple” it by using details of its most profitable customers. According to Borgata, Ocean Casino violated unfair competition laws and agreements that prohibit at least two of the highest ranking executives from working for a competitor for a year after leaving.

High-Roller Customer Data

At the center of the complaint is former Borgata exec William Callahan who now works for Ocean Casino. It is alleged that Callahan has retained his Borgata-issued phone which contains valuable information about Borgata costumers. The lawsuit states that Callahan has refused to return the phone as recently as Monday this week.

Callahan was in charge of Borgata’s high-roller customers. These were patrons who spent $1.5M to $4M per visit and who would be flown in and out of the casino’s events using Borgata’s private jet. According to Borgata, these individuals were worth at least $25M per year to the company.

Aside from Callahan, Borgata also mentioned the name of former executive Kelly Ashman Burke in the document. The plaintiff also said that four other ex-marketing personnel have been hired by Ocean Casino in an attempt to “cripple” Borgata’s casino operations in Atlantic City.

Direct and Primary Competitor

The Borgata leads the nine-casino market in the area but in the lawsuit, it asserts that Ocean City is a direct and primary competitor for high-level customers in Atlantic City. Interestingly, Ocean Casino ranks just sixth among the nine Atlantic City casinos in terms of total revenues, making just one-thirds of what Borgata has raked in over the period.

The Ocean City Casino is the former Revel Casino which was shut down in 2014. The Revel operated for over two years and never came close to making a profit. But the casino reopened in 2018 under a new name and ownership and it has improved its ranking in the market.

Last month , Ocean Casino ranked second in Atlantic City casino win with its revenue of $23.6M a 23.1% increase against its July 2019 figures. Ocean saw nine straight months of slot pay growth before the coronavirus pandemic hit last March. Borgata was closed for the most part of July but in terms of income, it still makes three times more than any of its competitor.

NBA Launches NBABet Steam in Orlando Bubble


The NBA used the bubble tournament in Orlando to showcase NBABet Stream, a new and experimental betting-focused broadcast option which is available via NBA League Pass and NBA TV Networks.

A Betting-Focused Broadcast Option

NBABet Stream features tailored commentary, different camera angles, and enhanced graphics. The stream also has real-time betting odds and stats provided by BetMGM. The league used nine seeding games for the first run of this betting-driven telecast. Said NBA head of Fantasy and Gaming SVP Scott Kaufman-Ross:

“The point of an alternate broadcast is for it to be different from the primary telecast. We didn’t feel we needed a perfect professional play-by-play person. We wanted to provide a group of people that would simulate you and your friends talking about the game from a betting perspective. It’s light. It’s fun. It’s supposed to be much more conversational and provide a different way of viewing the game — specifically, in this case, targeted at those thinking through betting concepts as they are watching NBA content.”

Aside from the alternative camera angles, betting odds, and stats, NBABet Stream also showcases betting analysts from the likes of Bleacher Report, Yahoo Sports, and Action Network to provide commentary and analysis throughout the broadcast. The alternate broadcast also gives fans a more engaging option to watching the games, especially since they are not allowed to watch inside the venue due to health and safety protocols.

New Sports Betting Landscape

Teams in other sports have experimented with alternate broadcasts centered on betting. But as far as the NBA is concerned, NBC Sports affiliates, beginning in Washington D.C., started offering alternate telecasts while focusing on in-game betting. But other than that, this is the first step for the NBA at a league level. It’s the NBA’s latest step in its approach to the new sports gambling landscape in the United States.

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 in May 2018. The Act restricted and regulated sports betting primarily in the state of Nevada. Since the 2018 ruling, legal sportsbooks have opened in a total of 18 states plus the District of Columbia. There are several other states which are waiting to launch sports betting in their areas. Last month, William Hill USA opened inside the Capital One Arena, complete with betting windows and self-serving kiosks. It is the first ever physical sportsbook to open inside a U.S. sports arena venue.

As for NBABet Stream, it is an experiment for the league this season but according to Kauffman-Ross, the league thinks that this is where the nature of the game broadcasts are headed to. It may be a secondary screen option right now but they are looking at the possibility of integrating watching a game and betting in the near future.

A New Gambling Bill in Missouri Has Been Introduced

Missouri has a unique set of gambling regulations. Recently, a large number of illegal gambling machines have begun appearing around the state. As a result, a new gambling bill in Missouri was just introduced. Slot Machines Inside A Casino

It’s an interesting development. Missouri is now one of many states currently working to revamp its gambling industry. Today, we’re going to take a look at what exactly is being proposed.

Missouri’s Gambling Laws, Explained

Missouri is considered to have fairly liberal laws towards the gambling industry. Throughout the 1800s, the state had a large and successful gaming market. Eventually, harsh regulations were placed on this industry and gambling venues were forced to go underground.

In 1980, the state began allowing bingo gambling. About a decade later, a law was passed here to allow riverboat casinos. Many of these venues quickly began operating in the state.

Poker laws here are a little unusual. Technically, social poker games are allowed in private residences. Those charging to host poker games or playing with people you are not familiar with is actually against the law.

Generally, though, lawmakers in this state are open to the gambling industry. There are many online casinos in Missouri available that are growing more popular every single day.

Several bills have been introduced here to legalize sports betting. Some feel that 2020 is the year that officials finally decide to start regulating this form of gambling.

A rise in illegal gambling machines is being found in this state. Now, lawmakers have proposed a new set of bills to combat this issue.

What Does The New Gambling Bill in Missouri Allow For?

Missouri still isn’t thought of as a gambling hub. Recently, law enforcement officials here have discovered a rise in electronic gambling machines throughout the state. A new gambling bill in Missouri was introduced that’s intended to help increase legal gambling revenue.

This bill, called Senate Bill 566, allows for state-regulated video gambling machines to become available in fraternal and veterans’ organizations, truck stops and retail locations with liquor licenses. Only those above the age of 21 would be allowed to play. The State Lottery Commission would be in charge of monitoring these machines.

Not everyone is on board with these new regulations, though. Senator John Rizzo has expressed his fear that this will have a negative impact on children.

“I don’t want a kid to walk in a gas station to get a Gatorade and have to walk past three or four of these machines,” he said. 

The proponents of this bill believe that legalizing these machines will offer a serious benefit. Local areas where these gambling machines are available will also profit, they argue. It’s still unclear how the Senate and House will rule on these proposed regulations.

The Push For Sports Betting Continues in Missouri

Sports betting is now legal and regulated in more than 20 states across the country. This is all thanks to PASPA, which the Supreme Court struck down in May of 2018. In most states with regulated sports gambling, a huge amount of revenue is being made through taxes.

More and more states are beginning to see the potential in this industry. New Jersey, for example, is now one of the sports betting hubs of the United States.

Back in 2018, a bill was introduced to legalize sports gambling in Missouri. Unfortunately, it failed to make it past the legislative session. More attempts were made last year, to no avail. Many now believe that 2020 is the year this industry is finally allowed in the state.

One new gambling bill in Missouri that calls for the legalization of sports betting is now making its way to the Senate. The bill, called H 2318, seems very likely to be approved. Several major politicians have already endorsed it.

It’s an exciting time for gambling fans here. Before long, several new forms of gambling may become available here.

Virginia’s Gambling Industry is Ready to Expand

Over the past few months, lawmakers in Virginia have discussed plans to allow commercial casinos and sports betting. It’s a huge change, as in the past, very few forms of gambling were allowed here. Today, we’re going to look at how Virginia’s gambling industry could expand over the next few months. West Virginia

It’s an exciting time for both casino gambling and sports betting fans in the state. There’s a lot scheduled to come here over the next couple of months.

Bill to Allow Commercial Casinos Advances in Virginia

State officials in Virginia have discussed plans to allow casino gambling for years. In 2013, a push was made to start allowing riverboat casinos here. It was nearly approved, yet ultimately failed in the State Senate.

Gambling proponents haven’t given up, though. Many politicians here have continued to push for the legalization of land-based casinos. These gambling venues will help to bring the state millions of dollars, officials argue.

Finally, it appears these casinos may be on their way. In November, a bill to allow commercial casinos in Virginia was approved by a Senate Subcommittee. Lawmakers here are now reviewing this bill to see how it will impact the state.

Before this can be done, several steps need to be taken. The bill still needs to gain approval from the Senate and House. Eventually, residents in Virginia will need to approve the new casino plans, as well.

Virginia’s gambling industry is set to expand soon. This week, several experts began to raise concerns about problem gambling in the state.

Virginia Residents Warn About the Dangers of Gambling Addiction

There are several reasons why Virginia has been so anti-gambling over the years. Lawmakers here have been very concerned about the dangers that this industry poses on society. With Virginia’s gambling industry set to expand, several experts in the state have once again begun warning about the dangers of gambling addiction.

Billy Hoffman, a former gambling addict and current member of Gamblers Anonymous, spoke about the dangers of this new industry. He claims that unlike most substance addiction, gambling offers a sense of hope. Dr. Carolyn Hawley, the president of the problem gambling council in Virginia, spoke about these issues, as well.

“As we’ve seen those markets expand, we’re seeing more people reporting those problems,” she said. “We have to have those discussions and a comprehensive plan in place, because there are some people who develop significant problems. And that hurts the individual. It hurts their families. It hurts their communities.”

Several lawmakers in the state recognize the dangers of this new industry. Fortunately, they have a huge number of other states to ask for guidance. Many states around the country have recently begun to expand their casino and sports gambling laws.

There are certainly more pros than cons when it comes to the gambling industry. Virginia will likely soon begin earning millions of dollars a month in the form of gambling taxes. This is especially true if the state decides to allow sports gambling.

Will Virginia’s Gambling Industry Include Sports Betting?

Since May of 2018, every state in the country has the ability to legalize sports betting. This is thanks to the Supreme Court striking down PASPA. Since that time, 21 states have officially decided to legalize and regulate sports gambling.

Many of these states are now earning a huge amount of money from the industry. New Jersey, in particular, is bringing in an incredible amount of revenue from taxing the state’s legal sports betting operators. Virginia lawmakers seem to recognize this and seem ready to embrace the sports gambling industry.

The state’s sports betting bills recently passed through the Virginia General Assembly. Under this bill, Virginia’s Lottery Board will take control of sports betting regulation. Hope is that the state’s sports betting options are available before the end of the year.

Lawmakers seem to recognize that it’s time for Virginia’s gambling industry to grow. Many states around the country are choosing to earn more money from their gaming markets every month.

It’s still unclear exactly when the first casinos will begin operating here. Several Native American tribes have recently begun presenting plans to open casinos in different parts of the state. In time, Virginia may become one of the East Coast’s gambling hubs.

Stay tuned for more Virginia gambling news over the next few months!

A Bill to Keep Preakness in Baltimore is Introduced

Since 1873, Baltimore, Maryland has played host to the Preakness Stakes. It’s one of the largest horse races in America, drawing in more than one hundred thousand spectators every year. This week, lawmakers in Maryland introduced a new bill to keep Preakness in Baltimore.Preakness Stakes

This comes after the state’s main track owners threatened to relocate this historic race. For obvious reasons, a huge number of individuals want to see the Preakness Stakes stay where it is. Today, we’re going to explain why the race may change locations, and what some lawmakers are doing to stop this from happening.

History of the Preakness Stakes

There’s a good chance you’ve heard of the Preakness Stakes. It’s one of horse racing’s Crown Jewels, and one of the most-watched races in the United States. As we already mentioned, the first race took place in 1873 and has taken place annually at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

Some of the most famous horses in history have raced in the Preakness. Incredibly, the record for fastest track time is still held by Secretariat, set all the way back in 1973. The winning prize for this race has increased dramatically since that time.

When the Preakness Stakes first began, the winner took home just $3,000. Today, the race winner is paid an incredible $1.65 million. This figure will continue to increase as time goes on.

The Preakness has been an important part of Baltimore’s history. It helps to draw in a huge number of tourists and generates millions of dollars in revenue for the city every year. In 2019, an agreement was made to permanently keep the Preakness at Pimlico. Unfortunately, a dispute between the state and Maryland’s track owner, The Stronarch Group, began to escalate.

Eventually, TSG threatened to move this race elsewhere. Lawmakers are now doing everything they can to ensure this doesn’t happen.

Lawmakers Present Bill to Keep Preakness in Baltimore

There are obvious reasons to keep the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Track. There’s a unique history here and moving the race elsewhere would take away from its magic. Several lawmakers recognize this, and recently presented a bill to keep Preakness in Baltimore.

This bill pledges $180 million funded by state bonds to help rebuild the historic race track. TSG has argued that Pimlico is no longer suitable for the Preakness Stakes. State officials argue that TSG underinvested in the track, causing the issue that we’re seeing now.

Lawmakers also claim that TSG can only legally change the race’s location “as a result of a disaster or emergency.” The money pledged by the state will go towards rebuilding Pimlico’s grandstand, clubhouse, and improving the track itself. Jack Young, current Mayor of Baltimore, commented on this new plan to the media this week.

“Today’s bill introduction is a critical step forward for Baltimore as it preserves the great tradition of Preakness at Pimlico and signals the commitment of significant investment in the Park Heights community,” he said.

Pimlico isn’t the only major track getting an upgrade. An additional $155 million will be put towards the improvement of Laurel Park Race Track.

Hope is that the bill to keep Preakness in Baltimore is approved quickly. Most agree that it’s the best course of action to preserve the history of the race while modernizing Maryland’s best tracks.

Maryland Continues to Push for Legal Sports Betting

Horse race wagering is hugely popular in Maryland. This form of gambling has taken place in this state for more than a century. Unfortunately, this is the only real form of “sports wagering” currently allowed here. This could change soon, though.

Since May of 2018, every state in the country has been given the green light to legalize traditional sports betting. Thus far, 21 states have officially approved sports gambling legislation. Many more are likely to do so over the next few months.

In early 2018, lawmakers in Maryland presented a bill to “study the implementation of sports gaming in the state.” The goal was to better understand how much revenue could be earned from this industry. Since that time, lawmakers have continued to look for ways to make sports wagering legal in the state.

As of now, no bill has been approved. Some feel 2020 is the year that Maryland finally approves sports betting. Several nearby states including New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania all now have legal sports betting markets. Most are profiting massively as a result.

The bill to keep Preakness in Baltimore may not be the only one making headlines this year. We’ll need to wait and see how long it takes for state officials to agree on sports betting legislation.

Stay tuned for more updates over the next few months!

Online Gambling in Michigan is Officially Legal

For years, officials in Michigan have been working to expand the state’s gambling laws. This week, their efforts have finally paid off. Online gambling in Michigan is now officially legal. It’s extremely exciting for gaming fans here.Michigan State Outline

That’s not all! Sports gambling has also been made legal in this state. Today, we’re going to look at the road to make this happen. We’ll also talk about exactly what forms of gambling are now legal in this state.

Let’s get into it!

Michigan’s Long Road to Sports Betting, Online Gambling Legalization

Since PASPA was struck down in May of 2018, several politicians in Michigan have stated their desire to see sports betting legalized in the state. It’s a highly profitable industry, helping to earn many states millions of dollars every month. Unfortunately, some of the most powerful politicians in Michigan have been hesitant to embrace any new gambling expansion plans.

Michigan has been close to sports betting legalization several times. In 2018, it was approved by both the House and the Senate, yet Governor Gretchen Whitmer vetoed the bill at the last minute. It was extremely disappointing news, particularly for sports fans here.

As soon as 2019 kicked off, lawmakers once again began working to legalize new forms of gambling in the state. House Bill 4916 was introduced and eventually made its way through the state’s legislative bodies. In September, the bill was officially approved by Michigan’s House Committee.

Some had concerns that Governor Whitmer would once again shut down this bill at the last minute. She had voiced her concerns over the bill, particularly with its tax structure.

Fortunately, the Governor decided that it was time for Michigan to embrace some new forms of gambling.

Sports Betting and Online Gambling in Michigan Are Now Legal

House Bill 4916 slowly made its way through Michigan’s legislative bodies. This week, the bill had its final test with Governor Whitmer. She decided to approve the bill, meaning both sports betting and online gambling in Michigan are now legal.

Many supporters of this bill believe that the newly-expanded gambling laws will help bring millions of dollars to the state. The majority of the money will go towards the School Aid Fund. Some will be used to help pay for firefighters’ medical costs, as well.

Gretchen Whitmer commented on the approval of the bill to the media this week.

“My top priority in signing this legislation was protecting and investing in the School Aid Fund, because our students deserve leaders who put their education first,” she said. “Thanks in part to the hard work and leadership of Senator Hertel and Representative Warren, these bills will put more dollars in Michigan classrooms and increase funding for firefighters battling cancer.”

An 8.4% tax rate will be applied to sports betting operators in the state. Taxes for online gambling range from 20% to 28%.

Many are now wondering when exactly the new gambling options will become available here.

When Will Sports Betting and Online Gambling Be Available in Michigan?

This is the million-dollar question. Several states legalized sports gambling, yet took months to actually get their sports betting operations up and running. Hopefully, this is not what happens here in Michigan.

Ultimately, it will come down to how long it takes the Michigan Gaming Control Board to set specific regulations on the industry. Of course, there will be different rules for sports betting and online gambling in Michigan.

Once a set of gambling laws are established, lawmakers will need to choose which sports betting companies can operate in the state. Several of the biggest sports betting companies in the UK are now actively working to break into the US market.

Several lawmakers are pushing to have this industry available to the public before March Madness. If it does, the state will likely earn millions of dollars via revenue from the bets placed on the popular NCAA tournament.

Online gambling in Michigan is finally here. If you’re a gambling fan in the state, things just became a lot easier.

Stay tuned for more US online gambling news over the next few months!