Summary: Representative Brandt Iden is not happy with the outcome of his online gambling package, still unsure as to why the Michigan Governor decided to veto the bills.
Online gambling has been in the works for the state of Michigan for around four years now with efforts finally seeing a legislative package that had the chance to become law. Representative Brandt Iden worked tirelessly on a set of online gambling bills, taking on the responsibility of sponsor, pushing other lawmakers to get on board.
The state was able to see an online gambling bill package pass within the House and Senate, only to be shut down by Governor Rick Snyder, who choose to veto the bill as he prepared to leave office.
Snyder Goes Out With a Bang
Governor Synder will not be retaking his place as Governor of the state and decided to use his last decisions in the position to veto the online gambling package. Now, the state will be set back at least one more year as they try to work on legislation that will allow for online casino and poker games, sports betting and more.
In speaking with Online Poker Report, Iden stated that the veto pen was out for the entire package and he is disappointed with the outcome. The Rep. had no idea that the veto was coming, as stakeholders were in support and any concerns about online gaming had been eliminated. For lawmakers in the state, online gaming was basically a done deal and they expected that the governor would sign his name on the dotted line.
According to the Rep. Iden, the office of the governor supplied reasons for the veto which included concerns about how online gaming would impact revenues within the state-run lottery. Concerns also include an overall expansion of the gambling industry for the state.
Iden now has plans to reintroduce the bills when the new legislative session begins next month. Along with his original plans, the Rep. also will be focusing to see the state become involved in the sports betting industry.
Protecting the Lottery
According to Iden, a big reason behind the veto was to protect the lottery, which is run by the state. A portion of lottery revenues go towards public schools in Michigan, with the money much-needed for educational purposes.
In defense of online gaming, Iden pointed out that other states have been successful with their lottery gaming despite offering online gaming as well. New Jersey is one such example that the Rep. pointed out. The state has seen lottery revenues actually increase with online gambling.
However, it must be considered that Michigan already offers online lottery gaming and there is no state to compare to when considering online lottery games and online casino and/or poker games.
As far as calling the changes a gambling expansion, Rep. Iden sees the changes as a new platform instead of expanding. The state already has 23 tribal casinos in operation and commercial gaming venues. With online casino and poker gaming, players will have a new platform to access that only accentuates the existing offerings.
For now, Michigan lawmakers like Iden will have to start over and hope that support remains so that legislation can become law in 2019, allowing for online gaming to take place, plus sports betting too. All eyes will be on Michigan as efforts renew to see the iGaming industry come to fruition within the state.