Online Gambling Bill Might Be on Michigan Governor’s Desk by Year’s End

Summary: As 2018 comes to an end, the state of Michigan might send an online gambling bill to the governor’s desk before December is over.

Online gambling is under discussion in several states within the US, with some further along in their efforts than others. Leading the pack, Michigan has been preparing to introduce online gambling legislation and moving the bill along as quickly as possible.

Representative Brandt Iden has been leading the charge, just recently stating that a bill might reach the governor’s desk before the year’s end.

Working on Passing Legislation

MichiganRepresentative Iden attended the US Sports Betting Policy Summit this week, stating that he has been working with fellow Senate members to see a gambling bill come to fruition during the lame-duck session in the state. During the event, Iden stated that he feels that his bill, H 4926, will make it to the governor for signing by the end of the year.

The bill is currently sitting in the Committee on Government Operations in the Senate, having already passed within the House earlier in the year.

Known as the Lawful Internet Gaming Act, the bill would place the Gaming Control Board of the state in charge of setting regulations for online sports betting operations.

Within the board, a Division of Internet Gaming would be created, with the group being in charge of overseeing online casino and poker gaming.

With all the details covered in the bill, there is still time for it to move forward. This month, three days remain in session while nine are set for next month.

If the bill does not move forward and pass into law this year, efforts will have to start over. In an odd year, the state does not allow bills to carry over.

In the unfortunate event that the bill does not move forward, the Iden would have to start from scratch.

The Representative has his eye on several areas of gaming, including working on another bill that will be focused on sports betting. He must create any legislation involving gaming with a focus on commercial needs as well as tribal interests, plus keeping in mind the state lottery.

At OnlinePokerReport, Iden had stated that he was looking at what was done in New Mexico regarding gaming. The state created compact amendments recently that allowed sports betting within tribal venues. Iden has stated that this is similar to what Michigan will need to implement to ensure that the tribal interests are met.

Current Online Gambling Landscape

In the United States, online gambling is only operational in Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey. Pennsylvania passed legislation in late 2017 but has yet to get started. Efforts are being completed to get the ball rolling, but operators might not get going until early 2019.

If Michigan is able to pass legislation this year, they could get started in 2019, becoming only the 5th state to begin offering online gambling in the US.

As far as sports betting is concerned, if Michigan is able to pass legislation, they would become the 9th state to offer legal sports betting in some form or fashion. States that have already passed legislation include: Delaware, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia.

We shall see over the coming weeks if Rep Brant is able to get his bill passed on to the governor’s desk and if the state will be able to see online gambling come to fruition before the year ends.

Posted in: iGaming Regulatory & Industry