Summary: With the November mid-term elections having ended, a representative of Michigan is in office once again, hopefully set to see the state get started with online gambling.
Yesterday in the United States, the mid-term elections took place, with individuals across the nation vying for a position within Congress as well as Governor and other positions. Amendments were placed on the ballot involving gambling, with certain individuals vying for a spot as a politician with their eye on gambling as well.
In Michigan, proponents of online gambling enjoyed a sigh of relief as Representative Brandt Iden was able to maintain his seat, hopefully pushing yet again to see iGaming coming to pass in the state.
Close Call In The Elections
Iden was able to maintain his seat within the statehouse by a super small margin. The Rep won with less than 1,300 votes, narrowly beating out democrat Alberta Griffin for the position. Each time that Iden has ran, the vote was a close call. It took until this morning before the official announcement was made that he would be keeping his seat.
For the gambling industry, this is a good sign. Iden has been steadily working to see gambling expand in this state, including vying for sports betting as well as online gambling. Rep Iden created H 4926 in 2017, an online gambling bill that has experienced serious consideration in the state as a way to see online gambling come to pass.
The bill is titled the Lawful Internet Gaming act and it was voted upon by the House during the summer, earning a positive 68 to 40 vote. However, once it moved on to the Senate, it was stalled. A measure that is similar to the legislation was created in the Senate but failed to move forward.
So, What Happens Now?
Now that Iden will maintain his seat, it appears as though he will continue the fight for online gaming. Expanding the industry in the state will not be easy. Constitutional language remains in the way and stakeholders are worried that the online lottery of the state as well as the casinos in Detroit will create cannibalization.
Such concerns have been knocked away by the success in the state of New Jersey, however, the doubts still remain. Iden will have his hands full trying to persuade other lawmakers to see the benefits of online gaming as well as starting over legislation wise. The state requires bills from odd years to be removed so he will have to start the process fresh if he wants to see a bill considered in 2019.
For states to get the ball rolling with online gambling, there needs to be a strong leader in place with support. It is a positive note that Iden has been able to maintain his position but having to start over could mean that online gambling efforts in the state could backslide.
However, it could also mean that lawmakers will have more time and resources to consider when crafting new legislation. Either way, the hope is that online gambling will continue to be considered in the state and that operators will eventually have a chance to provide such gaming options for visitors as well as residents in the state.
With the ability to offer sports betting in play, it seems that states have shifted to looking towards this new industry and taking a step back from online gambling. However, the two could go hand in hand. It will be interesting to watch as 2019 begins to see if any states move forward in either category when it comes to crafting and passing legislation.