The bill passed through the lame duck Legislature session just before the weekend and will make Michigan the fifth state to allow online gambling and poker on platforms run by three Detroit-based casinos and 23 tribal casinos that are located across the state. The House of Representatives gave the bill its final blessing on Friday morning, and it is now up to Governor Snyder to give his yay or nay.
Some of the key points of the gambling package:
- Michigan citizens aged 21 years and older will be able to register with one of the land-casino platforms licensed to offer online gambling.
- Online gambling revenues will be taxed at 8%.
- 30% of the revenues generated from Detroit casinos will go back to the city; 5% each to state school aid funds, transportation funds and the horse racing industry. The rest of the revenues will go to the Michigan Internet Gaming Fund to cover the costs of administering the new online gambling industry.
- 25% of the revenues generated from the tribal casinos will be allocated to the Michigan Strategic Fund, while 75% will go to the gaming fund.
- Money will also be allocated to treat gambling addiction and prevention.
- The city of Detroit will receive at least $179 million in tax revenues from gambling.
- The bill creates a state Division of Internet Gaming.
- Penalties for violations of HB 4926 are spelled out.
- Fantasy sports contests will be regulated and operators will need to be licensed.
- The state will decide which online casino games will be allowed to be offered but it is obliged to offer online poker as an option.
Opponents still believe that there is a chance that the Governor will decide not to sign the bill.
“While we’re disappointed in the legislature’s action, we’re hopeful the governor will put Michigan school revenue, the needs of addicts and family safety ahead of online casino special interests and veto the measure when it reaches his desk,” said Stop Internet Gambling said in a statement.