Michigan sets its sights on a legalised sports betting future

By Caroline Watson
Amendments made to a bill passing through Michagan’s House Regulatory Reform Comittee (HRRC) could potentially see a legalised sports betting market in the state.

Earlier this week, Rep. Brandt Iden’s bill H4926 was signed off the the HRRC, with the most up to date version including the provision for sports betting.

Amendments made to the bill are as follows: “The division may permit an internet gaming licensee to conduct internet wagering under this act on any amateur or professional sporting event or contest, if that internet wagering is not prohibited by federal law.”

As things heat up at the Supreme Court with New Jersey’s mission to repeal the age-old federal ban on sports betting in the US, Iden has now made allowances for sports betting in the bill that would legalise online gambling, whilst imposing a 10% tax on all operators.

The bill also outlines that online gambling operators would be required to pay a $100,000 licensing application fee. If granted a five-year licence, the fee for the first year would be $200,000 and then $100,000 each year thereafter.

Iden told the Legal Sports Report: “A number of casinos have reached out to me and expressed interest in opening up a sportsbook, and we want to make sure they not only have the opportunity to do that in the brick-and-mortar casino but with hand-held devices and online as well.

“I think this is a good first step in that direction, but we have to get this component done first. We’ll make sure we can shepherd through and get to the governor’s desk an agreement to do online gaming, and I think from there the next step will be sports gaming.”

If it passes, the bill will go to the Senate, before heading to the governor’s desk for final approval. Although it’s extremely unlikely that the bill will pass through the House by the end of 2017, Iden is confident that with the progress with New Jersey’s legal battle, the light at the end of the tunnel is not too far away.


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