Regulated Online Gambling and Sports Betting Coming to Michigan

It looks like Michigan State will finally legalize and regulate online gambling and sports betting under a new bill that was passed on 30th November by the state’s assembly. While this feels like good news to proponents of gambling in the state, Governor Gretchen Whitmer is concerned that this move could drain revenue from the state’s iLottery.

The legislation that came in a 10-bill bundle was approved with the majority of Republicans, and a handful of Democrats also helped to take it across the line. As we speak, the legislation has been sent over to the Republican-leaning Senate for impending deliberation.

Other than laying out the fine-print of sports betting and online gambling, this legislation also aims at regulating the fantasy sports industry.

From the fine-print of the bills, an 8.75% tax will be collected on betting receipts minus the payouts, which is much less than the 19%, currently levied to Detroit’s three monetary casinos. Still on the taxes, the city of Detroit would also be collecting a 3.25% tax share.

For online gambling, the tax rate would range between 4% to 19% depending on the revenue amount generated from the casino for the first three years of official regulation. In the fourth year, the value would rise from 6% to 21% and up to 8% and 23% after the fifth year and beyond.

Whitmer’s worries about draining the state lottery’s revenue were, however, contested and slated by Rep Brandit Iden, who is the main sponsor of the bills. Iden insisted that taxes that would be collected online casino and sports gambling would be relatively higher than state’s iLottery. According to Iden, the bill could generate a revenue of up to $80 million to $100 million annually in taxes if it is signed into law. As the lawmakers iron things out, let’s cross our fingers and hope that Michigan will follow states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania in regulation online gambling and sports betting pretty soon!

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Tim Cline

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