Less than a year after former Governor Rick Snyder buried a bill that would have cleared the way for legal online gambling in Michigan their Ways and Means Committee approved 61st District State Representative, Brandt Iden’s, online gambling bills. The proposed bill (H 4311) documented why both online casino and online sports betting be legalised in Michigan, emphasising the revenue generation value of the industry and its current impact on the state economy.
Iden has made a name for himself as a forward thinker who is willing to buck the establishment when he believes ideologies are outdated.
When speaking about the bills Iden said:
“This is about the future of the industry. This is about making sure Michigan stays competitive.”
In addition to supporting legalised online gambling, he has also thrown his support behind a recent bipartisan bill which would allow Michigan college athletes to be remunerated for the use of their name, image and likeness associated with their achievements in their respective sports arenas.
✓Gambling By The Numbers
For those unfamiliar with what the Ways and Means Committee is responsible for, Wikipedia defines it as:
“A ways and means committee is a government body that is charged with reviewing and making recommendations for government budgets. Because the raising of revenue is vital to carrying out governmental operations, such a committee is tasked with finding the ways and means with which to raise that revenue”
When looking at the current income Michigan enjoys from its land-based gambling operations it makes perfect sense to include online gambling as an additional source of revenue.
The American Gaming Association published the following gambling statistics for Michigan:
“Spotlight on Michigan: The state’s 27 gaming locations employ 38,000 people and generate $1.3 billion in tax and tribal revenue payments.”
With these stats in mind and understanding that even with 27 locations Michigan is sparsely populated in terms of gambling venues, the addition of online casinos and sports books as an additional revenue source is virtually a no-brainer.
✓Under The Hood
The proposal was clearly based on the successful implementation of online gambling in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania where current land-based casinos will have the chance to apply for online gambling licences.
At present that would mean as many as 23 tribal casinos and 3-state licensed casino qualify for online gambling licences. These new digital operations will be charged only 8% of their gross gaming revenues, which is less than land-based operations pay.
These sites will be required to use geolocation software and other identifiers to prove that the player is in Michigan and of legal age to gamble.