Michigan Lawmakers Adjourn Without Passing Sports Betting Legislation

Michigan Lawmakers Adjourn Without Passing Sports Betting Legislation

Sports betting legislation has failed to advance in Michigan, but lawmakers will continue to work on the matter during the summer session.

While lawmakers in Michigan tried to pass sports betting legislation before the summer session came to an end, the legislature adjourned without a bill passing into law. The state is one of three in the US that saw their legislative session end this month without legal action taking place regarding sports betting,

Strong consideration

When the United States Supreme Court ruled on May 14 to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, Michigan, along with other states, began to consider legislation involving sports betting. The House and Senate of the state gave strong consideration to the industry, with the House passing a package of online gaming bills on June 12, which would mark the first step towards the legalization of sports betting.

It is believed that the package of the House will be considered once the summer recess is over. The bills will create the groundwork for sports betting to be legalized in the state. The House was able to pass their bills including online gaming bills, but the Senate was unable to move the legislation forward.

The Senate had created a similar package to the one submitted by the House with their Lawful Internet Gaming Act. The bills in the Senate package mirror those of the House, but it has not been passed. The three bills would allow online gaming to take place, including sports betting.

The Senate Package

The Senate should be considering their gaming package again in September when they reconvene. The main bill, S203, is a measure that lays the framework of the new gaming activities, including who will be in charge of online gaming for the state, plus the fees and taxes that operators will have to pay.

A Division of Internet Gaming would be created by the state Gaming Control Board, which would be responsible for granting licenses to operators and for regulation. Operators would have to pay an application fee of $100,000 (€86,000) as well as an initial licensing fee of $200,000 (€172,000). A renewal fee must be paid each year to maintain licensing which is set at $100,000 (€86,000).

Vendors involved in online gaming would have to pay a much smaller application fee of just $5,000 (€4,300) and an initial fee of the same amount for licensing. The yearly renewal fee for licensing is set at $2,500 (€2,155). Platform providers for online gaming would have to pay a $100,000 (€86,000) initial licensing fee and then $50,000 (€43,000) per year for renewal.

Taxes on gross gaming revenues of online gaming would be set at 10%, but this rate may change as the state works with tribes in the region. The legislation indicates that the state is ready to work with the three commercial casinos of Detroit as well as tribal interests when it comes to sports betting and online gaming. The gaming act calls for licensing to be issued to a casino licensee or an Indian tribe that operates a casino in Michigan.

The state has over 20 tribal gaming venues in operation plus the commercial facilities located in Detroit. The tribes currently pay the state a tax based on gaming revenues but are not subject to state law. Because of this, negotiations have been ongoing with the tribes as lawmakers have been considering legalizing sports betting.

Michigan Lawmakers will use the time during the summer break to talk with tribes and additional stakeholders to create legislation that will focus on sports betting at land-based gaming venues. On the matter, Representative Brandt Iden said: “We all know that sports betting is coming, and this sets the framework [for the gaming commission], but realistically, I don’t think they’ll do that until we have laws for the brick and mortar casinos in place.”


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