International edition
April 21, 2018 | Edition Nº3470

Legislative session concludes at the end of June

Michigan online poker bill moves to Senate floor

Michigan online poker bill moves to Senate floor
It seems the state of Michigan is one step closer to online poker legalization. Yet another major hurdle was cleared yesterday when the Senate committee members approved SB 889 bill 8-1.
United States | 06/10/2016

It seems the state of Michigan is one step closer to online poker legalization. Yet another major hurdle was cleared yesterday when the Senate committee members approved SB 889 bill 8-1.

T

he next step is the bill to receive a Senate approval. For the time being, there is no information about an online casino bill, awaiting approval at the Michigan House. If approved, bill SB 889 would legalize only poker games via the Internet.

The legislative session concludes at the end of June, so it is difficult to handicap whether the bill would pass or not. Yet, the Michigan Senator Mike Kowall is the sponsor of the online casino bill which boosts the chances the matter to be resolved in a timely manner.

Online casinos legislation also remains a hot topic in Pennsylvania, California, and New York

According to the clauses, the piece of legislation contains, operators willing to provide their services on the territory of the Wolverine state will be required to pay an application fee amounting to $100,000. The fee for an Internet gambling license is set at $5 million. The internet wagering services operators provide will be subject to a 10% tax.

The piece of legislation also enables only land-based casinos on the territory of Michigan to apply for an online gambling license. In addition, the online poker and casino legalization will bring about the necessity of establishment of Division of Internet Gaming in the Michigan Gaming Control Board to oversee the gambling activities taking place within the state borders.

Michigan residents have more than 20 tribal gambling facilities available as well as three commercial casinos in Detroit. They reached their peak in 2010-2012 when they collected record revenues. After that, a slight decline was noticed. Nevertheless, the accumulated revenue for 2015 was $1.37 billion.

The idea for online gambling legislation has been on the agenda for quite some time. The state has a long history related to gambling, though. The year 1933 saw the legalization of pari-mutuel horse racing. The increasing demand for gambling services in the 1980s led to the establishment of casino venues in Detroit. Back then, the lottery games were also allowed. Michigan legalized online lottery in 2014. If online casinos get the nod, Michigan would be the first state to legalize online gambling since 2013.

Online casinos legislation also remains a hot topic in Pennsylvania, California, and New York. Currently, there are three jurisdictions that have already implemented the iGaming options – Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey.

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