Michigan Senate passes iGaming bills

Michigan has taken another step towards legalising online gambling, after the Senate passed a range of bills on Wednesday afternoon.

The legislation received widespread support. A spokesperson for Gretchen Whitmer said that the Governor is “pleased with the progress made on gaming over the course of this year”, before adding that the new proposals addressed her initial concerns.

What would be legalised in Michigan?

It’s expected that four forms of iGaming will become regulated in the US state. These would be online casino, sports betting, fantasy contests and horse racing. The Detroit Free Press outlined the conditions for all of these in more detail.

At the moment, nobody can be sure of when Michigan’s online gambling market would go live. Whitmer still needs to sign the papers, but is expected to do so. Rules also need to be developed in relation to legislation and licensing timescales. Officials also mentioned that regulators must consider how long it’ll take for licensed operators to have the appropriate technology in place.

Senator Curtis Hertel, D-East Lancing, said: “My hope is that by March Madness, it will be live.”

Tax and initiatives

In terms of tax, this will range from 20-28% for internet gambling. How much is paid will depend on operators’ revenue over the course of the year. The legislation’s current terms would also mean that 8.4% is paid on sports bets after brands have paid out winnings. This is lower than the initial 8.75% proposal.

One of the initial talking points was how of online gambling revenue here would fund school initiatives. iLottery in Michigan provides a lot in this sense, and regulators wanted to ensure that likewise happened with iGaming. Much of the money brought in through tax will go towards this cause. Moreover, an extra $4 million will be allocated yearly to help firefighters who develop cancer through exposure to smoke and chemicals while at work.

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