Online gambling on the horizon for Michigan

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed various House Bills related to iGaming, giving authorities the power to issue licences.

The Bills

House Bill 4311 is one of the legal documents that has been signed. Through this, the Michigan Gaming and Control Board (MGCB) can now regulate online and mobile casino games.

The Legal Sports Betting Act, known as HB916, was also approved by Whitmer. Both tribal and commercial casinos will now be able to offer both land-based and online sports wagering. This will be taxed at 8.4% of gross gaming revenue (GGR).

Also coming into effect will be the Fantasy Sports Consumer Protection Act, or HB4308. Through this, legal framework for fantasy sports contests in the state can be developed.

Addressing the Governor’s concerns 

There had been concerns about whether the regulation of online gambling would negatively affect funding for education. At the moment, schools in Michigan receive a chunk of the revenue generated by the state’s online lottery. But it was feared that iGaming would ‘cannibalise’ this.

Those worries were addressed when the tax rates in HB4311 were amended. After these changes, the minimum rate went up to 20%. This applied to operators making $4 million or less in revenue. For annual revenue of $12 million or above, the rate was pushed up to 28%.

When she signed the Bills, Whitmer said: My top priority in signing this legislation was protecting and investing in the School Aid Fund, because our students deserve leaders who put their education first.”

Working on other causes 

Along with ensuring that schools in the state would continue to receive sufficient funding, a share of the money made through online gambling will go to the First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund (FRPCF). This initiative was introduced to help first responders, such as firefighters, that have developed cancer while doing their jobs.

$4.8 million has been allocated to the School Aid Fund, with another $4m going to the FRPCF. In total, Michigan expects to make $19m in sports betting revenue.

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