HomePlay BallMichigan House Committee Approves Sports Betting

Michigan House Committee Approves Sports Betting

The Michigan House Regulatory Reform Committee approved a measure to legalize mobile and land-based sports wagering. Sportsbooks would be offered at the three Detroit casinos and 20 tribal casinos. Governor Gretchen Whitmer (l.) said she's concerned sports betting would affect state lottery sales, but she may approve the legislation if it includes higher taxes on sports betting revenue.

The Michigan House Committee on Regulatory Reform recently voted 11-2 to approve House Bill 4916 which would legalize mobile and land-based sports betting in the state. Michigan’s three Detroit casinos and around 20 tribal casinos would be allowed to operate sportsbooks. Two other accompanying measures were advanced with HB 4916.

Under the bill, sports betting revenue at casinos would be taxed at 11.25 percent and tribal casinos would pay 8 percent. It also includes a provision allowing each of the sports betting licensees to accept bets through a single online partner site, or skin.

Once the legislature deals with the state budget, the measure will go to the House Ways and Means Committee and then the full House floor, which could occur this fall. Then it would require passage in the Senate and finally the signature of Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who has indicated: 1) she’s concerned new gambling options would take money away from the state lottery which helps fund schools, therefore, 2) she might be willing to consider the sports betting legislation if it includes a higher tax rate.

State Rep. Brandt Iden, the bill’s sponsor, said he’s willing to negotiate with Whitmer. “We just have to get a reasonable number to then be able to negotiate from and move forward and that’s what I’m looking to do,” Iden stated. He added he hopes to have the bill package finalized by the end of the year.

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