New Michigan Governor Not In Favor of iGaming Expansion

In the United States, several types of gambling expansion are being considered in individual states. Some areas are focusing on sports betting while others want to get started with online casino and poker gaming. In any state, support needs to be seen within Legislature and in most cases, the Governor needs to be on board. Michigan is one state that has been focused on iGaming legislation only to find the new governor Gretchen Whitmer is standing in the way.

No iGaming

The governor is doing her best to see that online gambling does not come to fruition in the state. She is concerned that with players having access to online casino gaming, it would affect the lottery games in Michigan. Right now, money that is generated from the state lottery is redirected to the School Aid Fund for schools grades K-12.

The governor wants to ensure that the School Aid Fund is protected. She wants the entire contribution from the gambling industry returned to the children of the state via education programs. She is not planning on supporting any type of legislation changes that do not benefit education.

Representative Brandt Iden is the individual behind the online gambling legislation, and he wants to see online casino and poker games come to life in the state. There are already people in the state taking part in online gaming, so Iden wants to see the state reap the rewards.

With regulation and legalization, locals will be protected from any negative consequences related to the option. The state would also receive a cut that could be used for schools, road work and in other areas. Iden wants to bring new revenues to the state and has pointed out that other states offering online gambling has not seen a reduction in lottery revenues due to the other industry.

Failed Efforts

Iden tried last year to see online gambling legalized in Michigan and was hit with a blindside. Legislation made it all the way to the former governor’s desk, Rick Snyder, only to be vetoed. Everyone was on board and it was expected that Snyder would sign the measure. However, he did not and Iden had to start all over this year with new legislation.

Now, Iden has reintroduced his idea, hoping that 2019 will be the year. However, it looks like Governor Whitmer is not open to the idea and will most likely not be signing such legislation into law. Iden will have to work even harder to find support and try and convince the governor that the new industry will not take funds from the state lottery.

For now, efforts in Michigan seem to be stalled. Hopefully, progress can be made so that the state will become the next to legalize iGaming and offer online casino and poker games to residents and visitors to the state. If the legislation is unable to move forward, it will be interesting to see if Iden plans on trying yet again to see Michigan expand their gambling services to the online realm.


Logan is based in Los Angeles and is an avid poker player having played in tournaments across the globe. He covers both poker & regulatory affairs.