Online Gambling Back Under Consideration in Michigan

Summary: New legislation has been introduced in Michigan to see online gambling and daily fantasy sports legalized.

2018 was supposed to be the year that Michigan passed online gambling legislation. With a push provided by Representative Brandt Iden, the state was able to move an online gambling measure along through the House and Senate. Unfortunately, once the bill reached the governor’s desk, it was vetoed. As a final gesture, former Governor Rick Snyder decided to veto the measure as he left the office. The setback caused Iden to reevaluate his efforts but now, Brandt Iden has tabled legislation to try and regulate online gambling in Michigan again.

Resurrected Efforts

Rep. Brandt Iden has introduced an online gambling bill in the House while Senator Curtis Hertel has introduced a companion measure in the Senate. The bills will see the online gambling industry up for discussion again, with a hearing set to take place soon within the House Regulatory Reform Committee.

The committee has already discussed the bill somewhat, but a vote was not taken on the matter. The hearing saw expert testimony take place as well as questions asked by the committee regarding the potential changes to the state’s gambling industry. As it appears now, the state does have potential to see the legislation pass into law.

Iden took time during the meeting to cover three benefits that legalization can provide. First, he talked about how Michigan can stay competitive. Any proponent will tell you that online gambling is the next step in the gambling industry’s revolution. Without it, Michigan can easily fall behind their competitors.

Iden also pointed out that consumer protections are needed. We all know that players are taking part in online gambling activity and they are do so in an unregulated market. By providing legalization and regulation, Michigan can create a safe environment for consumers to enjoy the activity they are already doing.

And the third point falls in line with consumer protections. With regulations in place, consumers can take part in official online gambling in the state. This would create a new source of revenues for the state, which could be beneficial in a variety of ways.

This time around, Iden made sure to point out that his previous efforts were already approved in the House and Senate, only vetoed by the governor. Also on his side, Iden has the Detroit casinos favor. The Greektown Casino, Motor city and MGM are all on board. All three casinos were on hand during the meeting and testified that they are supportive of the measure.

This is positive as the bill will need to support of the casinos to see the measure move forward. The casinos decided to show their support after a compromise was met with the tribal operators.

Details of the Michigan Online Gambling Bill

Also under consideration is the details of the bill. The state must be able to ensure a player’s location when taking part in online gaming. Geolocation is used to pinpoint the location of a player as they take part in online gaming in Michigan. John Pappas was on hand to be able to testify for GeoComply.

Pappas addressed the technology used for iGaming and how it works. During the hearing, Pappas used a real-time map for online activity in the state of New Jersey and surrounding areas. The visual allowed the members of the committee to better understand how geolocation works.

For now, the legislation is still being considered in the House committee. Hopefully, the bill will be able to move forward and continuing progressing and the new governor will be approving, allowing Michigan to become the next state to legalize online gambling in the US.

Rebecca Kont
Rebecca Kont

Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.