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May 25, 2020, GMT+0000, 3:33 am
News Regulation

Sports betting progress in Michigan


The state of Michigan has moved a step closer to legal sports betting after progress was made last week in the state’s legislature. 

The Regulatory Reform Committee of the Michigan House of Representatives has approved three separate bills that could make legal sports betting a reality in the state, after policy makers had urged legislators to get a sports betting framework set up in time for the Super Bowl.

At the heart of the legislative push is House Bill 4916 that would pave the way for sports betting by allowing casino operators in the state to provide mobile and sports betting services, including the three commercial casinos based in Detroit and the state’s 23 tribal operations. 

The Bill has made it through the House and will now head to the House Ways and Means Committee. The Bill’s prospects there would appear to be strong given that the Committee is led by one of the authors of the three current sports betting bills under consideration, Republican Brandt Iden, a leading proponent of the introduction of legalised sports betting in the state. If the Bill passes the Committee stage, it will then be sent to Governor Gretchen Whitmer for final approval. 

Iden is on record as saying that it was his goal to have sports betting up and running by the time of the next Super Bowl, scheduled for February 2, 2020. 

But before the Bill makes it into law, there are issues to be resolved, most notably, the problem of tax rates levied on sports betting. Under current proposals, there would be an eight % tax rate for sports betting at tribal casinos, with an 11.25 % rate suggested for the casinos in Detroit, but reports indicate that Whitmer’s office would prefer rates of 15 %. Securing a compromise on this figure would seem to be the key to its successful enactment and the introduction of legal sports betting in Michigan.  

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