Michigan Lawmaker Aims to Move Online Gambling Bill By Thanksgiving
Michigan Representative Brandt Iden expressed confidence that he can push his online poker bill through the House by Thanksgiving. In a recent interview with Online Poker Report, Iden set this new goal for himself, saying he is hoping to gain headway in what remains of October.
Iden’s plan involves moving his bill out of the House Regulatory Reform Committee and on to a full House vote in just a few short weeks. It all hinges on approval from Michigan’s gaming interests. According to Iden, they each want to see online gambling become a reality; it’s only a matter of balancing the details between the corporate and tribal casinos.
Iden told OPR he is communicating directly with both tribal and commercial casino operators in the state. His takeaway from those conversations is that revenues are down for all operators, and each is looking for ways to expand and attract new gamers.
Iden plans to continue his conversations with stakeholders throughout October. He is asking the tribal councils to propose the wording they would like to see in his bill. For Iden, time is of the essence. He is giving the tribes a limited window to respond, warning that he plans to push the bill forward in November.
Unlike Senator Mike Kowall’s online gambling bill, which stalled in the Senate, Iden’s bill does not require tribes to waive their sovereign immunity in the state. Iden’s approach is to allow tribal operators to amend their state compacts to include online gaming. To work the amendment must not provide tribes an unfair advantage over commercial casinos.