Michigan Tribes Have a Hard Time Swallowing Online Gambling Bill
Michigan Representative Brandt Iden has been working hard to pass online gambling in his state, but negotiating with all parties involved has proved to be a slow and difficult task. Iden says state tribes are having a hard time swallowing a section of his bill which they describe as a “poison pill.”
The tribes are right to question why the clause was even included in the bill in the first place. In Section 16 of Iden’s online poker, casino games, and sports betting bill; H4926, the wording appears to give commercial casinos more security than their tribal counterparts.
The section states that if the federal government should, for any reason, prohibit the tribes from participating in any of the new forms of gambling allowed in the bill outside of their reservations, that commercial casino would retain the right to continue offering the gaming.
The situation referred to in the section would be entirely out of Iden’s control. It’s inclusion only serves to raise red flags among the tribe, so why add it in? Iden says he included the language to appease three commercial casinos in Detroit to secure their support.
The federal government has never suggested that they would take such an action and Iden admits the chances this would happen are very slim.
Iden now says there is not much he can do to ease the tribe’s concerns. The tribes are requesting Iden amend the bill to hold commercial casinos to the same regulations as tribal casinos, meaning if the federal government restrict tribal online gambling the commercial casinos receive similar restrictions.