Michigan could soon approve online gambling

A couple of bills are currently waiting in the rafters in Michigan, ready to pounce as soon as it can.  The bills cover online gambling and daily fantasy sports (DFS) and are expected to be put to a Senate vote before the end of the year, according to Representative Brandt Iden, the bills' author. 

Iden's Lawful Internet Gaming Act (LIGA) was already approved by Michigan's House this past June.  It now has to be approved by the Senate and, if it gains the necessary support, would allow the three commercial and more than 20 tribal casinos in the state to offer online gambling, including roulette, blackjack and poker.  The Senate must make their decision before December 20 - the end of the current legislative session - or the measures will die. 

The House has also passed Iden's DFS bill that will now make its way to the Senate floor.  Iden chose to introduce online gambling and DFS through two separate bills because he believes that there is a clear distinction between both.

According to the LIGA, casinos in Michigan would be able to operate gambling websites legally, with the activity paying a tax of 8% on gross gaming revenue.  Brick-and-mortar casinos pay a tax of 19%, which could be cause for the House to deny the bill.  The House Fiscal Agency asserts that online gambling would take the place of "traditional" gambling, which would result in lower revenue being generated by the state from taxes.  

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