Michigan’s online poker bill advances

A House committee wraps up a hearing on online gambling

Last year, Michigan’s outgoing governor, Rick Snyder, squashed a bill that would have allowed online poker and other forms of gambling in the state. After his veto, lawmakers went back to the drawing board and two bills were subsequently introduced under the new state administration led by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. A House committee met yesterday and discussed the bill, and things are looking good so far.

Despite Snyder’s attempts to thwart online gambling in the state, most lawmakers have their eyes wide open and can see what’s going on. Michigan is already a state of gamblers, but they are taking their online activity underground, which means Michigan is missing out on much-needed tax revenue.

Brandt Iden, a Representative who supports the bill, said after Tuesday’s hearing, “This is really about updates. This is about the future of the industry. This is about making sure Michigan stays competitive.”

Through the bill, online gaming would be restricted to in-state residents and casinos would be obligated to introduce “geofencing” – technology that would prevent anyone from outside the state from being able to access the online portals.

The House Regulatory Reform Committee could consider the bill at some point next week. If so, it could continue to gain traction and Michigan might see online gambling before the end of the year.

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