Michigan’s poker bill moving forward
The state’s online gambling bill continues to show progress
After outgoing Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, in a childish temper tantrum, vetoed an online gambling bill as he was leaving office last year, lawmakers were forced to start over. They have made good progress so far this session and, although a few hurdles still remain, Michigan’s online gaming bill is making great strides and has, so far, not met much resistance.
Both the House and Senate approved online gambling last year, which is why Snyder’s move can only be described as childish. Putting that behind us, a new bill that will allow online poker, fantasy sports and sportsbooks is moving forward and was approved in its second hearing before the House Regulatory Reform Committee last week.
The next step is for the bill to be head by the House Ways and Means Committee, where it certainly shouldn’t find any resistance – the bill was authored by the committee’s chairman. Provided it makes it through the committee and then a full House vote, it will then head to the Senate, where it will almost definitely be approved. From there, if all goes well, it will make it to the governor’s desk.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer replaced Snyder and has already put her support, to a limited degree, behind online gaming and sports gambling. She hasn’t been an outright proponent of the activity, but recognizes the fiscal value and hopes to be able to capitalize on the potential tax revenue that could come.
The debate over the tax rate has been a sensitive subject. Some lawmakers hope to raise the tax rate to 16%, but this has met resistance along the way. Currently, the bill would allow a tax rate of 8% with an additional 1.25% from commercial casinos. This is around the average that has been seen in other states, which have authorized, in general, rates of between 6% and 10%.