Michigan closer to passing online gaming bill
The House Ways and Means Committee likes the newest revision
Michigan’s former governor, Rick Snyder, declined to pass a gambling bill just a few days before he finished his administration. Back in 2018 Michigan had to take a step back after being just a signature away from having online gambling (poker included) in their state. This bill that was vetoed by Gov. Snyder, was first submitted by Representative Brandt Iden, and now, after a year, he is starting over with the bill.
The Lawful Internet Gaming Act (HB 4311) is the name of the bill passed by Iden. Presented to the House Ways and Means Committee this last Tuesday, it was supported by a vote of ten to one with no issues. This act has the intention to legalize all forms of online gambling within MI. Now the House floor will vote on this bill by the end of the week.
Losing revenue coming from the state’s online lottery as well as the casinos that exist are the two reasons Snyder gave to oppose this bill previously. Actually Iden made an attempt to have similar legislation last spring, but it was dead in the water since Gov. Gretchen Whitmer brought up the same concerns at that time.
During the whole time that Gov. Whitmer has been in command, Iden has tried to contact her to find a solution. However, the governor’s office claims to be busy to even start negotiations on the tax rate for the bill. The Detroit News stated that the objection coming from Gov. Whitmer was originated since the School Aid Fund gets its money from current gambling operations. Higher tax rates on the said bill will compensate for any possible loss that this Fund might take.
Whitmer was requesting that a 40% will be taxed from these businesses, far from the original proposed amount of 8%. As a commitment to meet her halfway, Iden created a tax matrix for different structures. Depending on how much revenue is generated by the business, they could be facing anywhere from 4% to 23%.
The budget office calculates losses for $28 million per year due to this new legislation, but Iden, and many others, disagrees. He declares that online gambling has a different market than the physical locations for gambling. Iden insists on the importance of getting this bill approve before other states do.