Michigan’s governor may be ready to discuss sports gambling with lawmakers
Michigan leaders might be warming up to the idea of legalized sports gambling
The bills for making online gaming legal in Michigan are back on the table for debate and Governor Gretchen Whitmer has finally stepped up and has initiated conversations about sports betting since the bill is currently in the Senate. Senator. Curtis Hertel Jr. is one of the supporting strengths in favor of approving the bill and he declares this week to Legal Sports Report that he is currently in conversations with Whitmer’s office as well as the stakeholders involved to find a middle point regarding taxes that will satisfy everyone’s concerns.
According to the current administration, state leaders believe that mobile gaming and wagering would drastically affect the funding to the public school system. A total of 25% of the profits from the state internet lottery are destined to fund the school system, so there is no reservation from the Whitmer’s office to oppose the current bill. “She has expressed concerns, and I don’t think any of it is beyond fixable,” Hertel said of Whitmer. “I certainly appreciate her engagement, unlike the last governor who basically didn’t engage and then vetoed the bills anyway.”
Internet gaming and sports betting bills were expected to be on their way to passage in Michigan this year. Whitmer later released a Michigan Department of Treasury analysis in June that requested much higher taxes and fees than Rep. Brandt Iden had in the legislation. Iden said he couldn’t get the administration to come to the table to negotiate. It didn’t help that Iden and Republican lawmakers in the state feuded with the Democratic governor over the state budget.
The bill that makes online gambling legal in MI was expected to be approved before this year comes to an end. Whitmer then delivered analysis from the Michigan Department of Treasury back in June that led the governor to request an increase in the percentages for the proposed taxes presented by Representative. Brandt Iden and it has been really hard to bring all parties to negotiate. Under this bill, there was already an agreement to increase the percentages to 8.75% for tribal casinos and 12% for commercial casinos and the initial permit to function will cost $100,000 and $50,000 for the renewal. The numbers Whitmer is asking for are not at all close to these. She wants 15% and 18.25% for tribal and commercial casinos and a permit cost of $1 million and $500,000 are the numbers proposed by the governor’s office.
Hertel states that he is making a huge effort to get the Senate to finally vote on this bill before the holiday break comes for the legislators, but as it’s getting closer to the end of the year, most likely it’s going to be review before Christmas. The group in favor hopes that if any changes are made, the bill can be back for a vote at the House and then be handed to the governor. “We’re making progress,” Hertel said. “We’re going to make sure these bills get done, signed and that people have access to all this by the beginning of next year. Our goal is certainly to have sports betting before the Super Bowl, not that the Lions will be in it.”