Michigan Online Gambling Bill Emerges From Dormancy

Written By Janice Doughtrey

The United States may soon see another addition towards its progress in making online casinos and gambling a legal nationwide activity. The state of Michigan has a bill for internet gaming that has been dormant for some time, but this bill is now coming back as part of an assembly in the state House. Representative Brandt Iden is behind the new draft of the bill, which is scheduled to be on the House floor for a possible vote. However, the movement of this legislation has been incredibly slow. It has been in a queue since December and has not been amended in its online format.

There are currently three major casino brands in Detroit, Michigan. These casinos are Greektown Casino, MGM Grand Detroit, and MotorCity Casino. All three operators fully support the new bill, as it brings potential for another revenue stream through the internet. However, the tribal support for the legislation among Native Americans with a vested interest in casino gaming has either been neutral or opposed. Though the support for the amendment of the bill is unclear, most tribes belonging to the National Indian Gaming Association support a repeal of the federal ban on sports betting.

In a move that came as somewhat of a surprise, the amended bill included sports betting as part of its literature. The addition of sports betting put Michigan ahead of the pack originally. At the present time, there are numerous states across the US that are considering including sports betting online in their markets. However, West Virginia is the only state to actually have passed a law regarding the activity. If laws are already on the books in any state, a decision to repeal the federal sports betting ban could quickly have a positive impact on online gambling. New Jersey is awaiting the decision, which should be made by the end of June.

Although the signs are positive for certain aspects of online gambling in the United States, the future is still unclear. Many individuals who support being able to place bets on the internet would like to see sports betting and online casinos handled in tandem. However, this process may not have the desired outcome as it pushes its way through the red tape of legislation. Some land-based casinos are ready to make the investment on sports betting online, as long as the legislation is structured in a desirable way. MGM in particular has been eager to jump on the new opportunity.