Michigan Online Gambling Is Once Again On The Table For 2019

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on January 24, 2019 - Last Updated on December 8, 2023
Michigan State Capitol

Despite the crumbling of Michigan online gaming at the tail end of 2018, the bill’s key sponsor plans to reintroduce a new bill later this year.

Representative Brandt Iden, author of H 4926, said he is confident that a bill will pass again.

Iden said he was surprised when Governor Rick Snyder vetoed his bill on the way out of office.

“The veto pen came out for my entire gaming package, which is incredibly disappointing,” Iden said.

Potential for Michigan online gambling in 2019

Along with reintroducing a new online gaming bill, Iden also plans on bringing a sports betting bill to the table.

The hope is that incoming governor Gretchen Whitmer will be more open to gaming expansion.

“I saw over the course of the last two years, the time it takes to educate people on these issues and get them up to speed on where we are. I’m going to need to do that again, but I’m fully prepared to do so and confident we will have a successful 2019,” Iden said.

In addition to a new governor, Michigan will see a number of new faces headed to the statehouse.

“It took a long time to get here, and this is a bump in the road, but I’m confident it will get done,” he said.

Positive outlook

Michigan hopes to capitalize on all the economic benefits associated with online gaming. Prior to the implementation of sports betting, New Jersey’s online gambling was responsible for thousands of new jobs.

According to a white paper published by the iDevelopment and Economic Association, the NJ online gambling industry was responsible for 3,375 jobs.

Snyder’s veto did more than push online gaming back to square one. The veto also cost the state millions of dollars in tax revenue and potentially harmed the existing casino industry.

The Michigan Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association indicated Snyder’s veto jeopardizes the reopening of Sports Creek Raceway.

Had Snyder signed the bill, it would have generated roughly $3 million annually for the struggling horse racing industry while also removing restrictions on wagering.

Lottery stronghold

Iden said a key reason Snyder vetoed H 4929 was to protect the lottery’s lucrative monopoly on the industry.

Online instant-win game sales across the state are well above 300,000 a day. Additionally, thousands of players have already registered for accounts with the Michigan iLottery.

Following a successful pilot program in August 2014, the Michigan lottery launched online lottery sales in November of that year. To-date, the state has one of the most successful lotteries in the country.

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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick comes from West Texas where he graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in psychology. After a five-year stint in Chicago, where he wrote about local politics and graduated with a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia College Chicago, he moved to Washington, D.C. to write about issues related to gambling policy, sports betting and responsible gaming.

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