Michigan Senator Introduces Internet Gambling Bill
Michigan is the latest US state to consider the legalisation of online gambling. SB 889, or The Lawful Internet Gambling Act, calls for the legalisation and regulation of online casino and poker sites.
Five Michigan state senators led by Sen. Mike Kowall presented the bill to the state senate and it was then referred to the Senate Committee on Regulatory Reform. The bill aims “to protect residents of this state who wager on games of chance and skill through the Internet and to capture revenues and create jobs generated from Internet gambling.”
According to the sponsor of the bill, the proposals take into account the fact that the Internet has become a major part of people’s lives and that online gambling has grown in popularity around the world. It has also become a source of billions of dollars of tax revenue in countries where online gambling is legal.
The proposal has not yet listed all the games that will be legalised; however it will not include sports betting in order to avoid run ins with the federal PASPA sports betting prohibition. Online gambling would only be legal for people over the age of 21.
Online gambling licenses will incur a $100,000 non-refundable application fee and the license will come at an upfront cost of $5 million, which will be a deposit against future online gambling taxes. The operators will be liable for 10 percent gambling tax on gross gaming revenue. Licenses will be valid for five years and will come with a five-year renewal option.
The state plans to grant a maximum of eight gambling licenses to either state-licensed private casino operators or federally recognised tribes who have existing casino operations in the state and who will forgo their sovereign immunity and pay the required fees and taxes.
April 16, 2017