Online gambling passed Michigan Senate committee in spring

Michigan Online Gambling Bill Returns To Life With Hearing Slated For This Week

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The Michigan House appears to be set to look at a new online gambling bill this week.

That’s welcome new, as the push for legal online casinos in Michigan hasn’t moved since the spring.

What we know about Michigan and online gambling

So far, details are sparse. According to the Poker Players’ Alliance:

Beyond that, we don’t know much. It appears likely the bill will emanate from the House Regulatory Reform Committee.

Why is that? That’s the committee where a Senate version has passed in consecutive years, first in 2016, and then in March of this year.

The Reg Reform committee is one of several committees in the House that will meet on Wednesday morning

What will be in the House version?

There has been chatter that a new version of the Senate bill would surface at some point. Whether the incoming House bill will represent an unveiling of a draft being worked on behind the scenes is unclear.

But the draft had apparently aimed at appeasing tribes on the iGaming issue. From OPR’s Dave Palermo in July:

Senate Bill 203, authored by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Kowall, is being tweaked to specify that tribes can only operate online gambling by amending tribal-state casino agreements, or compacts, required under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).

Despite that effort, getting everyone on board — tribes, commercial casinos, online operators, etc. — with a bill might still be extremely difficult.

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What’s next for Michigan iGaming?

We’ll wait to see what’s in the bill, when it’s released, and what happens at the hearing. Tribes and casinos have ranged from neutral to against bills previously.

If the bill comes from Brandt Iden, chairman of the Reg Reform committee, that will be a good sign for the bill’s likely progress.

Beyond that, the legislature is in session through the end of the year, so there is plenty of time for legislation to advance.

- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner. He has played poker recreationally for his entire adult life and has written about poker since 2008.
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