According to GamblingCompliance, the Senate majority floor leader is still actively involved in the process and could formally introduce an amended version of his online gambling legislation from March.
A draft of the amendments has been circulating since June. However, Kowall intimated more input and recommendations are needed before a palatable piece of legislation emerges.
Thus far, that hasn’t occurred.
In a recent interview with GC, even the usually optimistic Kowall (at least on this issue), admitted the process is moving very slowly. Several stumbling blocks still remain:
A more recent piece of online gambling legislation introduced by Rep. Brandt Iden aimed to fix some of the issues raised with Kowall’s bill. Chief among them is how to appease the state’s tribal gaming operators without alienating the commercial casinos.
Iden held an informational hearing the day after the bill was introduced. And while the testimony was largely favorable — including Iden’s pronouncement that if he were a betting man, “iGaming will become law at some stage in the state of Michigan” — the hearing raised more questions than it answered.
First, some remain unconvinced of whether the bill’s language complies with Michigan’s state constitution.
Second, the state’s three commercial casinos — MGM Detroit, Greektown and Motor City — opposed the bill as written, as did the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi tribe. The state’s other tribes didn’t publicly comment on Iden’s bill.
According to Gambling Compliance, Kowall “chatted informally about working together on internet gambling policy” with Iden.
But before that can occur, the serious structural issues holding up the bill will need to be resolved.