Michigan still in session this month and next for possible online gambling movement

Hold The Stuffing: No Michigan Online Gambling Movement Before Turkey Day

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In one of the least surprising developments in the history of online gambling in the US, the legislature in Michigan did not advance online gambling legislation before the Thanksgiving holiday, as one lawmaker had hoped.

What happened (or didn’t) in Michigan

Michigan Rep. Brandt Iden told Online Poker Report last month that he wanted to see significant progress on his bill to legalize online gambling in the short term.

At the time he said he hoped Michigan online gambling legislation would get “through the House before the Thanksgiving holiday.” That didn’t happen, as at H 4926 has not seen any public action.

Iden was also optimistic about online gambling’s prospects at a public hearing.

What’s next in Michigan (if anything)?

Michigan is back in session next week, although it’s not clear we’ll be seeing any iGaming progress any time soon.

The House Regulatory Reform Committee, where the bill currently sits, is not scheduled to meet.

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No easy answers for online gambling

The road ahead for Michigan online gambling is one filled with possible pitfalls.

Both tribal gaming and commercial casinos are wary of how online gambling would work in the state. Some also question how it intersects with the current law and environment. While lawmakers and stakeholders in the state have been working on the legislation behind the scenes, it appears they are attempting to thread a narrow needle.

Still a new online gambling law in Pennsylvania and the possibility of action in Illinois in 2018 brings hope that states like Michigan will make a serious iGaming push in the near future.

- 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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