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Michigan Voted to Legalise Online Gambling
On Wednesday, December 11, 2019, the Michigan State Legislative Assembly voted to legalise four types of online gambling, counting sports betting, by March. This will make Michigan the 20th state, which authorizes to play online casino games for any player over 21.
The Senate passed the bills by overwhelming majority on Wednesday morning and returned to the House to approve the updated legislation. Now Governor Gretchen Whitmer needs to sign the bills for them to become law.
The process would mark an enormous victory for Representative Brandt Iden, the bills’ author, who already passed a similar proposal last year. However, back that it was vetoed by the Republican Governor Rick Snyder.
Assuming Whitmer signs the legislation, it’s still unknown how soon it’ll be legal to place wagers online. It depends on many factors, including how long the licensing process and the procedure of the legislation takes.
Sports betting companies will be obliged to pay an 8.4% tax on winnings. At the same time, online gambling venues will pay approximately between 20 and 28%, depending on the revenue of the casino:
- $4 million annually — 20% tax
- $4 million – $8 million — 22% tax
- $12 million annually — 28% tax
It was calculated by Senate Fiscal Agency that if gambling activity rose at least by 5%, it’d generate over $18 million in taxes. Most of this money will be headed towards the School Aid Fund for improving public educational standards. Another part of it would go to the First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund to help firefighters cure cancer that emerged due to exposure to chemicals and smoke.
Types of Gambling to Become Legal
It is expected for four types of online gambling to become newly legal.
- Internet Gambling — all of it, including slots, poker, blackjack, and other casino games. The casinos will be subject to a $50,000 application fee, a $100,000 license fee (which is valid for five years), and a $50,000 annual fee. The casinos’ suppliers will have to be licensed as well and will pay a $5,000 application fee, a $5,000 license fee, and a $2,500 annual fee.
- Sports Betting — all live or online sports wagering.
- Fantasy Contests — any games played in ‘teams’, such as NFL football. The operators would have to obtain the license through the Michigan Gaming Control Board; however, they wouldn’t have to be particularly a casino operator.
- Horse Racing — all the third-party facilitators who take live or electronic bets on horse racing.
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