Michigan Governor signs betting and gaming bills into law
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has ratified bills to legalize sports betting and online gaming in the state, paving the way for a 2020 roll-out.
Whitmer signed House Bill 4311, which creates the Lawful Internet Gaming Act, allowing the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) to issue licenses for online and mobile casino games.
A similar proposal, put forward by Representative Brandt Iden, had been vetoed by Whitmer’s predecessor Rick Snyder in December 2018. For much of the year it looked as if the current Governor would refuse to ratify the bills if they passed the legislature.
However, her concerns about igaming cannibalizing lottery revenue, and in turn having an adverse impact on education funding, were assuaged by significant changes to the tax rate set out in HB4311. This saw the minimum rate raised to 20% of gross gaming revenue of $4m or less, and to 28% for venues generating annual revenue of $12m or above.
HB916, creating the Lawful Sports Betting Act, was also signed by the Governor. This allows tribal and commercial casinos to offer over-the-counter and online sports betting, taxed at 8.4% of gross revenue. Also signed into law was HB4308, the Fantasy Sports Consumer Protection Act, to create a legal framework for fantasy sports contests in Michigan.