Online gaming legislation is moving forward yet again in Michigan. For several years, Representative Brandt Iden has been working to see online gambling come to the state. In 2018, legislation made it all the way to Governor Rick Snyder’s desk only to be vetoed. Now with a new governor in place, Iden has continuing pushed for iGaming as well as sports betting for Michigan. The Lawful Internet Gaming Act was voted on in the House Ways and Means Committee earlier this week, passed by a vote of 10-1. The legislation now moves forward with further consideration.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer has not provided much support for Iden’s efforts, if you ask the representative. Iden has pushed this bill several times, recently making changes to meet the requests of Whitmer’s office, to hopefully see the options come to pass.
The Lawful Internet Gaming Act would legalize all types of online gaming. It will now be considered by the entire House, possibly by the end of the week.
Last year, former Governor Snyder claimed he vetoed the previous measure due to a potential decrease in losing tax revenues from land-based casinos along with lottery ticket sales. Iden, then introduced a similar bill earlier this year and Governor Gretchen Whitmer showed the same concerns as Snyder.
Whitmer wanted to see a higher tax rate to make up for any potential losses. Iden reportedly tried to speak with Whitmer to reach a solution but was given the run around. The Rep took matters into his own hands, introducing a tiered tax structure with the latest chances to the bill.
Operators of online gaming will be taxed 4 to 23 percent based on the amount of revenues earned. The more revenues an operator generates, the higher the tax percentage. The new rates set are higher than Iden’s initial 8% setting for taxes but far below the 40% that was requested by Whitmer.