Michigan Governor to Sign and Legalize Poker, Gambling

Michigan's State Capitol, a major legislative body in the state.
  • Michigan awaits the approval of Governor Rick Snyder to sign House Bill 4926 into law
  • The state will see 8% tax on the gross gaming revenue
  • Operators will pay $200,000 for five-year license
  • Michigan is most likely going to pool its prize pools with the four other states where gambling is legal

Michigan lawmakers have agreed to push ahead with the legalization of online gambling in the state. House Bill 4926 managed to clear the House after it had been amended by the Senate one last time, clearing the floor in the small hours of the morning.

Michigan Clears House Bill 4926, Online Gambling Follows

Earlier in December, Michigan saw House Bill 4926 dropped in the Senate for the first time, spearheaded by Brandt Iden, and championed by Senator Mike Kowall whose stint is nearly over. Not many people expected that the Senate would actually get to the point where they were ready to act. Even less so, nobody thought that the House would actually pass a quick vote before 2019. But they did, defying all expectations.

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And now that the Senate and the House of Representatives of Michigan have both cleared the bill, all that is necessary is for Governor Rick Snyder to step up and put his signature on the document. When he does, Michigan will be joining four other states in offering poker, sports betting, and casino games online:

  • New Jersey
  • Nevada
  • Delaware
  • Pennsylvania

The House managed to pass the bill with 71 votes backing the document and 35 opposing it. With what could be called an overwhelming support, Michigan’s Gaming Board will now be tasked with exercising control over the future operators as well as settling the legal side of things.

Following the previous successes in June, 2018, this is the most significant success for the iGaming industry in Michigan.

Licensing and Distributing the Tax Money

Licenses will cost $200,000 and be issued for a five-period, with a renewal fee at the due date of $100,000. After that period, $100,000 will apply for each subsequent year. Any interested operator can apply for a variety of options, including:

  • Casino
  • Poker rooms
  • Sports betting

With an overall tax of 8% of the gaming revenue, whatever the specific activity of the operator, Michigan will apply additionally 1.25% on commercial casinos. The extra tax is described as a “municipal fee” which will go directly to the city that is hosting the casino.

As to the tax money itself, it will go to various recipients from the state:

  • Michigan itself will get 55% for its Internet Gaming Fund
  • The Compulsive Gaming Prevention Fund will get $1 million in the very least
  • The Pension and School Funds will get 5% of the gross revenue in funding money
  • 30% will go directly to improve the urban environment in the cities hosting casinos

The bill has been long debated but now it has passed, it would help Michigan join the four states already having passed such legislation. There will be a 15-month grace period during which tribal operators and commercial casinos will have to procure their licenses and prepare for a synchronized launch.

The synchronized launch will allow all operators to step into the industry with equal chances of success, rather than the state allowing individual operators to go ahead and effectively stifling competition before the activity had begun.

Kat Orlov

Newcomer Kat is our newcomer poker aficionado whos skill not only lives on the table but flourishes on the site as through her many sources she never fails to be the first to hear of any important or exciting poker news around the world.

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