Michigan has officially passed a gambling bill into law. Online casino, poker, and sports betting, as well as daily fantasy sports, have made their entrance in the legal system of the Wolverine State.
The success of each of these segments is widely expected, especially with the recent newcomers to US legal online gambling such as Pennsylvania. What was a fairytale-gone-bad moment for Michigan online gambling enthusiasts last year is now a time of rejoicing.
- Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Michigan online gambling bill into law.
- Relatively high taxes and specific restrictions are included in the amended law.
- The future of Michigan’s online poker industry is just as uncertain as in the rest of the states.
Michigan Legalizes Online Gambling
After last year’s unfortunate events that saw an extensive online gambling bill fall through just seconds before its end, Michigan legislators have been much more careful with this bill.
After an agreement between the House and the Senate last Wednesday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the 2019 gambling bill into law.
Strict Bill Regulations
The House Bill 4311 passed because it has bipartisan support, meets the customers’ interests, and protects the integrity of the industry and the state. The main obstacle for legal online gambling in Michigan was the potentially detrimental effect of the industry on the economy, home budgets, and quality of life.
However, rigorous regulations have been enforced on all operators looking to gain a spot in this newly established market. As it stands, this move has made Michigan the fifth state in the country to legalize online casino gambling, the sixth to legalize online poker, and the 20th to legalize online sports betting.
A Closer Look at the Online Gambling Bill
As expected, some amendments to the proposed bill had to be made for Gov. Whitmer to sign it into law. Most of them referred to tightening things up for the operators. While there is still enough room for them to maneuver, specific points have been specified to avoid any ambiguity whatsoever. The following are some of the regulations:
- The three commercial casinos and 23 tribal gambling establishments are eligible to apply for online poker and casino licenses.
- One online casino and one poker brand are permitted per casino.
- Fees are set at $50,000 for application, $100,000 for initial licensing, and another $50,000 for license renewal each year.
- Free play as a direct deduction on gross gaming revenue can be accounted for at both online casinos and sportsbooks, but only up to a certain amount.
- Taxation is tiered, ranging between 20% and 28%.
The Fate of Online Poker
There has been great turmoil in the world of online poker. It’s the primary vertical in the gambling industry that mainly depends on shared player pools for its success and sustenance. While some states are greater in territory and residents than others and have some base for a fully-fledged industry segment, others depend on neighboring player pools.
On the other hand, Pennsylvania has much better numbers to fall back on and is already aiming high in their online poker aspirations. The future of Michigan poker is still widely unpredictable, although the active efforts that took things this far are indicative of success stories to come.