Gaming analysts were expecting either California or Pennsylvania to become the fourth state in the U.S to legalize online gambling but that hasn’t happened as of yet. Now, Michigan has decided to push for the legalization of online casino and online poker games in the state, after five senators decided to submit “The Lawful Internet Gaming Act” for review.
The SB 889 bill was introduced by senator Mike Kowall highlighting the fact that it was high time for Michigan to lift the ban of the online gambling industry and allow the state to capitalize on what would be a lucrative industry that would generate a high amount of gaming taxes for Michigan, create new jobs in the state and give the economy a much needed boost.
The new bill wants the state to issue only eight online gambling licenses and would require a deposit of $5 million for each approved license. The license will have a five year validity period and can be renewed once again for an additional five years. The SB 889 bill will impose a ten percent gambling tax on all gaming revenues and require online gambling operators to pay their taxes on a monthly basis. The bill also requires a $100,000 non-refundable application fee to be collected.
This draft version of the bill makes it mandatory for gamblers to be over 21 years of age in order to gain access to online gambling sites. The bill does not make provisions for sports betting but has covered online poker and online casino games, although it did not specify what types of games will be allowed. The bill also did not touch upon the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) industry, but Michigan legislators are reportedly working on a separate bill that will address the DFS industry.
The SB 889 bill does not require online gamblers to be physically present in Michigan in order to access online gambling websites. This has been the case in the online gambling bills of Nevada and New Jersey who have relied on geo-location technology to prevent players from out of state accessing online gambling websites. The SB 889 bill does not emphasize this in order to allow the state the possibility of opening up and expanding the online gambling market by collaborating with intrastate and international markets in the future.
The bill reads “Notwithstanding anything else in this act, a wager may be accepted from an individual who is not physically present in this state if the division determines that the wager is not inconsistent with federal law or the law of the jurisdiction, including any foreign nation, in which the individual is located or that the wagering is conducted under a multijurisdictional agreement to which this state is a party that is not inconsistent with federal law.”