Michigan House Approves Online Gambling Bill

June 13, 2018 - 6:24 am

LANSING (WWJ/AP) - Michigan would legalize online gambling under a bill passed by the state House on the final session day before summer break.

Lawmakers voted 68-40 Tuesday night for two main bills to create a Lawful Internet Gaming Act that would regulate online versions of licensed casino games. Under the bill, gamblers could take their chances on everything from poker to blackjack and craps, and would be taxed eight percent. 

Thirty-five percent of profits from the platforms would go into a new Internet Gaming Fund to enforce regulations. Five percent would go to the Michigan transportation fund, another 5 percent would be put into the school state aid fund and the rest would go to the city of Detroit - which has the state's only non-tribal casinos.

The bill also sets up a plan to allow sports betting in Michigan, but that still would need to be legalized by the Michigan Gaming Control Board. 

If the bills pass the Senate and then the governor's desk, Michigan would join a wave of states currently exploring the online gambling industry as a source of revenue. Critics say the proposal would enable gambling addicts, especially young adults.

The Senate is not expected to consider the legislation until after it returns from a summer break.