Michigan in race to beat Pennsylvania to online gambling
The Michigan Senate Committee on Regulatory Reform passed the online gambling bill by 7-1 votes last week and making it a race to see if Pennsylvania or Michigan will be the fourth state to legalise online gambling.
However the bill has a long way to go with critics of the bill saying it will cause legal opposition and a public safety risk. But the main problem for Michigan is to get it past the states Native American tribes who will want a piece of the action, as they fear it will make it more difficult for them to obtain an online gambling license opposed to thoose casinos based in Detroit.
In that respect Pennsylvania has the edge over Michigan as that issue will not come up there, but Sen. Mike Kowall who is sponsoring the bill says the benefits for the state in terms of stopping illegal offshore online gambling operators by legalising and bringing in much needed state tax dollars along with jobs is a major driving force.
He said to a local newspaper recently, “The potential for jobs and economic development right here in Michigan is being lost,” Kowall, R-White Lake, said in committee. “This legislation gives Michigan an opportunity to stop this illegal activity and to generate new revenue that could help fund infrastructure improvements, health care, education, public safety and other worthwhile programs.”
Amaya the world’s largest operator of online poker has supported the bill in the state and sent two representatives to testify at the Senate Committee on Regulatory Reform.
Michigan still has way to go before legalising online gambling and could still fail but the race is on to be the fourth state in the US to offer online gambling legally.