In September, Representative Brandt Iden of Michigan introduced HB 4926. This bill would see the state allow online poker and casino gaming to be legalized. The bill was recently voted on in the Michigan House Regulatory Reform Committee and approved. The current legislative session comes to an end today, but it ends on a positive note for the bill, which should be discussed again next year.
HB 4926 On The House Floor
HB 4926 now sits on the House floor to be considered. If the House approves the measure, it would move on to the Senate. If approved again, it would move on to the Governor’s desk for approval. It is possible for the measure to be passed today within the House, but since today is the final day of the current session, it will most likely be postponed until 2018.
Representative Iden was hoping that the bill would at least move through the House by the end of November, but that did not happen. Despite taking longer to move forward than he hoped, the Rep is still optimistic that his bill will be passed by the House within the first quarter of next year.
Will Iden Win Support
Iden has been able to win over the support of the three commercial casinos of the state, but has yet to see support from tribal gaming operators. The tribes had a problem with Iden removing section 16 of his bill, an option that was first added to accommodate the tribes and later removed by request of commercial gaming operators. The section proposed that if a change in federal law prohibited tribes from taking part in online gambling, the casinos of Detroit would not be able to continue to operate online without the tribes operating as well.
Another change to the bill was the tax rate. In the beginning, online operators were to be charged 15% in taxes on revenues. Now, 10% will be taken, a much lower amount, something that should please all stakeholders.