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New Online Gambling Bill Introduced in Michigan

- March 8, 2017 By Oliver Young -

The bill stipulates the establishment of a licencing body.

Michigan on its way to legalise online gambling with the new proposed bill.

In 2014, Morgan Stanley published a report claiming that 20 US states will legalise online gambling by 2020. While several initiatives and proposals have been put forward in the past few years, it seems that not everything is going according to plan. It seems that we might have to wait for a bit longer for at least 20 states to legalise online gambling.

However, there’s still time until 2020 and another one of the states on the list published by Morgan Stanley is coming closer to online gambling legalisation. Namely, a new bill that regulates online poker has been introduced in Michigan. If it is passed the bill will open the doors for full legalisation of online gambling and some have even suggested that the Great Lakes State might become the fourth state that completely legalises online casinos in the US.

The Tax Rate Will Be 10%

The bill was proposed by State Senator Michael Kowall, and he expressed his opinion that the bill, if passed, should authorise the establishment of a new state division that will grant licences to online casinos. Casino operators would have to pay a $100,000 fee in order to apply. The licences would be issued for a period of 5 years, and an annual fee will be applied. The fee for the first year is set at $200,000 whereas the fees for the remaining 4 years would be $100,000 annually.

Software provides will also need to apply for special licences, for which the application fee is set at $5,000, and would also be issued for a period of 5 years, with an annual fee of $5,000 for the first year and an amount of $2,500 for the following years. The tax level is set at 10% of the gross gambling revenues.

In the introduction the proponent explains the need for such a bill, claiming that passing such a bill will generate revenue for the state government, create new jobs and that by legalising online gambling consumers will enjoy a greater degree of protection.

Poker and Other Casino Games Will Be Permitted

Gambling legalisation advocates believe that the bill is in full accordance with the opinion of the Department of Justice from September 2011. The legal gambling age is set at 21 and only people who are actually located within the borders of Michigan would be allowed to play. Furthermore, the text also stipulates the players’ right to self-exclude themselves from online gambling, whereas the operators are requested to introduce measures that will guarantee players’ safety and protection.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the bill is that, even though it explicitly mentions online poker, it is in no way limited to just only poker. Instead, if the bill is passed operators that acquire licences will be allowed to offer other games as well. Furthermore, the bill will also allow the creation of interstate player pools, where players from multiple states will be allowed to participate.

If the bill is passed and an online gambling act is enacted, it will still take some time before Michigan residents are allowed to play games online, as it would take about a year before the body in charge of online gambling is established and the first licences are issued.

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