Michigan iGaming bills pass committee unamended

Michigan's Senate Regulatory Reform Committee has voted in favour of iGaming legislation introduced just last week.

The committee voted 7-1 in favour of related senate bills 203, 204 an 205, making an immediate effect recommendation which means that the bills can take effect 90 days after being signed into law.

The committee heard testimony from a number of iGaming proponents, including the Poker Players Alliance, The Innovation Group and Amaya representative Mike Cox Law Firm. Testifying in opposition to the bills was the Sheldon Adelson backed Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling.
The coalition's opposition to regulated internet gambling rested on five arguments: that the state-by state regulation of iGaming is "a house of cards" that is likely to be overturned by the DoJ; that the authorisation of internet gambling will require a statewide referendum; that it could be a violation of existing compacts with Tribes; that it poses a threat to the state budget and that children cannot be prevented from accessing iGaming sites.

The issues of a statewide referendum and the impact on existing compacts are already addressed in the proposed bills making them moot, while the other claims are unsubstantiated.

There were also a number of gaming interests represented at the hearing who chose not to testify, with tribal casino interests opposed to the bills while the Greektown Casino, MGM Grand Detroit and Motor City Casino voiced their neutrality.

The bills now head to the senate floor for further consideration.

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