Michigan House of Representatives committee has passed the bill to legalize online gambling in the state of Michigan on Wednesday.
The Bill, House Bill 4926, was introduced by Republican Brandt Iden in the house three months ago. He had earlier said that he wanted to see it pass the House by Thanksgiving. As the legislative session has come to an end, there will be further developments only next year now.
The bill specifies that online gambling operators making bids would have to pay a $100,000 licensing application fee. If they get a grant of a five-year license, the first year fee would be $200,000 while then on it will be $100,000 each year from the second year.
Iden had earlier conveyed that getting all of the state’s tribes and the three commercial casinos to all agree on the legislation is the most prominent challenge. He added that to get the stakeholders operating the gaming sites onboard is a good idea, although lawmakers could always go ahead and make the bills.
Iden said that the committee had met with the stakeholders a day prior for this Michigan House Regulatory Reform Committee vote. The three commercial casinos in Michigan – Greektown, MGM Detroit, and Motor City – now support the legislation.
Gambling Compliance’s Chris Krafcik confirmed on his Twitter handle that there are two main amendments to the bill. The first amendment is about the location of gaming servers on the property of a licensed casino.
According to Krafcik, the amendments would help put online gambling in sync with the Michigan constitution. He was of the opinion that gambling must only take place at a casino. Krafcik added that with servers at a casino site, online gambling would occur at the casino only.
The second amendment is about the adjustment to the tax rate. The amended bill states that licensees are required to pay a tax of 10 percent on gross gaming revenue, which is down from 15 percent previously.