Michigan Online Gambling Legalization Bill Vetoed

It looked like online gambling in Michigan was going to receive an early present after a bill to legalize the activity in the state passed the senate. It turns out they got Scrooged on Christmas Eve, after the governor decided to veto the bill.

Known as Bill HB4926, it would have allowed the Michigan online gambling legalization – US poker sites, casino games and eventually sports betting – in the state. Under the bill, gaming operators in the state would be able to apply for licenses at a cost of $200,000 for five years. There would be a $100,000 renewal fee. Gross gaming revenue was to be taxed at eight per cent.

What did the Michigan Online Gambling Bill Propose?

As the senate closed for the Holiday break the bill passed with a vote of 33-5. It had previously been approved in the Michigan House of Representatives in June. That was set to make Michigan the fifth state to legalize online gambling, joining Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania.

Why Did Governor Rick Snyder veto the deal?

The vote proved to be a moot point after outgoing Republican Governor Rick Snyder vetoed the bill in his final days before leaving office. It was one of 40 bills that Snyder slapped a veto on before his time in the governor’s chair ends.

In the veto letter accompanying the bill, Snyder said he decided to get rid of the bill due to what he called “budgetary concerns.” In the letter, he stated “Due to largely unknown budgetary concerns, I believe this legislation merits more careful study and comparison with how other states have, or will, authorize online gaming. To be blunt, we simply don’t have the data to support this change at this time.”

What’s next for online gambling in Michigan?

With the bill now dead, a new bill will need to be written and presented to get the ball rolling again on bringing legal online gambling to Michigan. Taking Snyder’s place in the governor’s chair is Democrat Gretchen Whitmer, whose stance on online gambling remains unknown.