Lawmakers in Michigan are locked in a legal battle with several different American Indian tribes over legalized sports betting. There are now six days left before the Michigan State Legislature adjourns for the year. If there will be a final approval for sports betting, it must be done within that six-day period. The Michigan House passed legalized sports betting in October.
However, since the passage, there have been a few issues that are still curtailing sports betting in the Wolverine State. One of the bigger issues is the tax rate for iGaming and sports betting. Governor Gretchen Whitmer will have to decide if sports betting will be added to a law enacted in 1993, known as the ‘tribal-state compacts.’ Whitmer has made it clear that she wants the tax rate to be higher, than the 8.75% that is currently in the sports betting bill.
Governor Whitmer Thinks That People That Engage In Sports Betting Threaten The Lottery
Governor Whiter is of the school of thought that players who engage in sports betting, may lure away business from the Michigan State Lottery. The revenue generated from the lottery goes to aid schools, and state and local government agencies. She said not having that revenue or having it greatly reduced due to sports betting is of grave concern to her. Governor Whitmer and her team want the tax amount to be pushed up to 15%. She believes that amount, will even out possible lost revenue from the lottery.
Brandt Iden the sponsor of the current sports betting bill known as, ‘House Bill 4916’ says that much of increase,will be too great of a burden on future operators of sports betting providers. On Tuesday December 3. Iden and other interested parties attended a special meeting about the bill.
Brandt Iden Has Been Trying For The Last Four Years To Launch Legalized Betting In Michigan
At the meeting Iden explained all of the issues standing in the way of sports betting being launched in Michigan. Iden said everything was on target for it passing smoothly, until at the last minute former Governor Rick Snyder vetoed the bill in its entirety. Iden said that he is way more aligned with the current Governor Whitmer. He said the biggest issue is the amount of the tax on iGambling and sports betting. Iden and Whitmer’s office said that ‘all interested parties are going to be in negotiations this week, so that a meaningful conclusion can be accomplished.’
He said he’s optimistic as long as both sides are still trying to come up with a tax rate compromise, which he is more than willing to do at this point. He is also adding an addendum to the bill to address the 1993 tribal compact agreement. The addendum according to Iden and other supporters will allow Tribal casinos to have legalized sports betting. Iden believes if the ‘tax rate is just a few points too high, they can be totally cut out of the legalized sports betting market.’