Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill legalizing online gambling and sports betting into law on Friday, just in time for Christmas. The legislation the governor signed is expected to bring in $19 million in new untapped revenue to the state. Whitman announced from the state capital in Detroit on Friday that all the wrangling the sports bill has gone through, has been worth the wait. The money that online gambling and sports betting will bring in will be used in two different areas.
One in a school aid fund, to address the many decaying schools in the state. The second area is a ‘ First Responders Presumed Coverage Fund’, which aids firefighters and police officers with insurance and retirement funds. Whitman went on to explain, “My top priority in signing this legislation was protecting and investing in the School Aid Fund. Because our students deserve leaders who put their education first. The bills will put more dollars in Michigan classrooms and increase funding for firefighters battling cancer. This is a real bipartisan win for our state.”
The School Aid Fund Is Estimated To Bring In Close To $5 Million In Much Needed Funds
State officials said on Friday, that the sports betting bill being signed into law is a huge win for the students of Michigan. Estimates say that close to $5 million a year will be able to be put into the fund and put to good use. The ‘First Underexposure Presumed Coverage Fund’ will grow by at least $4 million a year state officials said. Some issues that were being debated before the governor signed the bill, is how the sports betting industry will affect tribal interests in the state.
Whitman said she was extremely pleased with the way both sides, all sides for that matter compromised so that the bill could be signed and put online. The bill has amended provisions for tribal casinos to also have online sports betting and sports betting at physical locations namely tribal owned casinos. Tribal leader in Michigan said on Friday, that they are very pleased that their casinos will also benefit from legalized sports betting. They said the revenue generated by the newly minted industry will go towards many tribal programs and activities.
Casinos Will Have To Apply For A Separate Sports Betting License Before They Can Take Bets
Casinos will have to apply and be approved for a sports betting license from state regulating agencies before sports can be allowed. Casino owners knew this requirement before Friday, and a few have already applied for the licenses. Some proponents of sports betting in the state hoped everything would be up and running before the Super Bowl in February.
However Democratic Senator Curtis Hertel Jr, who was a sponsor of the sports betting bill said earlier in the week, he didn’t think everything could be up and running in time for the Super Bowl. Hertel has said from the beginning of his sports betting journey, that the goal was being up and running by March Madness. Hertel said on Friday, ‘we should be up and running in time for the NCAA playoffs, no question.
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Huge Day for Michigan
Many called it a “huge day” for the state and indicated the new revenue is just what is needed. The Michigan Department of Revenue has estimated it to generate $19 million in new revenue. A 8.4 percent tax on sports bets would be collected after winnings are paid ut. Internet gambling would have a tax range between 20 and 28 percent.
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