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This week the Michigan Senate voted to legalize and regulate online gambling, passing the measure by a margin of 33-5.
The bill would make Michigan the fifth state to legalize online casino gambling, and would see internet casino games taxed at a rate of 8%. The bill would also see Detroit continuing to get at least $179 million in tax revenues yearly from betting, even if fewer people actually visit the casinos due to online betting. 55% of revenues generated from taxes would go to the state gambling fund, with 30% going to Detroit, and the remainder going toward schools, roads, and other projects. Gamblers would have to be 21 or older and physically located in The Wolverine State in order to place internet wagers.
Sportsbetting isn't specifically covered in the bill, but would give a way for the activity to be offered in the future.
Those looking to get a license would have to pay a $100,000 application fee, $200,000 initial license fee, and an annual renewal fee of $100,000. Game providers would pay $100,000 with a $50,000 renewal fee. Tribes in the state could seek amendments to be allowed to allow online betting through their reservations.
Michigan currently has 26 land casinos, three of which are located in Detroit.
The bill will now head back to the House for voting, and will head to the Governor's desk for signing if it indeed passes.