While most eyes have been on California when it comes to online poker legislation, the state of Michigan has quietly and quickly entered the mix. Just a few weeks ago, Senate Bill No. 889 was introduced by Mike Kowall, a Republican State Senator. The measure will now have a hearing take place within the Michigan Senate Regulatory Reform Committee planned for 2pm tomorrow.
Interestingly enough, five of the committee members are co-sponsors of the measure. The committee is made up of nine members, so more than half are in support of the legislation, as reported by the Poker Players Alliance. This already gives the measure a positive outlook.
Within the language of the bill, it states that commercial casinos of Michigan and tribal groups who operate casinos will be the only entities allowed to operate online casino gaming. Only eight licenses to operate online will be provided. An online poker license will have a five year time frame and a $5 million licensing fee. Gross gaming revenues will be taxed 10%. On top of poker gaming, online operators will also be able to provide casino games.
It is interesting to note just how quickly the legislation has moved forward and is already set for a hearing. Other states that have shown interest in online gaming seem to be stalling or having issues that are stopping progression. In California, movement has been made with hearings and discussions, with some resolution seem to be in the near future on issues including bad actor clauses and the horse racing industry.
Will Michigan be the next state to join Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey in offering online casino gaming? We shall see what happens during the hearing tomorrow and if legislation will continue to move forward at a rapid pace within the state.
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