Michigan State Rep. Brandt Iden, R-Kalamazoo, an active force behind the drive to legalize sports betting in the state following the U.S. Supreme Court order, has said he aims to complete the legalities by the Super Bowl. He said: “My goal is to have this up and running by the Super Bowl. Casinos are moving forward because they know it’s going to come to fruition at some point. If we don’t do this, we will continue to lose consumers to other states.”
Thirteen states and the District of Columbia have approved sports betting in their states since the court order. Michigan lawmakers are following suit by resurrecting an old plan.
Even though the bills had widespread support in the Legislature, they were vetoed by former Gov. Rick Snyder, who opposed the expansion of gambling in the state and feared a loss of revenue for the state lottery, from which revenues are funneled to schools.
Iden is hoping for a different outcome with a new governor in office.
The bill calls for an 8% tax on sports betting, which would generate between $8.7 million to $11.2 million in tax revenues. That’s based on a sport betting market in Michigan, both in the casinos and online, of up to $225 million.
The bill comes as the U.S. Supreme Court paved the way for legalized sports betting across the nation last year. The justices ruled that a 25-year-old federal law that has effectively prohibited sports betting outside Nevada is unconstitutional. The ruling set the stage for other states to expand legalized gambling as a source of government revenue.