Gov. Whitmer Signs Bills To Legalize Sports Betting, Internet Gambling In Michigan

by Administrator

LANSING (WWJ) - It's official, you can finally bet on your favorite sports in Michigan.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Friday signed a 10-bill package into law that legalizes Internet gaming and sports betting through Michigan's casinos. The legislation will allow those casinos to set up theaters to accept wagers on live sporting events and accept sports bets online.

The tax on sports wagering receipts after winnings are paid out is 8.4%. The tax on internet poker and other online games ranges between 20% and 28%.

Money generated from online gaming and sports gambling aims to support the School Aid Fund and the Responder Coverage fund. The law is expected to generate nearly $20 million to the state, which will boost the school and the responder fund by over $4 million each.

"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," Whitmer said in a statement. "Thanks in part to the hard work and leadership of Senator Hertel and Representative Warren, these 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 new legislation also allows tribal casinos to participate in online gaming and sports betting at an equal level to the Detroit casinos. This revenue will support important tribal community activities.

Additionally, the bills include safeguards designed to keep children from betting on their phones.

How soon online gaming actually begins in Michigan will depend on a number of factors. Industry experts, however, anticipate that sports betting could be in place by the time the NCAA Tournament rolls around in the spring.

With the legislation, Michigan becomes the 20th state to authorize sports wagers and the fifth to allow casino-style games to be played online.