Michigan Online Gambling delayed into 2020 or beyond

Michigan online gambling has suffered a blow after a promising internet gambling bill was vetoed.

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Michigan Online Gambling is set to be delayed for at least a year due to a shocking last-minute veto.

The proposed internet gambling bill would have lifted constraints on Horse Racing within the state, opening up avenues into smartphone betting.

The bills would have also allowed online casinos to provide games online - with a portion of tax revenue going to the school and transportation funds. 

The plan has been four years in the making - but it now seems nothing will happen until 2020 at the very earliest.

Governor Rick Snyder vetoed the highly anticipated bill - citing the cannibalization of the state lottery as a chief concern. 

Michigan Online Gambling Delay

Speaking to Online Poker Report, Republican Brandt Iden expressed his disappointment in the decision. 

In a phone interview, he said: “The veto pen came out for my entire gaming package, which is incredibly disappointing. We had no idea this was coming."

"We had all the stakeholders supportive of the package and we had alleviated any concerns, so this is a very surprising outcome.”

Mr. Iden also showed disapproval of the Governor's actions, suggesting it was part of a plan to monopolize lottery revenue in the state.

He said: “I think it’s unfair because you’re taking a state entity like the lottery and trying to compare it to the free-market system of other online gaming platforms,”

The online lottery is a valuable source of Michigan state revenue. 28c of every dollar spent on the lottery is donated to the School Aid Fund - with 60c being paid back as prizes for players.

In 2017 alone, $924 million was paid out to schools. Since 1973, the lottery has contributed $21.4 billion towards the Michigan education system - making it a valuable resource for the state.

Michigan Horse Racing Stakeholder Fury

The rejection of the Michigan online gambling bill has been met with anger across the board - especially from stakeholders in the horse racing market. 

The National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association president George Kutlenios has responded to the news, writing:

“Introduced by Republican Dan Lauwers almost two years ago, this bill would have supported the horse racing industry in Michigan by modernizing the Horse Racing Act to support Advanced Deposit Wagering and support Michigan’s second largest industry, agriculture."

The president also highlighted how the bill was designed to support the horse racing industry specifically - an industry which has been a part of Michigan history since 1938.

This is not the first time cannibalization has been used to reject the introduction of online gambling. Officials in Nevada have been strongly opposed to online gambling for years - stating that it would destroy the state's famous hospitality industry.

Despite the setback to his plans, Mr. Brandt Iden is planning to reintroduce the bills in 2019 - with a view of also making preparations for Michigan online sports betting.
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