Wolverine state left to ponder sports betting legislation

Wolverine state left to ponder sports betting legislation

Friday, June 29, 2018 Posted by Luke Massey
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The state’s bills won’t be ratified until at least the autumn

Michigan has followed Maryland and New York in failing to move legal sports betting onto the statute books before the closure of its state legislature.

The state Senate has run the rule over a bundle of bills post-PASPA, but having missed the deadline for sign off, they won’t be ratified until at least the autumn.

The key piece of legislation for consideration is Bill S203 which moves to establish an internet gaming division under the auspices of Michigan’s Gaming Control Board. The division would have responsibility for overall operator licensing and regulation.

The cost to apply has been provisionally set at $100,000 per operator, allied to an initial licensing fee of $200,000. Operators must then pay $100,000 annually thereafter to maintain the licence.

For online providers, the fees are significantly lower at $5,000 for the initial application and the same amount again for the licence. The annual renewal cost will be $2,500. In terms of tax, Michigan has been comparatively lenient, with a 10% levy on online gross gaming revenues proposed.

While Michigan has hard and fast figures down on paper, the real shape of a legal sports betting sector will undoubtedly be influenced by negotiations with the state’s tribes who, between them, operate more than 20 venues. They are not governed by state regulations, but will be instrumental in talks about the future of sports betting in the run up to state legislature reconvening in the autumn.

In other news regarding Michigan’s gaming sector, the Gambling Control Board has released revenue figures for May 2018 for its three Detroit casinos. They achieved a combined 3.9% increase to $124.6m when compared with the corresponding period of last year.

MGM led with $54.3m in monthly aggregate revenue, a 7.6% increase. MotorCity revenue was ahead 2.2% to $41.5m, and Greektown recorded a 0.02% increase to $28.8m.

Totally Gaming says:  While there is evidently a will to legalise sports betting in Michigan, legislators are having to work hard to achieve it. Reading between the well-spaced lines, it’s clear that not much will happen without input from the tribal operators. They will be key players in what are likely to be delicate negotiations towards identifying a regulatory path that works for all interested parties.

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