Michigan Lawmaker Wants To Legalize Poker, Other Casino Games On The Internet This Year

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Hopes are high for measure in 2017

A new proposal to legalize and regulate online casinos was put forth in Michigan earlier this month and could find itself on the governor’s desk by the end of the year, according to the lawmaker introducing in the House.

State Rep. Brandt Iden, a Republican, said in an interview that hopes are high this year for his consumer protection measure, but there’s still work to be done to get the state’s casinos behind it.

Casino gambling is big business in the state, as the three Detroit casinos gather winnings that are about $1.4 billion a year combined and the 23 tribal casinos win about $1.5 billion combined annually.

If Michigan passes the bill this year it would be the fourth state with regulated Las Vegas-style gaming over the web. The last state to pass a bill for regulation was New Jersey in 2013. Over in the Michigan Senate, a companion internet betting measure from Sen.

Mike Kowall, also a Republican cleared a committee vote back in March.

On being asked by Brian Pempus about the motivations for pushing the i-gaming bill this year?

Brandt Iden – “This is an issue I’ve been following for quite some time, obviously you are familiar with it, and you know that Sen. Kowall in the Senate introduced a version of this as well. He and I have had conversations on this, and what this really comes down to is consumer protection. We know that people are gaming on the internet in the state of Michigan, in fact, so much so that – I have a university very close to me – when I talk to college students and I ask them if they play online, they say that they play poker online and that they don’t realize it’s illegal in the state”.