Michigan Lawmaker Ready To Take A Swing At Sports Betting Bill

Written By Matthew Kredell on May 17, 2019
MI sports betting

The long wait for a sports betting bill in Michigan is about to end.

Legal Sports Report obtained a draft of a bill being prepared by Rep. Brandt Iden, which he intends to introduce next week.

While it took a few months longer than anticipated to work out the details, Iden’s proposal is mostly reasonable compared to the borderline outlandish provisions appearing in some nearby states.

What’s in the MI sports betting bill?

The new MI sports betting legislation would authorize both mobile and land-based wagering at the state’s 23 tribal and three commercial casinos.

Additionally, it would:

  • Establish a Division of Sports Betting and a state Sports Betting Fund.
  • Permit sports betting including on professional and collegiate teams including: single-game bets, teaser bets, parlays, over-under, moneyline, pools, exchange betting, in-game betting, in-play bets, proposition bets and straight bets.
  • Impose a fee of $200,000 for an initial license (renewable for $100,000 annually); $50,000 annually for suppliers.
  • Tax sports betting revenue at a rate of 8%.

Iden did note that he anticipates some changes to the final language between now and introduction.

Minor concession to leagues

For bets on the outcomes of games, the bill would permit licensees to use any data supplier, provided the data does not originate from:

  1. Live event attendees in violation of terms of admittance
  2. Automated computer programs that compile data from the internet in violation of terms of service

For in-play wagers, however, the bill would require operators to use official league data upon request from the sport’s governing body.

The draft does not include an integrity fee payable to leagues or any limitations on collegiate betting.

Disbursement of fees and taxes

The draft bill goes into great detail on how the state would use MI sports betting revenue.

  • 55% to the State Sports Betting Fund, which will pay $1 million annually into a Compulsive Gaming Prevention Fund
  • 30% to the city in which a sports betting licensee’s casino is located for local development
  • 5% to the Michigan Transportation Fund
  • 5% to the Michigan Agriculture Equine Industry Development Fund

Path forward for MI sports betting bill

Iden is also the sponsor of a Michigan online gambling bill introduced in March. It has been delayed in the House Ways and Means Committee that he chairs due to concerns expressed by the executive branch.

The sports betting bill starts in the House Regulatory Reform Committee, but he expects it to advance swiftly to Ways and Means.

Iden previously told LSR that he intends for sports betting to join his package of gambling bills in Ways and Means, and to push them toward passage together in June.

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Matthew Kredell

Matthew started his career as a sportswriter at the Los Angeles Daily News, where he covered the NFL, Kobe-Shaq three-peat, Pete Carroll’s USC football teams, USC basketball, pro tennis, Kings hockey and fulfilled his childhood dream of sitting in the Dodgers’ dugout. His reporting on efforts to legalize sports betting began in 2010, when Playboy Magazine flew him to Prague to hang out with Calvin Ayre and show how the NFL was pushing US money overseas by fighting expansion of regulated sports betting across the country. A USC journalism alum, Matt also has written on a variety of topics for Men’s Journal, Los Angeles magazine, LA Weekly and ESPN.com.

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