Gov. Whitmer signs bills legalizing internet gaming, sports betting in Michigan

  • The bills legalize internet gaming and sports betting through Michigan’s casinos.

  • Revenue from online gaming and sports betting will support the School Aid Fund and First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund.

By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub

Posted Dec. 20, 2019 — 11:00 AM EST

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed bipartisan bills Friday that legalize internet gaming and sports betting through Michigan’s casinos.

Revenue from online gaming and sports betting will support the school aid fund and First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund, according to the governor.

“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,” said Whitmer. “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 Michigan Department of Treasury estimates that legalization will bring in $19 million in new revenue to Michigan.

The additional revenue will boost the School Aid Fund by $4.8 million and invest an additional $4 million into the FRPCF, the governor says.

FRPCF provides weekly workers’compensation wage loss and medical benefits to qualified first responders that have developed certain cancers.

The revenue for the coverage fund will be the first time FRPCF has a dedicated funding stream.

The fund helps to treat illnesses firefighters battle due to smoke inhalation and exposure to chemicals while protecting others.

Additionally, the packages of bills will allow tribal casinos to participate in online gaming and sports betting at an equal level to the Detroit casinos.

HB 4311 creates the Lawful Internet Gaming Act, which allows the Michigan Gaming Control Board to issue licenses for online and mobile casinos games to be offer by licensed Detroit or Tribal casinos if the applicants meet certain criteria.

The bill allows for all current forms of casino games to be offered online or on mobile devices.

HB 4916 creates the Lawful Sports Betting Act, which legalizes sports betting in casinos, online and mobile. This bill specifies that an internet sports betting wager received by a sports betting operator or its internet sports betting platform provider would be considered gambling or gaming that was conducted in the sports betting operator’s casino located in Michigan.

HB 4308 creates the Fantasy Contests Consumer Protection Act, which establishes the legal framework to regulate fantasy sports contests within the state. It allows for both paid contest at a commercial level and private contest within certain criteria to be legal in the state of Michigan.

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