A lot has been discussed about MI online betting. Michigan sports betting was talked about in particular. With legislation being considered and dismissed on many occasions since 2015, the hope was Michigan would join other states in legalizing online gambling.
In this review, we’ll take a look at why that hasn’t happened yet. A new Governor is at the helm now, though, and supporters of betting legislation are hoping that a new Governor will bring a new perspective to online betting laws and legalities.
Can you bet on sports in Michigan? What types of betting are legal in MI? Read on for our take on the current thoughts behind the bill. What does the future hold for Michigan sports betting?
Gambling online is now being legalized in a number of states. It looked like Michigan would be following in the footsteps of New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware in 2018, but after former Governor Rick Snyder vetoed the legislation, the matter of MI online betting has seemingly been put on hold.
Michigan online gambling has technically been allowed since 2014, when the Michigan Lottery was launched. In addition, Michigan sports betting in the form of horse racing, greyhound racing, and Fantasy Sports have been available for a number of years too. Therefore, it’s not a huge stretch to imagine that the MI online betting legislation will be passed in the near future.
States are allowed to legalize online gambling, including sportsbook betting, after New Jersey won a Supreme Court case in May 2018. Since then, four states have passed legislation and a number of others are considering regulation.
Michigan falls into the second category, but it looks likely that 2019 could be the year that legal MI betting laws, in particular sports betting laws, are passed. This would have a very positive effect on Michigan sports betting.
So, the lines are slightly blurred when it comes to MI online gambling. MI online sports betting is possible with regards to betting on the horses and greyhounds. There are no laws allowing online casino betting and non-racing sports, but neither is there any outright banning it.
This means that it is possible for legal MI betting, and Michigan residents to bet online if it’s at the MI lottery or on horses and greyhounds.
Be warned, though. Before a regulation is passed, any website you can gain access to bet on sports other than those stated above will more than likely be unregulated. This poses a danger.
The current MI betting laws were set out in the 1996 Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act. The Act gave three casinos in Detroit the authorization to allow gambling on the premises.
Gambling games were authorized in the Act, but sports betting, aside from horse racing and greyhounds, wasn’t referred to.
Betting in Michigan was usually only offered on horse racing pool betting. In the early 1970s, a lottery and charity gambling was introduced to the state.
Gambling came to the fore in the 1980s with the introduction of bingo halls, which in turn offered electronic games. Land casinos were opened, proving popular with Michigan residents. The thought was that these casinos would keep revenue in the state, rather than having Michigan residents visiting elsewhere.
Towards the end of the millennium, legislation was passed that banned the use of the internet to place bets. This legislation was then dismissed the same year.
Now, with the decline in revenue of land-based casinos, there is the talk of Michigan becoming the next state to pass legislation to allow all types of online gambling to join the Michigan Lottery, racing, and Fantasy Sports.
This would mean struggling land-based casinos could start their own online gaming websites, earning their revenue through the internet as well as attracting customers through the doors.
There’s been a decline in casino revenues, and there’s also been a downturn in the number of bettors physically placing wagers at the track. Michigan now only has one racing track, Northville Downs race track, and the chances of this venue remaining open are looking extremely slim.
Depending on who you listen to, and who you read about, the introduction of casinos gradually led to the decline in horse racing betting live at the track. Now, it seems that both might need the introduction of new online gaming laws to invigorate the industry. Therefore, one can expect Michigan sports betting to become legal.
Ironically, Snyder insinuated that one of the reasons he turned down the legislation was to protect both land-based casinos and horse racing tracks. Representatives of both believe that new laws could mean new revenue. For example, if slots and games were allowed at Northville Downs, this might attract more customers into visiting the venue.
Michigan will face a huge problem if casinos continue to close, and Northville Downs is lost. Residents will simply go elsewhere to bet, meaning the State itself loses revenue.
Confused? You’re not alone. Not enough time has passed to judge if other states, like New Jersey, have successfully combined both land-based and online betting, and this seems to be a major hurdle for Michigan officials. Let’s hope the Michigan sports betting future is going to be a bit brighter.
Let’s look at everything you should know about legal MI betting. MI online sports betting was looking a certainty at the end of 2018, with just a scribble from Gov. Snyder needed to pass the bill. In a surprise to many, Snyder rejected the bill, saying:
“I do not think it is appropriate to sign legislation that will effectively result in more gambling, with a reasonable chance that the state could lose revenue…”
It’s been reported that many believe in vetoing the bill Snyder was protecting the Michigan Lottery, believing that this, in particular, could lose members with potential customers signing up to online gambling sites instead.
Now, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has taken office, and the talk is another attempt to pass the bill will take place in the early months of 2019. This is good news for Michigan sports betting.
The legislation was introduced in September 2017, with the House passing the Bill in June 2018. The Concurrence Vote passed in December, but just before leaving office, Rick Snyder vetoed the decision.
So, what was in the Michigan online betting bill that Gov. Snyder rejected? Entitled House Bill 4926, the Bill looked at legal MI betting consisting of online casino and poker games, with the possibility of sports betting. Let’s take a look at the key points:
Upon vetoing the bill, Snyder added the following:
“…Due to largely unknown budgetary concerns, I believe this legislation merits more careful study and comparison with how other states have, or will, authorize online gaming…”
Senator Mike Kowall was a huge advocate and a big player in attempting to get the bill signed. Brandt Iden brought the bill initially, and both expected Rick Snyder to sign. The fact that he didn’t come as a shock, though both are hopeful the new Governor will sign it off sooner rather than later.
For Michigan online sports betting in 2019, it all depends on whether the aforementioned legislation is signed off. If it is, then a whole new world of betting on sports will be opened to MI residents. The plan sounds amazing as it will
Horse racing and greyhound racing are already available to bet on online in Michigan. Over the next few years, it’s likely that other bookmakers will move into the territory and allow bettors to place wagers on soccer, basketball, football and more.
That, of course, depends on when the legislation is finally signed off. While it’s expected to be signed at some point in 2019, the future of MI online gambling is uncertain.
As well as discussing the possibility of MI online sports betting, the vetoed bill also had plans to launch and increase retail betting outlets. Once the bill is signed off, it’s likely that plans for both retail and online gambling will start to come to fruition very soon.
This would be that either casino will be able to offer sports betting, or other bookmakers could use those premises for their own Sportsbook. There is also the possibility of high street bookmakers opening too.
It’s more likely, though, that MI sports betting will only be allowed via internet betting. That is, as we’ve seen if the legislation is finally pushed through.
MI online gambling for casino games could come first. The fact that there are already land-based options means it’s more likely online gambling will be focused on these games, with retail and online sports betting authorized afterward.
So where is Michigan sports betting legal? In essence, it’s not. Not yet. You can bet on horse racing and greyhounds, as well as Fantasy Sports that focus on skill rather than luck, but traditional sports betting isn’t available in Michigan.
It does seem tantalizingly close to happening, though. As we discussed earlier in this review, Gov. Whitmer is expected to revisit the Bill in the near future, after the previous Governor dismissed it.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board will be responsible for awarding MI sports betting licenses. Once these have been established, we’ll update you with what’s new with legal MI betting.
It’s likely that if Michigan sports betting is to be legalized, it will first be offered via Internet betting. However, if the bill vetoed previously is passed, all casinos, both tribal and commercial, will be able to apply for a sports betting license.
The Bill also suggests that the minimum age for sports betting would be 21, as it is for casino betting. The legal age for pari-mutuel betting is 18, though, so this is a matter for further discussion.
Of course, there are other matters that would need to be agreed upon before the bill is passed. Can only casinos in Michigan apply? Can other bookmakers and gambling organizations set up in the State? There’s certainly a lot more questions than answers right now.
How other States have applied their betting laws will come under scrutiny. The need to keep business and revenue in Michigan will be key to whether the bill is signed off or otherwise.
And so, from Robert Kosowski introducing legislation in 2015, to the probability of said legislation being passed in 2019, it’s been a long road for Michigan bettors and those in support of the Bill. Could Michigan sports betting become a reality in 2019? Only time will tell.