The Michigan Senate voted Thursday night to approve a series of bills legalizing online gambling in Detroit and tribal casinos.
House Bills 4926, 4927 and 5881, all sponsored by state Rep. Brandt Iden (R-Portage), had already passed the House in June. The Senate amended the bills to ensure that Detroit would continue to receive a minimum $179 million a year in gambling tax revenue even if the internet gambling cuts into the customers of the city’s brick-and-mortar casinos.
Four other states allow online gambling: Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
To participate in the online gambling, an individual would have to be at least 21 years old and reside in Michigan or one of the other four states that allow online gambling. Individuals who have been convicted of a felony or a gambling-related crime would be barred from gambling online.
Online gambling revenues would be taxed at a rate of 8 percent. Gambling done in person is taxed at a rate of 19 percent.
Revenue coming in from online gambling done through Detroit casinos would be distributed as such:
- 55 percent to the state’s gaming fund
- 30 percent to the city of Detroit
- 5 percent to schools
- 5 percent to roads
- 5 percent to horseracing
Revenue coming in from internet gambling done through tribal casinos would be distributed differently:
- 75 percent to the state’s gaming fund
- 25 percent to the Michigan Strategic Fund
While the state will decide which games are allowed online, they are required to allow poker.
Because the legislation was amended in the Senate, the House must vote to concur before the bills reach Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk.
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