LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Legislature is a step closer to making sports gambling legal in the state.
The Senate voted on one of ten bills on Tuesday and will vote on the remainder on Wednesday.
The bills are part of an internet gaming package that includes legislation that would legalize sports betting, advance deposit wagering on horse racing, charitable gaming, and fantasy leagues.
One of the bills voted on by the Michigan Senate on Tuesday would amend the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act, the act that regulates the three Detroit casinos. The bill, HB 4307, would lift the prohibition on political contributions by casino licensees.
The whole I-Gaming package would allow sports betting through casinos and online gambling.
Senator Curtis Hertel Jr. has been a huge champion of the bills and says he hopes to have them passed and sent to the Governor's desk by the end of the week.
"We've seen states such as Mississippi and Illinois move faster than we have," said Hertel (D) East Lansing. "We need to get sports gaming done in Michigan now. Our residents want it. They are already sports gambling, almost everyone is apart of a March Madness pool or something else. It's just creating a legal avenue for it to happen."
Hertel expects Governor Gretchen Whitmer to sign the bills into law.
The tax on sports betting after winnings would be 8.4%.
The tax on online gaming would range between 20% and 28%.
Revenue from these taxes would go into the school aid fund and a fund for first responders battling cancer.
Critics argue there's already enough competition and it could hurt the state's lottery.
If passed and then approved by the Governor, Michigan would be one of more than 12 states to legalize sports gambling.
The federal ban was lifted by the Supreme Court in 2018.
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