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Legislature votes to legalize sports betting and internet gambling

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Posted at 8:48 PM, Dec 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-11 20:48:39-05

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan's Legislature has voted to legalize sports betting and internet gambling.

The bills approved Wednesday will expand options for gamblers in a state with three commercial casinos in Detroit and two-dozen tribal casinos elsewhere.

The legislation reflects a compromise with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer after lawmakers agreed to a higher tax on internet gambling than was initially proposed.

Michigan will become the 20th state to authorize sports wagers and the fifth to allow casino-style games to be played online. Sports betting could be in place by March Madness.

Here's a look at the numbers:
- The state would put an 8.4 percent sales tax on sports bets at casinos managed by tribes, as well as the three Detroit casinos.

- It would be a little more expensive in Detroit because the city has its own 3 1/4 percent gambling tax.

- 30-percent of the money will be given to the cities where the bets were placed.

- Most of the state's share will be put into the school-aid fund.

Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. said, "This is a complex package that has a lot of moving parts to it but what it really does is provide better regulations in Michigan for gambling, and some financial resources for our schools, which is obviously needed."

Games bet online will be taxed between 20 and 28%.

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