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

Legislation expected to bring in $19 million in new revenue to Michigan

Sports betting is now legal in Michigan.

DETROIT – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed bills to legalize sports betting and internet gambling in the state of Michigan, she announced.

Money raised through online gaming and sports betting will support the school aid fund and First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund, Whitmer said.

“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,” Whitmer said. "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 the legalization will bring in $19 million in new revenue to Michigan. It is expected to bolster the School Aid Fund by $4.8 million and invest an additional $4 million into the FRPCF.

The bill package allows tribal casinos to participate in online gaming and sports betting at an equal level to the Detroit casinos. This revenue will support important tribal community activities, officials said.

Casinos will need a license from state regulators before sports betting can begin legally. Some lawmakers had hoped sports wagering could start by the Super Bowl, in early February.

Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr., an East Lansing Democrat, doubted it could begin by then but said the NCAA basketball tournament, which starts in mid-March, is a realistic goal.

House bills

House bill 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 casinos games to be offered online or on mobile devices.

House bill 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.

House bill 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.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.