The American Gambling Awards recognize the companies and individuals making outstanding contributions to the growth of the regulated online gambling industry in the United States.
Rep. Brandt Iden was the driving force behind Michigan’s successful effort to legalize sports betting, online poker and online casino gaming in late 2019. Without Iden’s determined effort, it is unlikely Michigan would have succeeded in regulating online casino gaming and online poker, much less online sports betting. Iden is the latest recipient of the coveted Golden Eagle trophy, presented by Gambling.com, the leading source of online gambling news, product reviews, comparisons, bonuses and tips.
The last few years have seen an unprecedented policy shift in favor of online gaming in the United States. More states are looking to online gaming as a means to generate revenue and, like many other industries, see that the future is digital. Iden’s willingness to work with diverse stakeholders helped establish a solid compromise bill in 2019 that had broad-based appeal for tribes, commercial casinos, online operators and fantasy sports providers. As a result, Michigan’s online gamblers will be able to play at regulated and taxed gaming operators which actually prioritize player protection rather than the offshore operators which supply the state market without any local oversight.
Iden (R-Oshtemo Township) built a strong Republican base of support and worked with Democrats and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to navigate a complex political situation. He held firm to the need for reasonable tax rates, and ultimately struck a balance between the competing interests of raising state revenues and creating a successful and enduring gaming industry. Sports betting launched at Michigan casinos in March 2020, with online gaming and mobile sports betting options expected to begin by the end of 2020.
Charles Gillespie, chief executive of Gambling.com Group Plc, says, “Michigan Representative Brandt Iden has been one of the strongest and most vocal pro-gaming legislators in the country, and it was his feat of championing a successful all-encompassing gaming bill into law that truly set him apart over the last year. For his successful efforts to bring sports betting and online gaming into the 21st century and set an example for states all over the country, Gambling.com is proud to award an Honorary 2020 Golden Eagle to Representative Iden.”
Iden adds, “It is truly a fantastic honor to be the receipt of this year’s honorary Golden Eagle Award and have Michigan's iGaming policy recognized by Gambling.com. I would like to thank my staff, colleagues, the governor of our great state of Michigan and the industry advocates who spent thousands of hours and over four years of hard work helping to make this policy a reality.”
Michigan consumers will have access to safe, regulated gaming sites, and public services – including schools – will benefit from additional resources. These reforms were three years in the making and will have long-lasting benefits for years to come.
Iden serves the 61st District in the Michigan House of Representatives and was first elected in November 2014.
The American Gambling Awards are expected to return with a full slate of categories and nominees in 2021. For more information, visit the awards website: www.gambling.com/us/awards.
Watch Charles Gillespie present Rep. Brandt Iden with the 2020 honorary Golden Eagle:
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About Gambling.com Group Plc
Gambling.com Group Plc is a multi-award-winning provider of digital marketing services for the global online gambling industry. Founded in 2006, the Group has a workforce of more than 100 and operates from offices in Dublin, Charlotte, Tampa and Malta. The Group publishes information portals that offer comparisons and reviews of regulated online gambling websites around the world. Players use these resources to select which online gambling operators they should trust to offer a safe and honest online gambling experience. The Group’s publishing assets include the leading gambling industry portal, Gambling.com® as well as Bookies.com and the CasinoSource℠ series of portals, among many others.