Michigan Online Gaming Could Spark Detroit Sports Betting
A Michigan online betting bill could help pave the way for legal sports betting in the state. In Detroit, it means residents may be a step closer to placing bets without leaving the U.S.
The Detroit News reports the Michigan Senate will take up an online betting bill passed by the House of Representatives earlier this year. Though the passed House bill doesn’t address sports betting, state representatives are reportedly eager to integrate sports wagering in future discussions as it’s taken up by the Senate.
This could be a big difference in Michigan’s largest city.
Detroit Proves Gambling Hotspot In Michigan
Michigan has 23 Native American casinos spread across the state, but another sizeable chunk of the state’s gambling revenues comes from three state-regulated casinos in Detroit. The three facilities take in more than $1 billion in revenue annually and last year paid more than $100 million in taxes to the state. The MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino Hotel and Greektown Casino Hotel have additionally contributed more than $2 billion in taxes directly to Detroit in the past 20 years and are the city’s third-largest source of revenue.
Online gambling is the next frontier for these facilities, allowing customers to take bets from the comfort of their homes. Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware all offer online games like slots and poker, garnering millions in revenue every month, and Pennsylvania is nearing its own online gaming setup. Michigan is keen on joining a growing list of other states with internet-based gaming options.
With legislative support for online gaming, sports betting in land-based casinos and possibly even through the internet has sparked discussion in Lansing. Michigan has no regulatory framework to take sports bets of any kind currently, but with the federal ban revoked, it could join other states in accepting bets if and when its legalized by the state legislature.
Without a legal framework in place, the three Detroit facilities have not reached out to the Michigan Gaming Control Board for sports betting licenses. Lawmakers in Lansing would have to determine the parameters for sports betting, how it would be regulated online and how it would be taxed – among other issues. The government would also have to figure out how the Native American-run casinos, which work on a compact with the state, would implement sports betting.
Still, sports betting would be well received by casinos across the state, and especially Detroit which has to deal with foreign competition just miles away. Windsor, which lies on the other side of the U.S.-Canadian border, doesn’t offer single-game wagering currently but does offer sports betting parlay options.
The casino operators have already jumped at the chance in other states. After years running Las Vegas casinos, MGM will start taking bets at its New Jersey and Mississippi properties, both of which are in states that recently legalized wagering on single-game sporting events. In the Detroit News piece, officials from Greektown and MotorCity are also interested.
Michigan Joins Midwestern Neighbors
The Great Lakes State is not alone when it comes to gambling interest in the region. Neighboring Ohio has introduced sports gambling legislation for its 2019 session and could possibly take bets before the end of next year.
There’s also a shared link between the two states. Ohio has several casinos owned by Jack Entertainment, the owner of Greektown. Undoubtedly lobbying efforts would come for legalization in both jurisdictions, and the joint effort could advance support in both states.
Meanwhile Illinois, Indiana and Iowa lawmakers have all discussed sports betting bills. No significant actions were taken in any state during the previous legislative session, but a growing trend toward sports betting legalization could motivate legislators and spark a region-wide movement in the next few years.
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