MICHIGAN ONLINE POKER BILL PASSES COMMITTEE VOTE

MICHIGAN ONLINE POKER BILL

Legislation in Michigan that would allow Las Vegas-style gambling, including poker, to the web was able to advance on Wednesday.

It has been an ongoing endeavor an incredible four years since a U.S. state legalized online casino gaming. Just New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware have regulated iGaming, which limits liquidity and has left their overall market size at a little over $200 million.

More states need to follow suit in order for online poker in America to burgeon once again. Apart from Michigan, the states of New Hampshire, Hawaii, California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and New York are all eyeing betting over the internet.

The Michigan bill passed the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee by a 7-1 vote. Last year’s bill also received a committee sign-off, but didn’t gain any additional ground in the legislature.

It’s unclear if the bill has any real chance in 2017, since the Gun Lake and Pokagon Potawatomi tribes oppose the legislation. Two Detroit casinos are also on the fence, which also is not good news.

It’s worth noting that the online casino bill cleared the same committee in 2016, but it occured in June. So, this year the bill is up for a probable full Senate vote months earlier.

The  bill was anticipated to pass the committee vote because a majority of the lawmakers on the panel are co-sponsors of the legislation.

The legislation would give way to both commercial and tribal casinos to have gambling sites. It was stated at the hearing that the state’s iGaming market could be worth approximately $300 million at maturation. New Jersey’s industry is mushrooming at about 30 percent year-over-year, so Michigan’s estimation doesn’t appear too far-fetched.

The objective behind online casinos is to grow the state’s stagnant gambling industry. Three Detroit casinos won $1.39 billion last year, however it was only 0.7 percent better than 2015. Those casinos finished the year with a 6.8 percent gaming win decline in December 2016.

Michigan has now eyed online casino games for the past four years. The state did decide to feature an online lottery, starting those games in 2014.