Legalized sports betting and online gambling could be coming to Michigan this week. According to the reports Governor Gretchen Whitmer and state lawmakers are nearing an agreement that would lead to the final voting on the issue this week.
Currently, the state hosts three commercial casinos in Detroit and 24 tribal casinos. The state also has a popular lottery.
What Opposition Says
While there is popular support for online gambling and legalized sports betting, those in opposition have raised serious concerns.
According to lawmakers who have said no to online gambling, allowing wagers online would drastically impact the state’s revenue from iLottery. The funds from iLottery are crucial as it contributed about $1 billion to the state’s school fund in the last fiscal. Of the total funds for education, about 7 percent was from online lottery operations.
The concern is legalizing online gambling and sports betting would pull a significant chunk of revenue from the Lottery as other online games like online casinos and pokers would be more inviting to punters.
The difference it could create can be understood by the fact that nearly 70 percent of the net win in a lottery goes to school while only about eight percent of the winnings from a casino slot in the state go to school funds.
However, Rep. Brandt Iden, a Republican who has been at the forefront of legalizing online gambling and sports betting in the state refutes the opposition and says that if it is not regulated in time to make sure Michigan stays competitive in that marketplace then they will be at the receiving end with a loss.
He also warned that the longer the delay, the more the losses.
Sports Betting In The US
Since the US Supreme Court, Legalized sports gambling last year several US states have legalized sports betting.
Currently, there are 19 US states which have legalized sports betting while 13 have launched sports betting operations and benefiting from increased tax revenues.
Out of those which have launched regulated sports betting operations at least four allow mobile sports betting and online poker.
The US sports betting market is expanding and is expected to cross $7 billion mark in the next five years.