Lawmakers in the US state of Michigan have approved a bill that is set to lead to the creation of a Lawful Internet Gaming Act.
Approval of the online gambling bill came thanks to a 68-40 vote to regulate versions of licensed casino games. The bill now requires the support of the senate before being signed off by the state’s Governor.
Under the legislation, all online bets for those aged 21 and over would take place via existing casinos in the state, with a Division of Internet Gaming being introduced within the Michigan Gaming Control Board, which would issue licences.
Casinos would be required to pay a $100,000 (€86,000) application fee, before a further $200,000 for the initial licence and an additional $100,000 per year thereafter. The licence-holders would be subject to an 8% tax on gross gaming turnover.
Fifty-five per cent of the tax will be allocated to the city in which the casino is located, with 5% given to schools, 5% handed to the state’s transportation fund and 35% allocated for a new Internet Gaming Fund, which will regulate the legislation.
“People in Michigan are already gambling over the internet, but they are doing so at risky and illegal websites,” said Rep. Brandt Iden, who tabled the bills. “The Michigan websites will have strict state oversight, unlike the illegal and unregulated sites our resident use now, at great risk to their finances and personal information.”
Online gambling is already allowed in some form in the states of Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and West Virginia have considered online gambling bills so far this year.
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