The midterm elections in Michigan were a close call but somehow Brandt Iden managed to come out on top, thus keeping the hopes of poker fans alive. Maybe the numbers of November’s elections don’t exactly tally with how the state representative envisioned his win, but his favorable view on gaming is exactly what die-hard gamblers in the state need.
He gave his most encouraging yet statement about legalizing online poker at the beginning of December, which is a huge nod towards the gambling-loving community. The local gaming business owners wait with bated breath as the Michigan state representative believes he’s down to the short strokes of legalizing online gaming. And Iden is in the right to say so, taking into account the considerable amount of effort he’s put in to take his bill to the State Senate.
Iden expressed confidence during the 2018 US Sports Betting Policy Summit, stating that the bill he started himself will probably get to the governor’s desk before the end of the year. The bill, legally known as H.4926, was officially brought to life in September 2017. It passed the house with a decisive 68-40 vote and Iden has been fighting for Senate support ever since.
The bill, also known as Lawful Internet Gaming Act is currently pending, with only a few days left to wrap up the legislative session for this year. If the act is meant to become part of the state law until the end of 2018, this will have to happen before the 20th of December. Keep in mind that 18,19 and 20 are scheduled as optional days, in case an extension to the annual session is needed.
Unfortunately, the Lawful Internet Gaming Act is not the only issue awaiting consideration. The State legislators have a tight schedule to deal with things like auto insurance, minimum wage, sick time, as well as environmental issues. All that may hinder the legalization of online gaming in the coming days, possibly postponing it for sometime next year.
What Iden proposed originally in his bill arouse huge interest in all parties involved in the gaming business. Many native American tribes involved in commercial gaming, actively participated in the following debates. Although the state representative’s idea was to officialize the bill as soon as possible, the issue is out of his hands for now as only a member of the State Senate can advance it further.
Rundown of HB.4926 – What Does the Bill Stand for?
Brandt Iden is looking to put on the map of legal business not only online poker and casino, but also sports betting. The state representative is going for all the marbles as he believes that legalizing the whole package of gambling services will be the most beneficial move. Legalizing sports betting on the back of the recent success of the same idea in other states, sounds more realistic than ever. Sports betting is indeed getting traction in the US and the legislators of the state of Michigan can’t neglect that. As much as they might not feel urged to give a stamp of approval to other forms of online gaming, sports betting is a whole different ball game.
Before it’s set in stone, however, the lawmakers of Michigan will have to deal with something in Iden’s bill that other state legislators have found hard to swallow. Namely the topic of integrity fees. A sticky issue that, for whatever reason Brandt Iden brought up as a matter of topical importance. For the most part, lawmakers are not willing to strike a royalty deal with any sports organization. That’s why people believe Iden could be pushing the envelope a bit too hard, possibly putting in jeopardy the entire bill.