Michigan has worked out the kinks of online poker a long while back. Unfortunately, the state had a rather poor run with its former Governor Rick Snyder who shot down the legislation. A new one is on the way.
Rick Snyder Is Out, Michigan Keeps Pushing for Online Poker
Michigan is back on its way to pass an online poker bill this year. H 4311, authored by Rep. Brandt Iden is again a hot topic with lawmakers already giving it a conditional go-ahead. After clearing an initial hearing in the House Regulatory Reform Committee this Tuesday, the bill is now being looked at as a possible conduit of online poker.
Will Michigan become the fifth official state to legalize the activity?
There’s quite a bit of evidence to suggest that this is underway already. With West Virginia also making a steady push for online poker, Michigan is gathering its momentum anew.
Same Old Lawmakers, But New Opportunities
Not much has changed in the legislative make-up of the state. A governor left and a new one took his place. H 4311 is a continuation of the efforts to legalize the industry.
Enjoying a massive support last year, the new bill is very likely to achieve the same results in 2019. Many hope that online poker can be voted and passed before summer or if that fails – by the end of the year.
The state doesn’t have any people who are strictly against the passing of an online poker law except Rep. Frank Liberati who was the only Delegate to vote against the legalization of the industry in both 2018 and 2019. Mr. Liberati has been adamant in his convictions but he has also very much been alone for the most part.
Michigan Tames the Tribes Like None Other
If Mr. Iden has been particularly successful in some specific areas that is his ability to sit down with the tribes and convince them to get behind online gambling. Nearly all tribes in the United States have pronounced themselves against online gambling, but Michigan’s Tribal-State Class III Gaming Compacts and the participating members have been convinced otherwise.
Commercial casinos also showed signs of worries, especially in the moribund Detroit where owners were afraid that going online would effectively detract revenue from their own operations. Although commercial casinos didn’t oppose the idea,their hesitance killed some of the original momentum.
If Successful, Michigan Will Be Next
Legalizing online poker and gambling can give Michigan a serious economic windfall, or in any case – one that the state can use. As the country drives closer to a mass legalization of sports betting, online poker and other gambling activities seem the next logical step.
Of course, there are difficulties that lie well outside pushing a successful bill at home, and the Wire Act Opinion is a danger to the inter-state compact that Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada are trying to preserve.
Still, these snags don’t seem sufficient reason to stop Michigan from pursuing a fully legalized industry. With the help of people like Mr. Iden that’s feasible.