Michigan Legislature Votes to Legalize Online Sports Betting, Sends Bill Goes to Governor

Michigan Legislature Votes to Legalize Online Sports Betting, Sends Bill Goes to Governor article feature image

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Michigan Stadium

On the final day of the year for the Michigan state Legislature, the Senate voted, 35-3,  to pass a bill that includes the legalization of sports betting and fantasy sports. The House concurred later on Wednesday, and Governor Gretchen Whitmer is expected to sign the bill into law before the end of the year.

The legislation calls for full mobile wagering within the state. Counting Michigan, 20 states have now passed sports betting legislation. There are 13 states currently operational and eight states have wide-spread mobile betting, with the most successful outside of stalwart Nevada being New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana and West Virginia.

All of this activity has come in the 19 months since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on sports wagering, allowing states to choose if they want to allow for betting.

Michigan's bill taxes sports betting at 8.4% and sets the price for licenses at $100,000. An initial $50,000 application fee and $50,000-per-year operation fee. The goal is to have the state’s operators ready to accept bets by early February for the Super Bowl.

The costs are similar to neighboring Indiana, whose costs are $100,000 per year for a license. Neighboring Illinois, which has legalized sports betting but isn’t operational, has set costs for a license as high as $10 million for retail casinos for the first 18 months. After that, online only casinos, like FanDuel and DraftKings, would be charged up to $20 million.

There's also a chance Michigan could be up and running before Illinois, which officially legalized sports betting in June but has not moved quickly to get it operational. Some reports have suggested that Michigan could be accepting in-person bets by the Super Bowl, as regulators have already started drafting rules.

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