Rep.Brandt Iden’s online gambling regulatory bill HB4926 appeared to receive little support from Indian and land casino operators Wednesday, with just one tribal representative out of the 12 that operate 23 casinos in the state showing up at a committee hearing to oppose the proposal, although the MGM, Greektown and MotorCity casinos indicated that they support the general concept of online gambling…but not as envisaged by Rep. Iden.
The members of the House Regulatory Reform Committee, which Iden enthusiastically chairs, appeared interested in learning more about online gambling and listened to the now familiar presentations from the Poker Players Alliance, The Star Group, the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, along with the opinions of various state officials.
Iden said he would be willing to bet that online gambling will become legal at some stage in Michigan, although he conceded that it was unlikely to be a swift process and might not see fruition this year.
Former Michigan state Attorney General Mike Cox spoke for the new bill, saying that it was drafted in collaboration with regulators in the three US states that have successfully legalised the genre – Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey.
“These bills are a result of talking with their regulators and using those things that work well, incorporating them for the benefit of Michigan citizens and complementary with Michigan law,” Cox said, adding that he believes HB4926 is relevant and valid in terms of the state constitution.
Speaking for the Michigan Gaming Control Board, Dave Murley said the Board is neutral on the online gambling legalisation issue, but is concerned about the constitutionality of HB4926 and its compatibility with existing state laws and tribal compacts.
The committee noted that Michigan state lottery ticket sales are already sold online.