Michigan Sports Betting Bid Gets Tribal Support

In a signal that supports Michigan’s sports betting bill is gaining steam, the Native American tribes in the state have suggested they approve the current legislation that has passed the state House and is currently being debated in the Senate.

The Native tribes in the state have signed contracts, known as compacts, with the state. The compacts give tribal leadership significant leverage in the negotiations on a sports betting bill.

Last year, Michigan’s Native casinos dropped $53.4 million in tax revenue to the state’s Economic Development Corp. and the Michigan Strategic Fund. The annual take provided by the tribal casinos is significantly more than the $16 to $20 million annually that sports betting is estimated to bring to Michigan’s government.

Securing the support of the tribal casinos is essential for sports betting’s future in Michigan because if Native American leadership decided to reject sports betting and the state went ahead and launched wagering, then the tribes could decide to simply stop making payments via their agreement in the compact.

The potential legal standoff between the tribes and state could cost Michigan tens of millions in annual revenue and years of legal bills via a lengthy protracted lawsuit.

Rep. Brandt Iden, the sponsor of HB 4916, believes that getting tribal support is crucial to the bill’s success and the Native tribes just want fairness in how sports betting is regulated among gaming operators and casinos.

“I’ve worked for the past four years very directly with the tribes,” Iden told the Detroit Free Press on Monday.

Source: freep.com

For the tribes, the worry is that their casinos would be discounted because they do not have the technological advances that MGM’s casinos have in Detroit. Rep. Iden feels that the tribes will have the opportunity to invest in upgraded equipment with the additional revenue that sports betting will bring their gaming establishments.

Will the Bill Have Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Support?

Even with tribal support, the sports betting bill in Michigan still might not pass due to the tepid response to wagering by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and her administration. Gov. Whitmer has signaled that the proposed 8.75% tax rate on betting revenue is far too low and could potentially hurt the state’s lottery.

The Michigan Lottery is one of the chief financial suppliers for the state’s School Aid Fund and a decrease in lottery revenue due to sports betting could affect the fund’s bottom line.

The bill has already passed in the House and has moved onto the Senate for debate. State Sen Ruth Johnson, a member of the state’s Senate Regulatory Reform Committee, shares the governor’s concern that sports betting could significantly affect the School Aid and Michigan Strategic Fund.

“The unintended consequences of new bills .. sometimes can be worse than the problem you’re trying to solve,” Johnson told the newspaper on Monday.

Source: freep.com

Although the tribes have offered support, there is more to be done as the state’s compact with tribal leadership dates back to 1993 and explicitly say that tribes operating sports betting in their casinos must have a letter from the governor or some other form of approval to offer wagering in their gaming establishments.

If the Senate approves the bill, Gov. Whitmer will be allowed time to consider additional concessions before signing the legislation, leaving the shape of the final law much in question.

We've been featured on:
espn logo
reuters logo
cbs-news logo
forbes logo
entrepreneur logo
entrepreneur logo
We only list licensed sportsbooks

We support responsible gambling. Gambling can be addictive, please play responsibly. If you need help, call 1-800-Gambler.

WSN.com is managed by Gentoo Media. Unless declared otherwise, all of the visible content on this site, such as texts and images, including the brand name and logo, belongs to Innovation Labs Limited (a Gentoo Media company) - Company Registration Number C44130, VAT ID: MT18874732, @GIG Beach Triq id-Dragunara, St. Julians, STJ3148, Malta.

Advertising Disclosure: WSN.com contains links to partner websites. When a visitor to our website clicks on one of these links and makes a purchase at a partner site, World Sports Network is paid a commission.

Copyright © 2024