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After just six months of legal online gambling in Michigan, tax revenues have already exceeded the initial industry predictions, with the state taking in almost $90 million so far in 2021, nearly doubling what some experts had first expected.
When Governor Gretchen Wilson first signed the online gambling bill at the end of 2019, the revenue projections for an entire year of internet casino play and sports betting were somewhere between $10 million and $50 million.
Those numbers look mighty humble now compared to the reality that Michigan is experiencing since launching at the end of January 2021, and now some industry analysts are predicting an annual total tax revenue of close to $200 million by the end of the year.
With sports betting taxed at 8.4% and casino play taxed at anywhere from 20-40%, the revenue should keep coming in and benefitting one of the state’s most valued public offerings.
Most of the online gambling tax revenue will go to help finance the Michigan School Aid Fund which covers the per-pupil foundation allowance, special education, at-risk programs, school lunch and breakfast, vocational education, and many other costly aspects of public education.
Now with an online casino and sports revenue becoming such a booming industry in the Great Lake State, it could take much of the burden off the School Aid Fund’s three primary sources of revenue – sales and use taxes (41.2%), personal income tax (19.1%), and property taxes (13.6%).
Also benefitting from these online gambling tax revenues is a fund for state firefighters afflicted with a certain type of cancer as well as a state fund through the Department of Health and Human Services meant for compulsive bettors whose gambling has gone beyond recreational.
Also, thanks to this increase in state tax revenue and some crafty negotiations, tribal gaming operators in the state could see some of the taxes they’ve paid returned to them.
By legalizing online gambling and including sports betting, the state of Michigan joins five of its ‘closest’ neighbors in this newly created business model, with Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York all now offering some form of legal sports gambling.
Ohio will be ready to re-examine this issue in the fall and Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers just signed an agreement that could soon allow betting on sports events at the Oneida Nation Reservation.
As for industry experts like Matt Schoch, an analyst with gaming tracker website MichiganPlays, this sudden financial boon to Michigan’s finances comes as no surprise given how popular casinos have been in the Wolverine State since the 1980’s.
Regarding the recent prediction-busting tax revenues in Michigan, Schoch has said:
We knew it would be big. [Michigan] is a state with a casino culture, but it’s been huge.
Bigger than expected and more lucrative than Gov. Wilson and her team had ever predicted, the future of online gambling looks solid in Michigan, a state now set up to bet on the upcoming Tokyo Olympics starting on Friday and the 2021 NFL season beginning in early September.
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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