Michigan Online Gambling Bill “Close to the Finish Line”


A bill to legalize online gambling in Michigan has only three weeks to gain approval, before the legislative session ends and it loses a key ally. The bill aims to clear up decades of uncertainty over the legality of online gambling in the state following the 1992 Bradley Act, which effectively outlawed sports betting nationwide. What this did was leave individual states to decide for themselves if online gambling fell into this category.

Ever since the emergence of the 1992 Bradley Act, the legality of online gambling has been a subject of contention, with many players unaware if they are breaking the law by doing so.

Race Against Time

Bill H 4926, known as The Lawful Internet Gaming Act, was first introduced in September 2017 by Republican House of Representatives member Brandt Iden. It cleared a major hurdle in June when it passed through state’s House of Representatives. This leaves the bill in the hands of the state Senate, where the situation is a little more complicated.

Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall, who approves of the bill, will leave his position at the end of the year. The bill will not carry over into 2019, because bills do not carry over to odd-numbered years in Michigan. This would mean the process would have to start over and 14 months work would have been wasted.

Three Down, Forty-Seven to Go

Iden has said that he doesn’t know the feelings about the bill in the senate, but has reiterated that it is a top priority of his to get the bill passed and make online gambling legal in Michigan in 2019. Other states have been more proactive in their legalization of online gambling, with New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware offering legal online gambling in 2013 and Pennsylvania joining them sometime in early 2019. Online gambling fans in Michigan will be hoping their state can be the next added to the roster so they can pursue their hobby with impunity.

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