Gov. Snyder Vetoes Michigan Online Gambling Bill

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Only 1 week after Michigan legislators pushed through an internet gambling bill in a late-night legislative session, the bill is dead.

All it had was Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s signature. However, Snyder elected to veto the bill. This effectively ends Michigan online gaming hopes until the next legislative session.

Snyder vetoed 40 distinct new bills

After Michigan lawmakers burned all that midnight oil pushing around 400 new bills through to Snyder’s desk, he undid much of that work using a rash of vetoes.

The internet gambling bill was one of 40 bills Snyder vetoed, according to Detroit News. In fact, each gaming-related bill sponsored by Rep. Brandt Iden got the ax.

When asked why he acted against online gambling, Snyder claimed a lack of clarity regarding budgeting and earnings was the situation.

In a letter to the legislature, Snyder mentioned the potential cannibalization of existing land-based casinos and the state’s online lottery because of his key concerns.

It is worth pointing out that New Jersey has earned almost $1 billion in gaming revenue since launch in 2013. That number doesn’t include the nascent online sports gambling industry either.

Snyder said protecting the Michigan Lottery affected his decision making. Currently, Pennsylvania is the only state with both online lottery and online gaming laws on the books. However, only the PA iLottery is operational, so there isn’t any concrete numbers regarding how online lottery and online casino gambling impact each other.

What is next for online gambling?

The late December legislative session was a lame-duck one, and the final of this year. The new category of lawmakers kicks off the 2019 session on Jan. 9.

At that point, there will also be a new governor in office. Gretchen Whitmer will be sworn in on Jan. 1. The Democrat supported Michigan sports gambling during her campaign. However, her stance on online gambling is not as straightforward .

Iden, the driving force behind gambling expansion, intends to continue trying to push a bill into law. The newly appointed chair of the Ways And Means Committee told Online Poker Report that pushing the bill again will be a process. There are new lawmakers taking office that need to be educated on the matter.

With a 15-month moratorium prior to any online casinos can launch in the current iteration of the bill, that means it will likely be 2021 at the earliest prior to Michigan residents can play with online.

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