Last week, thelegislature in the eleventh hour of its legislative session. A pending signature from Gov. Rick Snyder is currently the only thing standing in the way of complete legalization.
Should the bill cross the finish line — something that looks likely — Michigan will become the fifth state with. And it is already one of those 11 that offers online lottery products. The is arguably the most powerful in the country.
So why are states increasingly turning to online gambling?
The top-line answer, naturally, is revenue. But as New Jersey and other early adopters have learned, the economic benefits of online gambling don’t stop there.
It’s not all about revenue
Direct revenue might be the primary driver of nations’ interest in online gambling, but it is just the tip of the economic iceberg.
While theindustry is on pace to generate close to $300 million in 2018, it has also:
These things are seldom mentioned in the talks surrounding online gambling.
Another one which is perhaps more valuable and receives even less attention is job creation.
Online gambling supports thousands of jobs
Any perception that online gambling is a job killer is simply wrong. According to a June 2017 white paper from, it is a job creator.
, entitled”Economic Impact of New Jersey Online Gaming: Lessons Learned,” came to the conclusion that the NJ online gambling business is responsible for 3,375 jobs and $218.9 million in employee wages. Keep in mind that the iDEA numbers covered 2014-2016 and don’t include the reopening of two casinos in 2018.
“These jobs weren’t created by legislative quotas but instead by human and capital resource investments in competitive markets,” Gene Johnson, executive vice president in Victor Plans and co-author of this white paper told Online Poker Report.
Tallies include 821 direct jobs with casinos and gaming providers, along with another 2,552 indirect and induced full-time equivalent positions.
What can Michigan expect?
Johnson expects to see amounts in Michigan that rival those from New Jersey.
“iGaming generated close to $1 billion in total positive economic impact over the first 3 years after implementation in New Jersey,” he said. “If iGaming is legalized and regulated in Michigan, the state should see similar benefits.”
While New Jersey’s early adoption brought some overseas businesses into the state, Johnson also noted that it suffered through growing pains as a completely new industry.
“Michigan can prevent those teething pains and benefit in the New Jersey experience,” he said,”borrowing the best aspects as a template for its own development.”
Online gambling will no doubt bolster Michigan’s land-based casino business and ship tens of millions of dollars to the nation. Those benefits will be apparent to all. But as it has in New Jersey, online gambling should also create thousands of new jobs for Michiganders.