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Michigan sees introduction of bill to legalise iGaming

Michigan Senator Mike Kowall has introduced legislation to legalise and regulate iGaming in the state.

Senate bill 889, introduced on April 14th, would create the Division of Internet Gaming for the purposes of licensing and regulating online gaming, with the state’s licensed land-based casinos and Tribal gaming entities eligible for licensure.

Applicants would be required to pay an application fee of $100,000 together with a licence fee of $5 million, with the latter offset against future tax liabilities.

Internet gaming activities would be taxed at a rate of 20 per cent of gross gaming revenue.

The proposed legislation restricts participation in online gaming to players within the state who are over the age of 21, but also allows the Division of Internet Gaming to enter into multi-jurisdictional agreements with other states and foreign nations to share liquidity.

In order to safeguard players, iGaming operators must allow players to self-exclude from participation in online games, as well as offering tools for players to set time, deposit and wagering limits.

The states iGaming licences would be valid for five years, with the option to renew for a further five year period.

SB 889 takes effect 90 days after being enacted into law, subject to the prior enactment of senate bill 890.

SB 890, also introduced by Kowall, seeks to amend the Michigan Penal Code to specifically authorise online gaming conducted under senate bill 889.

Michigan is counted among the more progressive US states when it comes to iGaming, with the Michigan Lottery having been active online since 2014.

The lottery’s iGaming activities, instant win and Keno games, generated revenue of $147m in 2015, with the portfolio expanded earlier this year to include interactive draw-based games.

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