Michigan Becomes 5th State To Legalize Online Poker
December 30, 2019
Michigan has joined the ranks of those states that have agreed to legalize online poker for its citizens. It is a move that is being applauded by those who are proponents of online poker legalization and all that this entails. It is obvious that many states are moving in this same direction, but plenty of them are taking their time to get it done. It wasn’t until December 20th, 2019 that this thing finally went official.
The state legislature had previously passed legislation through its chambers easily to legalize online poker in the state in 2018. However, the then-Governor Snyder vetoed their efforts. It was a major disappointment for proponents that year, but good news was just around the corner as it turned out.
The expectation this time around was that the legislation would become law, and that is exactly what happened. The new Democratic Governor had been directly involved in the negotiation process as the legislature ironed out various aspects of the bill. That being said, no one was ready to say that all was ready and done until the ink was dry on the Governor’s signature. That is now the case.
Governor Whitmer, the Democratic Governor, stated that her top priority in signing this legislation was to help fund the School Aid Fund. Some of the tax proceeds from the legalization of online poker will go into this fund. The purpose of the fund is to put more dollars into Michigan schoolrooms and help them with resources including greater recruiting facilities for teachers.
This historic legislation makes Michigan the 20th state in the Union to legalize sports wagering, and it becomes the 5th state to legalize online gambling to include poker. It is part of a sweeping move towards legalization throughout the country that is readily evident.
The effort in this state has been particularly encouraging to those who are pushing for legalization because it was a bipartisan effort. Lawmakers from both sides came together to push this one through. Many Republicans see these as a personal freedom issue, and many Democrats see it as a great way to raise revenue to fund the various programs that the government needs to run.
The various casinos in the state have the option to apply for licenses through the state government to get the green light to move forward with their online poker operations. They will pay a one-time licensing fee and then pay taxes on revenues above a certain amount. The flood of cash is expected to bring Michigan a lot of extra revenue for the state.