Online gambling in the United States of America has been a heavily debated issue for some years now, but it remains unregulated in the majority of states. Some states, such as New Jersey and Nevada, have passed state bills regulating the activity within state borders, but for most Americans, online gambling remains forbidden by law.
One of the states where online gambling bill has been on the table for some time is Michigan, where Senator Mike Kowall has been trying to push a bill that would make gambling on the internet fully legal.
Senator Kowall Not Giving Up
Earlier this year, in March, Senator Kowall presented bill SB 0203, which proposed that online gambling be made legal in the state of Michigan. The bill passed the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee, but lost all momentum afterwards, making it dead in the water.
Basically everyone in the state had lost all hopes of any bill being passed in 2017, but now information has surfaced that Senator Kowall has been working hard on amending the bill to make it more acceptable to the lawmakers and that the bill would be reintroduced in the fall part of the legislative season.
New Amendments and Room for Interpretation
Unlike most similar bills that were passed in other states, the Michigan i-gaming bill proposed by Senator Kowall leaves most details quite open ended. The bill would only make online gambling legal in the state, while all the details on how the activity would move forward would be left to the Michigan Gaming Control Board to decide.
One of the major issues with legalizing online gambling is the issuing of licenses for online gambling operators. According to the bill, all brick and mortar casinos within the state and all tribal casinos would be eligible to set up online gambling sites, with a condition of making sure that their customers are of legal age and truly living within the state of Michigan.
The Amendments added to the SB 0203 bill were not yet made public, but according to some reports, they should help the legislators adopt the bill and make the entire thing pass the process much faster. Whether Michigan becomes the next state in the US to legalize online gambling in 2017, remains to be seen in the coming months.