Whitmer signs off on online gaming, sports betting in MI

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FILE – In this May 14, 2018 file photo, people make bets in the sports book at the South Point hotel and casino in Las Vegas. Las Vegas is not worried about the competition from casinos in other states that for the first time Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, will also offer football fans a chance […]

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Online gaming and sports betting through Michigan’s casinos is now legal.

On Friday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a package of bills into law that legalizes and taxes online gambling. Sports betting will be taxed 8.4% under the bills. Internet poker and other games played online would be taxed between 20 and 28%.

The state estimates the legalization will generate $19 million in new revenue. The Michigan Department of Treasury says $4.8 million of that would go to the School Aid Fund and $4 million would go to the First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund to help firefighters battling cancer.

Whitmer previously vetoed online gambling twice over concerns it would cut into lottery revenue that is used to supplement the school aid fund. The third version of the measure includes a formula that all sides believe will hold schools harmless.

The measures also allow tribal casinos to take part in online gaming and sports betting at the same level as Detroit casinos. Interested casinos would need to obtain a license from the Michigan Gaming Control Board after meeting certain criteria.

Bill sponsors believe the new rules will take effect in time for the NCAA Tournament in March.

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