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Michigan Online Poker Bill Still In Play For 2016

Lawmakers Still Working With Tribes, Commercial Casinos On Bill

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Despite months of inaction, an online gambling bill in Michigan is still on the table for 2016.

The office of Michigan Sen. Mike Kowall told Card Player that there’s “plenty of time” left to get internet casino games approved before the end of the year.

Lawmakers are meeting this week and will come back in November to try to finalize a plan. There are also session days in December.

Michigan has looked at online casino games for the past three years. The state decided to go with the online lottery first, kicking off those games in 2014.

Online gaming backers are still working with tribal groups with gaming and the three Detroit casinos to get a consensus on the plan for online betting.

Kowall’s office said in May that the bill had great chances in 2016. In June, the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee approved the legislation, which sent it to a possible vote by the full Senate.

If Michigan legalizes online gaming this year, it would be the first state to do so since 2013.

Regulated online casinos could provide a boost to the state’s gaming industry. The three Detroit casinos win about $1.4 billion a year from gamblers, while the 23 tribal casinos win about $1.5 billion annually.