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Michigan Governor Vetoes Online Gambling Bill Days Before Leaving Office

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder Kills Bipartisan House Bill That Would Have Made Michigan Fifth State To Legalize Online Gambling

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Michigan Gov. Rick SnyderIn a decision that has surprised many industry experts, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has said no to online gambling in the state.

Just days before leaving office, the Republican Governor acted on a number of bills, vetoing a total of 40. Among the pieces of legislation he nixed was House Bill 4926, and its accompanying pieces HB 4927 and HB 4928, which was approved in June by the Michigan House of Representatives and just last week by the Senate.

Had Gov. Snyder signed off on the bill, Michigan would have become the fifth state to legalize and regulate online gambling, following Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.

In his veto letter, Gov. Snyder wrote that while he appreciated lawmakers efforts to put together the bipartisan bill that had both commercial gaming and tribal gaming support, he ultimately decided against it because of how it could affect the state budget.

“Due to largely unknown budgetary concerns, I believe this legislation merits more careful study and comparison with how other states have, or will, authorize online gaming,” Gov. Snyder wrote. “To be blunt, we simply don’t have the data to support this change at this time.”

Gov. Snyder went on to say that the lower tax rate for online gambling may shift sales away from the lottery, which is a key contributor to the School Aid Fund.

The veto is a big win for Sheldon Adelson’s Coalition To Stop Internet Gambling, which strongly urged Gov. Snyder to veto the bill. Adelson and his wife have been the Republicans’ top donors for the last two election cycles. The Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO contributed more than $123 million to conservative causes and candidates in 2018.