For Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the only way to improve public services support and beef up the school aid fund was to legalize Michigan Online Casinos. Indeed, for years the Great Lakes State struggled financially. Yet, by signing 3 different bills and making MI online casino a reality, State officials hope to boost MI’s coffer by up to $19 million in additional revenues.
While various bills were necessary to legalize gambling in Michigan to improve the quality of life of residents of the Wolverine State, most people would agree that the road to legalizing Michigan Online Casinos wasn’t all that smooth. It’s true. The bills’ timing was slightly off to capitalize on the sporting event that year. Nonetheless, on December 20th, 2019, Online gambling became legal in Michigan. From there, various casinos started the licensing process. And last May, these regulated operators brought in $18,102,213 to the state’s tax chest.
A time-lapse of Michigan Online Casinos
Most folks would agree that Whitmer’s $19 million projection was conservative. Indeed, the money the industry generates since it accepted its first wager on January 22nd, 2021, is impressive. The truth is, most experts agree that the tax revenues Michigan Online Casinos could potentially bring in will exceed the forecast.
Only 5 months after launching. And It’s already evident that the 12 Michigan Online Casinos revenue curve is trending upwards. So, it’s no wonder many operators want to invest in this market. But to understand why companies see so much potential in Michigan Online Casinos, let’s look back in time to know how the journey to online gambling started. Then, it’s by looking at history and how the online gambling industry is picking up in other states such as NJ, PA, DE, and WV to understand the impacts of the bills.
The 4 bills that changed the MI online casino
Like most states that aim to replicate NJ and Pa’s success stories, Michigan too had to develop creative ways of adapting to the wire act. In 2016, MI started to open up to the online casino MI concept when Mike Kowall presented a bill. Yet, the first real step in making MI online casino a reality was to enable the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) to issue online gambling licenses. And it is House Representative Brandt Iden who introduced House bill 4311. Consequently, he started the first step in creating the Lawful Internet Gaming Act. But, unfortunately, it took around 9 months for the Representatives to see eye to eye. And for the Secretary of State to file the motion. After this, several more bills were passed, like bill 4916 for sports betting and 4308 for DFS. Finally, in January 2021, the House passed SB 991 to legalize multi-jurisdiction poker.
The rise of Michigan Online Casinos
Sure Governor Gretchen Whitmer is the one that signed the bills making online casino MI a reality today. But, the voice behind the legalization of Michigan Online Casinos is House Representative Brandt Iden, some say.
The young politician from the 61st district pushed for a rewrite of the Lawful Internet Gaming Act. He’s also stirred several bills. But more importantly, he’s the one that convinced Whitmer that Michigan Online Casinos would not cannibalize the state’s lottery revenue, even if they offered slot games because they target different players. Later and after much debate, Whitmer approved the fees surrounding Michigan Online Casinos’ licensing process and taxation structure.
Michigan Online Casinos a flexible application process and friendly taxes
Surprisingly, Michigan Online Casinos can cater to over 10,000,000 residents. (Only 3 million less than Pennsylvania, for example.) The licensing fees are much lower. And so are the taxes. Some say it’s a missed opportunity to ask for $150,000 in application fees for a 5 years’ license. If you remember, PA opened up its auction at over 7 million for a similar permit, as we understand. Plus, NJ’s license fees are higher too.
Yet, Michigan Online Casinos’ situation is unique, being so close to Canada, where gambling is 100% legal. Possibly, the idea is to rejuvenate Michigan, especially Detroit. So both the tax structure and licensing process needed to be flexible. Not to mention Michigan Online Casinos also includes around 20 tribal venues. So the license and taxation structure needed to cater to their needs too.
Existing Michigan Online Casinos are making new friends, and they’re expanding
Because Michigan Online Casinos can only have 1 skin, it’s vital to pick the right partner. For example, MotorCity Casino Hotel opted to team up with FanDuel to tackle both the sports betting scene and the DFS market. Rival company DraftKings opted to instead team up with Bay Mills Indian Community.
As of last May, these 2 Michigan Online Casinos topped the revenue chart along with BetMGM. While the online gambling scene attracts big names and existing Michigan Online Casinos are compelled to team up with online experts to diversify their revenue stream. A few companies have opted to surprisingly stay clear of the Michigan landscape, such as 888 and BetAmerica, for example. But some say it won’t be long until they make new friends and, of course, capitalize on the blossoming MI casino scene.
Why is the online casino MI market vital for many companies?
As mentioned above, Michigan’s online gambling and startup fees are very comprehensive. Especially for those who’ll team up with first nation casinos. What’s more, it’s expected that Michigan Online Casinos could pull in revenues comparable to New Jersey once they clear the hurdles surrounding their first year of online operation.
Another thing worth pointing out is that Michigan sports fans genuinely have a passion for the game. Year on year, the Red Wings’ Little Caesars Arena has thousands of fans. And so do the Pistons and the Griffins games. This means that companies who seek great brand exposure could potentially make wise investments. What’s more, since some neighboring states have yet to legalize online gambling, the potential for patrons to cross borders is enormous. And companies know that sports fans aren’t afraid to cross borders to wager on their team as they do in NY and NJ.
What games can you play online in MI?
Trying your luck in any of the 12 Michigan Online Casinos means getting access to an extensive selection of games. Now, of course, you can play blackjack. For example, BetRivers (Play SugarHouse Casino) has 7 different variations you could try. BetMGM and the Golden Nugget blackjack game selections are equally grand since they’re 6 variations of blackjack, including live dealer games you could play.
Most Michigan Online Casinos distribute 3D slot games, Video Poker, Classic slots like the Vegas-style 3-reelers, roulette, baccarat, and progressive games that you can find under the live casino tab at the online casinos. But this is only the beginning. Many fantastic game studios have yet to obtain their distributors’ licenses since the industry is so young in MI. So, even more, great games and studios should go live imminently.
Which online game studios distribute games in Michigan?
When writing this piece, the most relevant game studios in MI were IGT, Konomi, AGS, NetEnt, NextGen, and Everi. However, it’s worth knowing that Bally, H5G, Inspired, Evolution, Lightning Box, Reel Play, Shuffle Master, BTG, and WMS are licensed to distribute games too.
So, who’s missing? Well, Red Tiger and R7 games should go live soon since the holding company of these studios (Evolution). And its other subsidiary studios are already live in the Wolverine state. It’s also expected that Ainsworth, Barcrest, and Scientific Games Digital will soon join the party too. What’s more, given how popular Slingo is in New Jersey, it would be logical for this company to claim its stake in MI as well. Then there are those emerging game creators (like Wazdan, Wild Shark, Aruze) who seek approval and have only received it for more established markets. MI could be next.
Do you have to pay tax on your online winnings in Michigan Online Casinos?
Winning is fun. But paying tax is not. Yet, you can’t avoid it. Indeed, in Mi, all gambling and lottery winnings have to be declared. Hence you’ll need to pay tax on them. But there’s good news. Indeed, while you cannot deduct your net losses from your household resources. But, you can take out the first $300 you’ll pocket when playing. Moreover, to report your gains, it’s simple. All you have to do is to fill the MI-1040CR, MI-1040CR-2, or MI-1040CR-7 form.
Lastly, don’t forget that the federal Gov. will want a slice of your win too. In fact, according to the IRS website, all winnings are taxable, even online ones. So those who’ll get lucky will have to pay around 25% of their winnings to the taxmen. Yet, folks who don’t have a social security number may see up to 28% getting placed on hold by the house.
We sure hope this article about the Michigan gambling industry helped you out. Now all that’s left to do is discover the games you could play online and on the go if you’re not convinced yet. Well, you’d be wise to remember that all online casinos in MI go through an auditing process. So, they’re safe and secure. So, don’t wait to seize the day.