In-casino and online sports gambling could be in place by the time the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament tips off in March 2020 after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today signed a package of bills legalizing the activity in Michigan.
Michigan is one of 17 other states that have legalized sports gambling, which the Michigan Department of Treasury estimates will add $19 million per year to its coffers. Whitmer says the additional revenue will go toward education and the First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund.
Revenue will come from an 8.4 percent state tax on sports betting. Detroit casinos also collect a 3.25 percent city tax.
“My top priority in signing this legislation was protecting and investing in the School Aid Fund because our students deserve leaders who put their education first,” Whitmer says. “These bills will put more dollars in Michigan classrooms and increase funding for firefighters battling cancer. This is a real bipartisan win for our state.”
One of the gambling bill’s legislative champions was Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr. of East Lansing who says it’s realistic to expect sports betting to be operational in the state by the time the NCAA’s March Madness men’s basketball tournament begins on March 17.
“I think Super Bowl would be asking a lot, but I do think March Madness is possible,” Hertel told legalsportsreport.com earlier this week. “That’s what we’ve all talked about as a goal.”
In addition, the legislation allows tribal casinos to participate in online gaming and sports betting at an equal level to the Detroit casinos. That revenue will support tribal community activities.