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Sports Betting Pushed Aside in Michigan with Government Shutdown Coming

The state of Michigan looked all set to legalize sports betting this fall, but it now appears that it is unlikely to happen in 2019. The Michigan government appears to be heading for a shutdown amid budget issues, and that has pushed sports betting to the back burner.

Legislators in the state of Michigan were hoping that legalizing sports betting would help to solve some of their financial issues, but it doesn’t appear that it will even be brought to the table before the government shuts down and the general session ends during the fall period of 2019.

The Michigan state government has a deadline of Oct. 1 to finalize a budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year, and that is taking up much of the time and discussion in the state. The government is set to shut down if there is no budget passed by Oct. 1, and the threat of that appears extremely likely after not much has been done in recent weeks.

A government shutdown would eliminate the opportunity for legislators to discuss and pass the sports betting bill that has been sitting on the table for quite a few months.

Difference In Opinion

Part of the problem comes with the initial licensing fee that has been proposed by state legislators and the number that the Michigan Governor wants to impose. The sports betting bill would charge land-based casinos and commercial sports betting locations a fee of $200,000 to submit the application, and the governor is hoping to get at least $1 million to offer a license.

This is just one of the many issues that are being discussed in the Michigan legislature and is a big reason that the budget has not been approved for the next fiscal year.

The current language in the sports betting bill would legalize sports betting for both tribal casinos and commercial locations throughout the state. Michigan is home to a large number of tribal casinos, but they are hoping to open up the application process to commercial sites that would like to offer sports betting.

A sports betting bill already passed through the legislature earlier this year, but former Governor Rick Snyder vetoed the bill, sending it back to Congress to make amendments. Legislators in Michigan were confident that they had made the necessary changes to get the bill approved this time, but the government shutdown could put the whole thing on the back burner for quite some time.

A Budget First

A sports betting bill will likely be the first item discussed in the next week in Michigan, but it will only happen after a new budget is passed and approved. Tribal casinos and commercial locations have already been lining up to submit applications, but there is nowhere to submit an application to currently.

There have been a number of states in the Midwest that have already legalized and launched sports betting, and Michigan is running the risk of falling behind. This will be a story to keep your eye on in the coming weeks to see if Michigan can pass a budget and begin legalizing sports betting.

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