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Volume 25 No. 29

Sports in Society

A Michigan state representative said that an online gambling bill that passed the state House of Representatives yesterday is the "first step toward also legalizing betting on professional sports in Michigan," according to Kathleen Gray of the DETROIT FREE PRESS. Rep. Brandt Iden said, "The Michigan gaming commission is looking for the Legislature to take the initial step and we have to set up the tax rate for sports betting. And we took the first step toward that." But Gray notes the bill "won't be taken up" in the state Senate until lawmakers return in September. The bill would "allow people at least 21 years old to register with one of Michigan's three casinos in Detroit and 23 tribal casinos across the state and gamble from their websites." There would be an 8% tax "associated with the online gambling" with 55% of the revenues going to the Detroit casinos, 35% going to Michigan Internet Gaming Fund to administer the new program, 5% to the state school aid fund and 5% to the transportation fund (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 6/13).

BUCKEYE BETTING: In Cleveland, Rich Exner notes it is "unclear yet whether sports wagering will come to Ohio." Both the Ohio Lottery Commission, which oversees the casinos, and the Ohio Casino Control Commission, have said that they are "awaiting direction from state lawmakers and the governor." A spokesperson for Gov. John Kasich yesterday said that the governor's office is "still examining the issue." According to the Ohio Attorney General's office, legislative action "would be necessary," but others believe Ohio's constitution would "permit sports wagering at casinos if it occurs in neighboring states." However, casinos "may be reluctant to add sports wagering" at the same 33% tax rate set in the constitution for other casino games. The rate in West Virginia "for upcoming sports wagering" is set at 10% (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 6/13).