Skubick: Internet and sports betting backer claims his bill is ready to move

Michigan

The sponsor of legalized Internet and sports betting is predicting passage of his legislation by the end of the year.

Republican Rep. Brant Iden is moving ahead without the support of the governor.

Rep. Iden claims, “Gaming is going to be exciting. Watch out, it’s coming.  That’s a tease.”

For months when you asked Rep. Brant Iden about his Internet and sports betting bills, he had no update.

But now he’s changed his teasing tune.

Mr. Iden got his bill package approved last year only to have then Gov. Rick Snyder veto it.

Hoping to avoid the same fate with the new governor, he’s been in on-again, off-again talks with her but the two could never agree on how to tax the new gaming.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wanted a 15% tax; he wanted something around 10%.

So far she has not budged.

The governor was also concerned that the expansion of Internet gaming could cut into the profits from the state lottery which would mean fewer dollars for schools.

He says that’s not true.

Apparently tired of marking time, the Republican lawmaker is now going around the governor and has molded  “broad bi-partisan support.”

“We’ve been having good conversations,” insists Mr. Iden. “And I believe that has brought all the stakeholders on line and we’re going to move forward with something before the end of the year.”

Mr. Iden is still willing to negoiate with the governor but with or without her, he’s teeing this up for a vote.

“I believe we’re going to move forward shortly,” he claims.

So if you are now betting illegally on the Michigan State – Penn State game, a year from now you might be doing it legally.

That’s if the governor doesn’t veto this new plan.  

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