Skubick: Internet and sports betting could get green light in state, again


Lawmakers who want to expand Internet and sports betting in the state could be on a collision course with the Trump administration, which wants to ban that gaming expansion.  

For those of you who would love to bet on your favorite team on the Internet, that’s illegal.

But that could change starting this week.

A House committee will consider sports internet betting,  which was adopted last year but vetoed by then-governor Rick Snyder.

The new governor is sending signals that she favors this expansion.

However, the Trump administration’s Department of Justice has declared that the states can’t do this.

Even though the Justice Department under former President Obama gave it the green light.

The state’s former attorney general, who is now representing a client that favors sports betting, contends the Trump administration’s got this wrong.

“This federal opinion is so far off the mainstream,” claims former attorney general Mike Cox. “One of the most conservative members of the U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that this a state policy.”

And the current attorney general Dana Nessel has filed papers supporting that conclusion.

Rep. Brant Iden got a strong bi-partisan vote on this package last year and the Ewpublican chair of the committee contends, sports betting is going on illegally, why not make it legal and the state will cash in on games.

“In a lot of regards, it’s already happening but it’s illegal,” says Rep. Mike Webber. “The state should get into this and get a little revenue out of it.”

Rep. Brant Iden: “By all estimates it can run between $150 and $200 million.”

Skubick: “Is the money earmarked?”

Rep. Iden: “Part of it would go into transportation, some of it to schools and the rest into the general fund.”

Mr. Iden says this is a consumer protection bill because those now betting illegal have no guarantee they’ll get their winnings plus the bad guys could rip players off.

“Maybe their credit cards will be hacked,” claims Rep. Iden. “They didn’t know if they’ll get paid and once they figure that out, our controlled betting is where they’re going to go.”

Look for the committee to vote “yes” on this this week.

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