Michigan gamblers will soon be free to bet on the Internet and on sport events without any fears of being arrested.
The state senate finalized a ten-bill package today and sent the measures to the governor who will sign them.
But not every lawmaker voted yes.
“I don’t think that organized gambling has been good for the state of Michigan,” claims state Senator Ed McBroom.
State Senator Curtis Hertel Jr. adds, “I don’t think it is government’s job to tell people what to do.”
When Gov. Whitmer signs this legislation you are free to bet on sporting events and place wagers on the Internet.
And the state could make upwards of $150 million dollars which republican Sen. McBroom does not oppose office pools but government-sponsored gaming is wrong.
“The whole idea is based on how much money can we extract from people..particularly vulnerable people. They’re not in it to provide a service. They’re in it to make as much money as possible and that always turns out bad in the end.”
An East Lansing senator says illegal sports betting is going on now, so why not let the state regulate it.
Plus, Senator Curtis Hertel Jr indicates there’s $1.5 million in the plan to address the problem of addicted gamblers.
“There is money in the bill for problem gambling but I don’t think we want to prevent others who find this entertaining because some people have an issue with that. It’s like prohibition. It didn’t work in this country.”
One provision added to the bill allows former criminals to apply for a casino job.
That was outlawed years ago for fear those former crooks could not be trusted on the casino floor.
Democrat state Senator Jeremy Moss argues that punitive attitude is wrong.
“That was a very punitive way of acting in the 80s and 90s. That model didn’t work. It didn’t help people who were rehabilitated and completed their sentences, it didn’t help them go anywhere after they got out of the criminal justice system.”
This legalized betting should be ready for the next Super Bowl and, for the first time, everybody in the office pool will not be breaking the law.