LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Gamblers are pumping more money into online betting than state officials predicted, and if the COVID-fed trend continues, state schools will benefit from the increased revenue.

In 2021 when the state legalized online sports betting, state officials predicted profits of $60 million.
Instead, the state hit the jackpot with $125 million in new revenue.

“If we stay on this path I think were going to do close to $250 million by the end of 2022 which is fantastic and remember this goes to K-12 education,” said former Republican State Rep. Brant Iden.

Iden believes the Michigan games have become the prototype for other states to copy.

“Michigan has always been a gambling state. we’ve got lottery, 23 tribal casinos, three commercial casinos,” said Iden.

Betting got a boost from the COVID outbreak when many gamblers were stuck at home.

But at one point the former lawmaker had given up hope. Former Governor Rick Snyder vetoed the gambling bills for fear the new gambling would siphon profits away from the state lottery.

Iden believes if senator Curtis Hertel had not stepped in, none of that gaming would be here today.