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Lawmakers plan to tackle internet gambling in New Year


Internet gambling would be regulated under bills recently voted out of a state House committee.

The legislation would let casinos and tribal casinos get licenses from a state agency for online gaming. The casinos could then use approved software that does things like determine user age and look for addictive behaviors.

 “You get on the internet today, you type in Michigan internet gaming and sites pop up," said state Rep. Brandt Iden, R-Portage. "And we need to make sure we have the proper consumer protections in place to make sure that people are protected. That’s what we’re here to do.”

Critics of the legislation say it would pull revenue away from the state lottery. They say that would put a dent in the state’s School Aid Fund, which the lottery helps support.

State Rep. Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield, helped craft amendments to bring Democrats on board. One priority for him is to have money set aside to help problem gamblers.

“Those are the 800 numbers and the other resources that people need if they do have an addiction and cannot stop and are really getting to a point where it’s impacting their day to day lives,” he said.

Moss says the bills would also let the state capture some of the revenue from online gaming. That money would go toward the general fund. He says that’ll help fix Michigan roads and schools. 

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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