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Politics & Government

Gov. Whitmer and state lawmaker in standoff over online gaming

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Steve Carmody
/
Michigan Radio
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Governor Gretchen Whitmer is pushing back against legislation to allow online casino gambling in Michigan.

Whitmer is worried that if people are playing online casino games, they won’t play state lottery games. Money from the state lottery goes toward the School Aid Fund for K-12 schools.

“I’ve said very clearly, over and over again, that protecting the School Aid Fund, ensuring that we get every dollar back into the education of our kids is my top priority,” says Whitmer.” So I’m going to have a hard time supporting anything that doesn’t protect that goal.”

State Representative Brandt Iden (R-Oshtemo Township) is a bill sponsor. He says people are gaming online already. He says legalization would make sure those people are protected – and it would bring in more money for the state for roads and schools.

“That’s one of the things that the governor desperately needs right now. She’s looking for increased dollars for roads, she’s looking for increased dollars for education,” says Iden. “And what I’m proposing is a way to help get her there and I certainly hope she doesn’t stand in the way of bringing more dollars to kids.”

Iden says other states have not had a problem with a reduction in lottery revenue after allowing online casino gaming.

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