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Politics & Government

Sports betting bills scheduled to see movement this week

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Plans to make Michigan a sports betting state are moving through the state Legislature. A package of bills is scheduled to be voted out of a House committee Tuesday.

The bills would create a Division of Sports Betting in the state’s Gaming Control Board. If passed, the division would create rules, license sports betting establishments and oversee organizations with sports betting licenses.

Opponents of expanding gambling in the state say it could negatively impact the state lottery, which puts money toward the state’s schools.

Republican Representative Brandt Iden is a bill sponsor. He says it wouldn’t take away from the lottery because people either play on all platforms or they have certain games that they like.

He says, “These are new funds that we should be contemplating in this budget cycle in my opinion as the administration looks for more dollars.”

The bills would not allow people to bet on some events – like high school sports, fantasy sports, and horse racing.

Iden says he goes across the Michigan border to bet on sports games – and he sees Michigan license plates in the parking lots.

“We have to move forward with this because what we’re seeing is we are losing customers to other states,” he says.

A spokesperson for Governor Gretchen Whitmer says the governor is open to discussions on the bills. But she’s concerned it will draw money from the state lottery and in turn, the School Aid Fund.

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