March 20, 2019 3 min read


Michigan Online Poker Clears House Committee

Michigan is set on a course to finally legalize its online gambling industry, courtesy of the continuous efforts of Rep. Brandt Iden. Having cleared a recent Committee vote in the House, H 4311 looks stronger than ever.

Michigan’s Plans to Legalize Online Poker and Gambling Are Progressing

Michigan is on its way to joining places like Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, and even Pennsylvania, in bringing its online gambling industry up to speed.

There have been challenges – past and present – but H 4311 backed by Rep. Brandt Iden has made a great headway. The bill was voted on Tuesday during a hearing of the House Regulatory Committee.

The upshot? Delegates voted 13-1 in favor of H 4311 giving lawmakers, business and industry experts a signal that the wheels of online poker in Michigan are spinning.

And yet, this hasn’t been the first time a bill has started off well.

More Challenges for Michigan Online Casino Bill

Clearing the House and Senate Committees doesn’t seem to be a tall order in Michigan.

After all, it did happen last year, too, and while the bill had gathered an impressive legal momentum, it was snuffed out at the whim of outgoing Gov. Rick Snyder who expressed concerns about the nature of online and inter-state gambling in Michigan.

The good news is that there have been changes in office and Mr. Snyder would no longer be deciding the future of online gambling in Michigan.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer though is a mystery and nobody is exactly sure where she stands on online poker.

Nothing’s changed much for Rep. Frank Liberati who has been the loner to vote against H 4311 and all its sister bills last year.

Why H 4311 Can Succeed

Mr. Ident has proven a skilled diplomat. Navigating in choppy legal seas he has managed to draw not only bilateral support, but also sit down with the state’s tribes and convince them that online gambling and online poker can be beneficial to the tribal compact.

That alone was an impressive achievement in its own right.

Michigan’s online gambling levy isn’t that hefty, too, and casinos will only have to pay a nominal 8% tax, one of the country’s lowest. Properties in Detroit will have to pay additional 1.25% the bill stipulates.

And Now We Wait

Despite the shift in the legal landscape, Michigan seems well-poised on delivering a functioning bill this year. The House seems like a small challenge right now and the Senate is fairly unchanged in opinion, meaning that H 4311 has a great chance of arriving at Ms. Whitmer’s office before the end of the legislative session.

Should she approve the bill, then Michigan can become the sixth state in the United States to offer legal online poker and gambling.

Ms. Whitmer hasn’t announced herself against gambling and while her stance remains a bit cryptic, she doesn’t strike as a lawmaker who would strike down a piece of law that’s enjoyed the massive support H 4311 has and is about to.


Simon is a freelance writer who specializes in gambling news and has been an author in the poker/casino scene for 10+ years. He brings valuable knowledge to the team and a different perspective, especially as a casual casino player.

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