MICHIGAN - The Supreme Court ruled to get rid of a 1992 law that banned sports betting, but that does not mean sports fans can run to a local sports bar and place bets.
The decision came down on Monday morning and means something different for each state based on their current legislation.
Five states including Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Connecticut, Mississippi and New Jersey all passed laws in preparation for this day, so they are well on their way to making this a reality. Here in Michigan, there is a proposal on the table, but the measure has gained little traction.The bill is actually a push for legalizing online gambling, but does make mention of permitting sports betting, too.
Michigan currently has 23 tribal casinos, three commercial casinos and the online lottery. The state's commercial casinos came into existence thanks to the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act of 1996. The act does not actually prohibit sports betting—it's just always been banned at the federal level. A representative for the Michigan Gaming Control Board, who oversees the commercial casinos, said the board will discuss with the Detroit casinos to find out if they wish to offer sports betting.
"Even with the Supreme Court overturning the federal ban on sports betting, all betting still would take place in a casino unless the Michigan Legislature changes existing state law," said Mary Kay Bean, Public Information Officer of the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
At this point, it's largely up to the Michigan legislature to decide how they will proceed with the ruling.
Rep. Jim Lilly, District 89- R issued the following statement:
“I think this ruling is consistent with our constitution which gives states the right to regulate this activity as they see fit in the absence of federal regulation. This ruling gives us the power to regulate this form of gaming and crack down on illegal gambling while giving those with a gambling problem access to tools for fighting addiction. I think this is absolutely something my colleagues and I should take a look at in the coming weeks since the ruling and HB 4926 gives us an opportunity to create a transparent marketplace in an industry that previously existed only in the shadows.”
James Nye, a representative for Gun Lake Casino, said it was a little too early on for them to take a stance on the issue. Nye said they will wait to see how things unfold in Lansing, before making any decisions.
The National Indian Gaming Commission did not return requests for comment on the matter.
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