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Michigan officially legalizes sports betting and online gambling

20th December, 20:24

Michigan is the latest state to legalize sports betting and online gambling. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed bills on Friday that will allow people in the state to legally bet and gamble in the coming months, The Detroit News reported.

Michigan residents could be making their first legal wagers in as little as three months from now. The state is the 20th to legalize sports betting and the second in the midwest, alongside Illinois.

Tiffany Brown, who is a spokesperson for Whitmer, told The Detroit News that the governor is "optimistic that implementation will be efficient." Supporters of the legalization are eyeing the NCAA men's basketball tournament in March as the first big event people in Michigan will be able to place wagers on.

Under the new laws, the state of Michigan will be able to grant sports betting licenses to business that already have casino licenses. State regulators still need to finalize the requirement for offering sports betting in Michigan. That will include the laws for online betting, which has become extremely popular with sites like DraftKings and FanDuel having sportsbook applications.

"Sports betting is expected to start with only wagers placed at physical locations within the state's casinos," Greektown casino vice president of community and public relations Marvin Beatty said.

The Michigan Department of Treasury believes that sports betting will help bring $19 million in new revenue to the state.

There will be an 8.4 percent tax on sports wager receipts in the state. In addition, online games will be taxed between 20 and 28 percent and most of the revenue will go towards Michigan's fund for public schools. Another $4 million per year would go into a fund that benefits firefighters, who have cancer due to exposure to chemicals and smoke.

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