Michigan Senate Panel OKs Sports Betting, Online Gambling

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LANSING (WWJ/AP) - Michigan would legalize sports betting and internet gambling under bills that lawmakers hope to send to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer by the end of the week.

A state Senate committee unanimously passed a 10-bill package Tuesday.

WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick says the legislation is expected to fly through the Legislature, with approval by the full Senate happening either today or tomorrow.

"The governor is expected to sign this," Skubick reported."The state will make some money; not a boatload of money. Starting out the first year maybe $50 million." 

The tax on sports wagering receipts after winnings are paid out would be 8.4%. The tax on internet poker and other online games would range between 20% and 28%.

Most of the new revenue would go to Michigan's fund for public schools.

Supporters contend the legislation will deal a big blow to organized crime, which has been making all of the money off of illegal sports betting, Skubick said.

"Now with the state regulating this, Curtis Hertel, the State Senator, tells us organized crime's gonna take a hit."

The bills include safeguards designed to keep children from betting on their phones.

More than 10 states have passed sports gambling legislation, including Indiana, after the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the federal ban on gambling in May of last year.