Michigan Prepares for Potential PASPA Repeal

US Supreme CourtMichigan is leading the pack of states getting ready for not only legalized online gaming, but for legalized sports betting as well.

In December, the Michigan House Regulatory Reform Committee approved a version of the state gaming bill that included provisions on both online casino gambling and online sports betting.

One revision, introduced by Rep. Brandt Iden, updated House Bill 4926 (HB4926), states that: “The Division [of Internet Gaming] could permit an internet gaming licensee to conduct internet wagering on amateur or professional sporting events or contests if the wagering were not prohibited by federal law.”

The wording is hypothetical because internet betting isn’t legalized—yet. But if and when that changes, Michigan will be ready. And Rep. Iden is betting on that happening soon.

“That language is in there to start the next round of conversations,” Iden told Legal Sports Report in an interview. “I don’t want us to get ahead of ourselves, but we know that is coming – the repeal of PASPA is likely coming in the spring – and we want to put Michigan in position to put our best foot forward as it relates to sports gaming.”

Iden is referring, of course, to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). After hearing oral arguments in December, the Supreme Court is currently considering New Jersey’s case to repeal PASPA nationwide. If the repeal does come, Michigan will be in place to legalize online gaming quickly after the ruling arrives.

Michigan is among 18 states that may introduce sports betting bills in 2018. The idea is nationally appealing because it has the potential to generate a great deal of revenue for states that right now generate no income from currently illegal online gambling on sporting events.

The Supreme Court is expected to deliver its ruling on PASPA in the spring of 2018.