The end of 2018 is on its way, and this is something that lawmakers in Michigan know all too well. That is especially true in the case of Rep. Brandt Iden, who has been fighting viciously to ensure that online poker is made legal in the state before the year closes out.
Iden managed to secure a victory in the mid-term elections and has since put all his efforts into arguing over the legalisation of poker. There are just six legislative sessions remaining when it comes to the State Senate, and even though this isn’t much time to do anything, he remains optimistic over a positive outcome for his gaming bill.
Speaking of the pushes he’s trying to make, Iden said that things are “close to the finish line”, before reinforcing the fact that legal online poker in Michigan is one of his very top priorities.
It’s not something that the lawmaker only recently began fighting for, though. In fact, he started trying to push his Lawful Internet Gaming Act bill through last year. His argument for it centres around the fact that Michigan would be able to garner some much-needed revenue from it, whilst also creating a batch of new jobs in the state.
Things did seem to be looking optimistic in June of this year. At that time, the bill was passed in the State House of Representatives. However, it has since remained in some sort of limbo, waiting to be voted on by the Senate.
Why Won’t the Senate Pass the Bill?
There has been a lot of problems within the State Senate, unfortunately. Mike Kowall, who operates as the Majority Floor Leader, is actually on his way out due to losing in the primaries. While being a supporter of Iden’s bill, he isn’t able to run for re-election in the House, so movement on Lawful Internet Gaming Act has been stalled.
Should 2019 roll around without the bill passing, it will basically end up dying out. This is because bills cannot carry over into odd years, according to Michigan’s state law.
As it happens, the power play now seems to be in the hands of the Senate Majority Leader – Arlan Meekhof. He operates as the chair of the Committee of Government Operations. It is there that Iden’s bill currently rests. For the moment, the board doesn’t have any meetings in place for the rest of 2018. That being said, Meekhof does have the ability to put a committee meeting together at any time he likes – so potential is still there for addressing the bill.
Iden isn’t really sure if that will take place or not. For the moment, he doesn’t actually know if Meekhof has a positive attitude towards his bill. Of course, while Iden can only drum up encouragement for the bill, the fact is that he can’t really do anything else for it. It rests in the hands of the Senate.
Yet, if Michigan does go ahead and end up passing the law before 2018 comes to an end, it would become the fifth state to provide legal online poker to its residents.