The state of Michigan and its relationship with online poker was generating a lot of buzz towards the end of 2018. It seemed as though a big step had been taken when lawmaker Brandt Iden spent much of his time trying to push for the legalisation of the industry there. Yet, things were brought to an abrupt end before the year came to a close.
The former Governor of Michigan, who finished his term in office when 2018 ceased to exist, chose to proceed with shutting down any kind of bill that would assist with legalising online poker there. In a sort of final word and act of power, December 28 saw the former Governor – Mr Rick Snyder – take the decision to veto the proposed bill. Any sort of gusto that those pushing for the legalisation of online poker had was swiftly brought to a halt.
It’s quite the shame, as it had been gaining traction towards the end of 2018, following a surprise late push by Michigan lawmakers. In fact, there was such hype surrounding the possible legal online poker scene in the state following Pennsylvania’s decision to make things legal in 2017. It looked like two major-population states in the US would be providing poker services to their residents.
It also stood out as being one of the larger news items in the United States as far as online poker was concerned, as very little progress was made elsewhere during the last year. Lawmakers in Michigan managed to amass strong support in both of the legislative houses there, with a bill passing easily through them.
The only thing that was left to do, was for Mr Snyder to sign the bill and poker would have been made legal in the state. And many thought he would.
Snyder Dismisses the Bill
Yet, instead of granting poker players in Michigan and the lawmakers who had been pushing for it a great New Year, Snyder chose to dismiss the bill, vetoing it before he walked out of the door. Granted, online poker legislation wasn’t the only one to suffer, as reports suggested that he took this action with several proposed bills. Online gambling just happened to be one of these.
The former Governor explained his actions with the simple words, “I do not think it is appropriate to sign legislation that will effectively result in more gambling”.
It was a disappointment for those who had been pushing for the online poker industry’s legalisation in the state, especially Rep. Iden. He spoke of having no idea that Snyder would take such a decision, considering that all stakeholders were supportive of the bill and any concerns over online poker’s legalisation in the state were alleviated.
Speculation has been raised that Snyder was influenced by the words of Sheldon Adelson, who remains as the country’s biggest opponent to online gambling. In fact, his Coalition to Stop Online Gambling is one of the main talking points of the Republican Party in the United States. Yet, it doesn’t seem as though they’re willing to look at the bigger picture.
Revenue from gambling in New Jersey has provided support for schools, compulsive gambling and other areas, for example. Plus, there hasn’t been a reduction in the amount of revenue from land-based establishments in this state, or from the national lottery of New Jersey.