Michigan’s governor allocates money to fight illegal sports betting

The budget proposals come as Michigan and other states have cracked down on what they see as illicit or illegal betting at the behest of the legal gambling industry.

Last updated: February 8, 2024, 12:34 p.m. ET
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Michigan is committed to combating illegal sports betting.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer dropped her budget recommendation for Michigan’s fiscal year 2025 earlier this week, which included $1.9 million for “regulation of Internet gambling and sports betting,” the document said.

“The growth of online gambling and sports betting in Michigan has increased demand for gambling regulation and licensing operations, and these funds will expand the agency’s regulatory capacity and enhance protections against illegal activities,” the executive budget states.

Whitmer’s financial plan also calls for a $4 million increase to the state’s Gambling Addiction Prevention Fund and programs associated with that fund.

“Increased allocations of revenue from internet gambling, sports betting and lottery funds will improve the 24/7 gambling disorder helpline and existing treatment options to help people suffering from gambling addiction and related problems,” the budget says.

The budget proposals come as Michigan and other states have cracked down on what they see as illicit or illegal betting at the behest of the legal gambling industry.

In Michigan, that included sending cease-and-desist letters last month to three online gambling companies that regulators believed were offering their products in the state without the necessary licenses.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board also proposed and enforces stricter rules for fantasy sports, leading to the shutdown of anti-house pick ’em contests in the state.

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Henry Williams, executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board, welcomed the governor’s funding proposals.

“As iGaming becomes increasingly popular, enhanced regulatory oversight becomes essential to protect vulnerable Michigan citizens, prevent money laundering and mitigate the risks of fraudulent practices,” Williams said in a recent press release. “The earmarked funds are essential investments in building a stronger, socially responsible gaming industry.”

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