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US – Michigan’s online sports betting could generate $93m in first-year tax

By - 10 August 2020

Sports betting and online casinos could produce as much as $93m in first-year tax revenue in Michigan, according to projections from MichiganSharp.com.

The first of Michigan’s online sports betting and casino platforms might launch by the end of 2020. This sets the stage for Michigan to become one of the top online gambling states in the US. Gross revenue from sports betting, both online and retail, will be taxed at 8.4 per cent from the state. Detroit’s three commercial casinos pay an additional 1.25 per cent city tax.

Michigan hosts 26 land-based casinos, all of which can be expected to offer sports betting and online gaming to the state’s 10-million population at some point.

“All of the pieces are in place for Michigan to become a major hub for sports betting and online gambling,” said Geoff Fisk, analyst for MichiganSharp.com. “Virtually all of the state’s casinos should want a piece of the new market, especially with the attractive tax rates.”

By comparison, New Jersey taxes land-based sports betting at 9.75 per cent and online sportsbooks at 13 per cent. Indiana’s online sports betting tax is levied at 9.5 per cent, while Pennsylvania taxes sports betting at 36 per cent.

State lawmakers passed House Bill 4916 in December 2019, which legalised both retail and online sports betting. The bill also brings online casinos and online poker to the state, setting the stage for Michigan to become one of the biggest legal online gambling markets in the US.

All 26 of Michigan’s retail casinos can apply for sports betting and internet gaming licenses through the Michigan Gaming Control Board. In a situation unique to Michigan, the state’s three commercial casinos, as well as the 23 tribal casinos, are eligible to offer internet gaming.

Online sports betting has proven massively successful in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In both states, online wagering accounts for more than 80 percent of total sports betting revenue. MichiganSharp.com projects that the state could bring in as much as $400 million in total first-year sports betting revenue, producing $33.6 million in tax revenue for the state.

“Mobile wagering should be the major revenue driver for Michigan’s sports betting market,” Fisk said. “The convenience and ease of access of online sports betting opens up a whole new world of opportunities for both bettors and sportsbook operators.”

Online casino and poker revenue will be taxed at 20-28% from the state, using a tier system dependent on earnings. MichiganSharp.com projects that online casinos and poker could earn as much as $250 million in first-year operations, bringing in a possible $60m in tax revenue.

MichiganSharp.com projects that total revenue from sports betting, online casinos, and online poker, could earn $650 million in year one of operations, resulting in $93.6m in tax revenue for the state.

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