Nonpartisan analysis finds Internet gambling cheats Michigan schools out of critical funding

It is abundantly clear why House Bill 4926 needed to be reported in committee at the last minute on the last day of the legislative session without any testimony: the Lawful Internet Gaming Act would be a devastating blow to Michigan schools and a nasty Christmas gift for Michigan’s kids.

The dangerously reckless legislation peddled by special-interest lobbyists would bring kids a click away from casinos and threaten funding for the state’s education system. But don’t just take our word for it – take it from the nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency, whose legislative analysis of HB 4926 includes the following lowlights:• “[HB 4926]…likely would result in a net reduction in revenues to state and local governments, including the City of Detroit…”
• “The State School Aid Fund (SAF) likely would realize reduced revenues under House Bill 4926.”
• “The bill likely would reduce City of Detroit revenues from casino gaming sources.”

“This package voted on today diminishes the School Aid Fund and deprives millions of dollars in lost tax revenue from the City of Detroit. With nearly thirty brick and mortar casinos and a statewide lottery that can be purchased at every corner gas station, convenience store and grocery store in the state, putting a virtual casino open 24/7 in all Michigan homes is as unsafe as it is unnecessary,” commented Bill Jackson, representing CSIG.

Today’s actions by the House Regulatory Reform Committee is also a flagrant violation of the voter-approved provision of the state constitution requiring any expansion of gambling to be put in front of the people. That the preferred legislative path forward for HB 4926 stooped to subverting the will of Michiganders is a telling testament to the harm it would pose if enacted.

The Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling will fight this bill with the degree of determination Michigan families deserve.