Friday April 19, 2013 : MICHIGAN LOTTERY ONLINE EXPANSION MEETS OPPOSITION (Update)
Anti-online expansion in "bet now – pay later" proposal
The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe and State Rep. Kevin Cotter, R-Mount Pleasant are supporting House Bill 4531 which would effectively deny the Michigan Bureau of State Lottery and the Lottery Commission from allowing wagers to be placed through the internet reports Central Michigan Life.
Readers will recall the Michigan State Lottery publishing a "Request for Proposal" at the beginning of the year which covered the expansion of its lottery activities to the online environment. At the time the state government was hopeful that going online will boost tax revenues by up to $118 million over the first 4 years, rising to $361 million in the following four years. The Michigan School Aid Fund was to receive the bulk of these additional revenues.
Cotter believes the expansion to online from an already extensive retail network spells trouble and involves too many risks especially involving the use of a credit card. “I believe this is one of the most dangerous parts of the proposal, as it would allow a pay-later approach to gaming,” he said. “Currently, most lottery retailers only accept cash for wagers.”
But the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe is developing an online gaming site in collaboration with Aristocrat Technologies, one it says will not involve any money but strategically places the group should legal online gaming become a reality allowing it then to become first to market in the State.
Public Relations Director for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, Frank Cloutier said : “We have a non-monetary online virtual experience with Aristocrat that we will be doing in the casino; it’s just to be ready if online gaming becomes a reality at the end of the day as a business decision. Online gaming is not healthy for the state’s economy; it’s not a benefit for the tax payers of Michigan’ and to be able to pay later for a wager today is just a poor choice.”