The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi owns and operates the FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek, Michigan. Photo: FireKeepers Casino
Compacts | Legislation

Tribes in Michigan express concerns about internet gambling legislation



Writing for Online Poker Report, Dave Palermo offers an extensive look at an online gaming bill that has drawn concerns of tribes in Michigan.

Federal law recognizes the ability of tribes to engage in online gaming through their Class III gaming compacts or approved gaming ordinances. But no tribe to date has successfully offered real money wagers on the internet amid unanswered legal questions.

The uncertainty has tribes, attorneys and state officials worried about Senate Bill 203, Palermo reports. They say the legislation could be seen as violating the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act because it requires tribes to share up to 10 percent of online revenues with the state but doens't guarantee them any form of exclusivity.

“The statute does not allow taxes," Joe Valandra, a former chief of staff at the National Indian Gaming Commission, told Online Poker Report. "If the tribes want to agree to a revenue share, that’s OK."

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Kowall is the sponsor of the bill. He told Palermo that he remains optimistic of passage despite the concerns.

Read More on the Story:
Dave Palermo: Tweaking Michigan Online Gambling Bill Doesn’t Resolve Many Of The Legal Problems (Online Poker Report 7/12)
Michigan bill bets on legalizing internet gambling (The Detroit News 3/13)