Latest News

Michigan Rep. Brandt Iden (R – 61st District) talking sports gambling

May 15, 2018

Listen to “Michigan Rep. Brandt Iden (R – 61st District) talking sports gambling – May 15, 2018” on Spreaker.

Bills would reform MI’s online gambling laws

February 28, 2018

WOODTV

By Austin Denean

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — A set of bills making its way through Michigan’s legislature will change the rules for gambling online within the state.

Current laws say online gambling is illegal. However, that could change, at least partially, if the bills are approved.

Rep. Brandt Iden, R-Oshtemo, said he wants to set up online gambling through the existing casinos in the state. In that scenario, the state could regulate and tax the process while providing a legal way for people to do what many are already doing outside of the law.

“This creates a sort of sanctity of the game, I like to call it, and players who play regularly know that they want their money protected and they want to get paid when they win,” Iden said. “I mean, that’s the benefit of being able to structure it so that it’s properly regulated. In addition to the tax revenue for the state of Michigan, you will protect and ensure that people are 21, (and) that if there’s a problem gambling issue, people aren’t going overboard.”

The bills have already cleared committee in both the Michigan House of Representatives and the Senate. They are awaiting action by the full chambers.

Atlantic City casino revenue rose in 2017 for second year

January 12, 2018

Las Vegas Sun

By Wayne Parry, Associated Press

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Atlantic City’s casinos saw their gambling revenue increase in 2017 for the second year in a row.

Figures released Friday by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement show the seven casinos won $2.66 billion in 2017. That’s an increase of 2.2 percent over 2016.

The past two years have been encouraging for Atlantic City’s surviving casinos after a decade of revenue declines that saw five of the city’s 12 casinos shut down, with 11,000 jobs lost.

The remaining casinos have regained their balance in a slimmed-down market.

The casinos were greatly helped by $245 million in internet gambling winnings, an increase of nearly 25 percent over 2016.

The Borgata won more than $800 million from gamblers last year, by far the most in the city.

Atlantic City gaming revenue increased in 2017

January 11, 2018

The Press of Atlantic City

By Nicholas Huba

ATLANTIC CITY — For the second consecutive year, the city’s seven remaining casinos saw an increase in gaming revenues.

Overall casino gambling revenue, including internet gaming, totaled $2.6 billion this year compared with $2.5 billion in 2016, a 2.2 percent increase, according to casino gaming figures released Friday.

“It shows an industry that is getting stronger and healthier and well-positioned for the future,” said Jim Plousis, chairman of the Casino Control Commission.

Colin Mansfield, a director at Fitch Ratings and a lead analyst in the gaming industry, said the yearly revenue numbers show the resort’s gaming market has right- sized itself.

“This is the level that we expected,” Mansfield said. “Right now seven casinos is the right number for this market.”

Last year, the city snapped a decadelong decline in gaming revenue.

“With strong growth in Internet gaming win and the anticipated reopening of two former casino properties this summer, I am optimistic that the Atlantic City casino industry can accelerate its revenue growth trajectory in 2018,” said Christopher Glaum, deputy director of financial investigations for the Division of Gaming Enforcement. “These figures also mark the first year-over-year increase in brick-and-mortar casino win since 2006.”

Internet gambling totaled $245.6 million in 2017 compared with $$196.7 million in 2016, an increase of nearly 25 percent for 2017.

“After a strong 2017, there are multiple reasons to believe the New Jersey online gaming train will continue gain steam in 2018,” said Steve Ruddock, lead analyst for PlayNJ.com, an internet gambling advocacy group. “Operators are increasing their catalog of games and launching innovative new products, such as virtual sports.”

Michigan: Lawmakers plan to tackle internet gambling in New Year

January 4, 2018

North American Gaming Regulators Association

Michigan: Lawmakers plan to tackle internet gambling in New Year

Internet gambling would be regulated under bills recently voted out of a state House committee.

The legislation would let casinos and tribal casinos get licenses from a state agency for online gaming. The casinos could then use approved software that does things like determine user age and look for addictive behaviors.

“You get on the internet today, you type in Michigan internet gaming and sites pop up,” said state Rep. Brandt Iden, R-Portage. “And we need to make sure we have the proper consumer protections in place to make sure that people are protected. That’s what we’re here to do.” Click here to read more.

For online gaming in Michigan, it’s a matter of how and when

January 2, 2018

GamingToday.com

By Robert Mann

For online gaming in Michigan, it’s just a matter of how and when.

That’s the message from Rep. Brandt Iden, R-Oshtemo, chair of the House Regulatory Reform Committee and representative for Michigan’s 61st District, in a recent opinion piece in the Detroit News, in which he calls for the legalization of online wagering in the state.

Iden writes, “people across Michigan already are playing poker, blackjack and other casino-style games online. When they play for money, they are doing so illegally under current state law. They also risk identity theft, problems accessing their money and other dangers playing on unsafe, unregulated sites.”

Iden is the sponsor of legislation in the Michigan House to legalize Internet gaming. The House Regulatory Reform Committee, with strong bipartisan support, approved the proposed legislation in mid-December. Iden has pledged to continue to work with legislative colleagues to pass an Internet gaming law in 2018.

He concludes in his Detroit News opinion column, “As market forces and technology evolve, legalization is inevitable.”

Column: Let’s legalize internet gaming

December 26, 2017

The Detroit News

By Brandt Iden

The internet and the convenience of mobile devices are changing the way we do everything.

We stay in touch with family and friends online. We shop online. We buy tickets to sporting events and movies online.

And make no mistake about it — people across Michigan already are playing poker, black jack and other casino-style games online. When they play for money, they are doing so illegally under current state law. They also risk identity theft, problems accessing their money and other dangers playing on unsafe, unregulated sites.

As market forces and technology evolve, legalization is inevitable. It’s simply a question of how and when, just as it was when Michigan legalized in-person casino gaming decades ago. What the industry calls “igaming” already is legal in four states — Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — and many other states are lining up behind them to do the same.

Michigan should get in the game. It would benefit the state to be on the early edge of this evolution, protecting players with responsible rules while raising new revenue to help provide essential public services.

That’s why I sponsored legislation in the Michigan House to legalize internet gaming. The bills were approved by the House Regulatory Reform Committee with strong bipartisan support on Dec. 13. I will continue to work with my legislative colleagues in hopes of making this proposal law in 2018.

This is simply an updated platform for existing gaming — not new gaming. Internet wagering would be legal only through casinos already in Michigan — the three in Detroit, and any tribal casino that would rework its agreement with the state to reflect the new technology. Games would be available on casino websites and phone apps evolving just as they have for other institutions offering shopping, banking and a host of other services.

We will be proactive and protect consumers. These websites would have strict state oversight, unlike the offshore and illegal sites now used by Michiganders. Only those 21 and older could play, and their accounts would have built-in safety features. People will be more secure knowing they’re playing on a regulated website through a known entity rather than through some unknown site with no protections against unscrupulous operators. A portion of revenue would go to help problem gamblers.

The bill calls for 10 percent of gross gaming revenues to go to the state and local communities. That potentially translates to millions of dollars benefiting roads, police and fire departments, schools and other services that make our lives better every day — without a general tax increase.

Our three Detroit casinos have generated more than $266 million in state and local wagering taxes so far in 2017. Our tribal casinos have generated millions more. Michigan could expect additional revenue counting in the millions through internet gaming without hurting business in the brick-and-mortar casinos scattered from Detroit to the Upper Peninsula.

It’s the right thing to do. And it’s the right time to do it, for the safety of Michigan consumers and the betterment of our communities.

Rep. Brandt Iden, R-Oshtemo, chairs the House Regulatory Reform Committee and represents Michigan’s 61st District.

Michigan House committee approves Rep. Iden’s online gaming legislation

December 13, 2017

Michigan House Republicans

The Michigan House Regulatory Reform Committee today approved Rep. Brandt Iden’s proposal to legalize online casino gaming with overwhelming bipartisan support.

Iden’s legislation would allow internet-based gaming only through casinos currently operating in Michigan, including Detroit’s three casinos and any tribal casino that reworks its compact with the state to reflect the new technology. Safeguards would be established to protect players’ accounts and ensure only those 21 and older are using the service.

“This extension of existing gaming will boost revenue to the state and our local communities for essential public services, without asking for more money through general taxes,” Iden, of Oshtemo, said after the committee vote. “People already are gambling illegally online. As technology and market forces evolve, legalization of online gaming is inevitable. Michigan should be proactive – legalize it, make it safe for customers by allowing them to play on a secure and regulated system, and capitalize on its revenue benefits for the public services we all use every day.”

The technology – often referred to as ‘igaming’ — already is legal in Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Iden, who chairs the Regulatory Reform Committee, has been working on the bills with stakeholders for more than six months.

“Today’s vote was a significant first step toward approval,” Iden said. “We’ll continue to work with our colleagues in both the House and Senate next year to finalize a system that works for all involved to benefit the state of Michigan.”

The legislation calls for 10 percent of gross gaming revenue to go to the state and local communities, potentially translating to millions of dollars. The plan includes a variety of built-in safety measures for consumers, including an additional $1 million to help problem gamblers.

Michigan could become 4th state to legalize online gambling

September 20, 2017

iDEA

State Rep. Brandt Iden, R-Kalamazoo, introduced a bill that would allow Michigan’s 23 brick-and-mortar casinos to get licenses to offer online gaming.

If the bill becomes a law, three casinos in Detroit and 20 tribal casinos all over Michigan would be able to get licenses to offer online gaming. Currently, the three states that offer legal online gambling are New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada.

Iden said he introduced the bill after talking to numerous students attending Western Michigan University in his hometown who said they participated in online gambling without knowing it was illegal.

“Technology is changing, businesses are going to have to adapt to that and they’re going to need an online platform at some stage,” Iden said. “I-gaming will happen in Michigan and whether I do it, or this governor signs it, I don’t know, but we have to start the conversation.”

Read the full article on Detroit Free Press.

Michigan could become fourth state to legalize online gambling under bill

September 16, 2017

Detroit Free Press

By Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press Lansing Bureau

LANSING — A state lawmaker is hoping that Michigan becomes the fourth state in the nation to make Internet gambling legal.

State Rep. Brandt Iden, R-Kalamazoo, introduced a bill last week that would allow the existing casinos in Michigan — three in Detroit and 20 tribal casinos — to get licenses to offer online gaming.

He said he has talked with plenty of students attending Western Michigan University in his hometown “and they game online, but don’t know that it’s illegal.”

The three states that offer legal online gambling are New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada. According to a state Senate fiscal analysis of a similar bill introduced earlier this year, $50 million in tax revenues were generated in New Jersey in 2016. The House bill, which received its first hearing last week, would subject the casinos to a 15% tax on the gross gaming revenue from the online gambling.

“Technology is changing, businesses are going to have to adapt to that and they’re going to need an online platform at some stage,” Iden said. “I-gaming will happen in Michigan and whether I do it, or this governor signs it, I don’t know, but we have to start the conversation.”

Other bills introduced last week:

HB 4905: Modify the property tax principal residence exemption for individuals living in a nursing home. Sponsor: Rep. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township.

HB 4906: Provide for an income tax deduction for unemployment benefits. Sponsor: Rep. Wendell Byrd, D-Detroit.

HB 4907: Expand the use of fund-raising vehicle registration plates to include company-owned vans and trucks. Sponsor: Rep. Roger Victory, R-Hudsonville.

HB 4908-09: Modify the statute of limitations for causes of action based on fraud claims on unemployment benefits and require the state to provide annual reports on unpaid and delinquent contributions. Sponsors: Reps. William Sowerby, D-Clinton Township, Leslie Love, D-Detroit.

HB 4910: Provide for a database security breach policy for state agencies. Sponsor: Rep. John Chirkun, D-Roseville.

HB 4911-15: Package of bills stemming from the Unemployment Insurance Agency scandal in which more than 40,000 people were falsely accused of committing benefits fraud. Sponsors: Reps. Terry Sabo, D-Muskegon, Tim Sneller, D-Burton, Darrin Camilleri, D-Brownstown Township, Cara Clemente, D-Lincoln Park, Fred Durhal, D-Detroit.

HB 4916-17: Reduce the late filing penalty for annual reports for limited liability companies. Sponsor: Rep. Martin Howrylak, R-Troy.

HB 4918: Prohibit pension poaching from veterans. Sponsor: Rep. Sue Allor, R-Wolverine.

HB 4919: Provide regulations for motorcycle processions. Sponsor: Rep. Tom Barrett, R-Charlotte.

HB 4920: Require U.S. citizenship for financial aid for Michigan work-study programs. Sponsor: Rep. Tom Barrett, R-Charlotte.

HB 4921: Provide for a permanent vehicle registration plate for farm vehicles. Sponsor: Rep. Tom Barrett, R-Charlotte.

HB 4922: Allow for local governments to review records of collection and disposition of vehicle inspection fees. Sponsor: Rep. Jeff Yaroch, R-Richmond.

HB 4923: Prohibit charging veterans to process or provide replacement certificate of discharge forms. Sponsor: Rep. Pam Faris, D-Clio.

HB 4924-25: Require fireworks sellers to display signs that explain the limits on when people can use fireworks and prohibit the use of fireworks by minors without adult supervision. Sponsors: Reps. Abdullah Hammoud, D-Dearborn, Brian Elder, D-Bay City.

HB 4926-28: Allow and regulate Internet gaming. Sponsors: Reps. Brandt Iden, R-Kalamazoo, Klint Kesto, R-Commerce Township.

HB 4929-30 and SB 566-67: Provide for a sales and use tax exemptions for dental prosthetics. Sponsor: Rep. Julie Alexander, R-Hanover, Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida

HB 4931: Create the financial exploitation liability act. Sponsor: Rep. Robert Kosowski, D-Westland.

HB 4932: Raise the income threshold for poverty exemption for disabled and elderly people. Sponsor: Rep. Robert Kosowski, D-Westland.

HB 4933-4935: Provide for educational stability for foster children in out-of-home placements and allow for school enrollment without records. Sponsor: Rep. Robert Kosowski, D-Westland.

HB 4936-37: Modify the requirement of employing certificated teachers for the purposes of school aid and provide for the option to hire non-certified teachers for career and technical programs. Sponsor: Rep. Robert Kosowski, D-Westland.

HB 4938: Enact the nurse licensure compact. Sponsor: Rep. Mary Whiteford, R-Casco Township.

HB 4939: Amend the effective date of provisions in the drinking age act. Sponsor: Rep. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township.

HB 4940: Modify the apportionment of dry bean districts and create a member at large. Sponsor: Rep. Ed Canfield, R-Sebawaing.

HB 4941-42: Modify the requirement that state contract preferences to be awarded to Michigan-based companies. Sponsors: Reps. Pam Faris, D-Clio, Tom Cochran, D-Mason.

HB 4943 and SB 543: Rename a portion of I-94 as the Ed Switalski Memorial Highway. Sponsors: Rep. David Maturen, R-Vicksburg, Sen. Margaret O’Brien, R-Portage.

HB 4944: Require vehicles to move over and slow down when passing stationary vehicles. Sponsor: Rep. Aaron Miller, R-Sturgis.

HB 4945: Eliminate the prohibition for a golf cart on a state trunk line highway. Sponsor: Rep. Aaron Miller, R-Sturgis.

HB 4946: Prohibit the use of public funding in a primary election by a candidate who is unopposed. Sponsor: Rep. Aaron Miller, R-Sturgis.

HB 4947: Revise the regulation of telephone solicitations. Sponsor: Rep. Aaron Miller, R-Sturgis.

HB 4948: Allow nonpartisan township board elections. Sponsor: Rep. Jeff Yaroch, R-Richmond.

HB 4949: Modify the conditions for an acceleration of winter property taxes. Sponsor: Rep. Jeff Yaroch, R-Richmond.

HB 4950: Exclude health maintenance organizations from the corporate income tax imposed on insurance companies’ gross direct premiums. Sponsor: Rep. Hank Vaupel, R-Handy Township.

HB 4951: Require positioning of child safety seats depending on the weight of the child. Sponsor: Rep. Laura Cox, R-Livonia.

HB 4952: Prohibit cities from imposing an income tax on non-residents who work in the city. Sponsor: Rep. Pamela Hornberger, R-Chesterfield Township.

HB 4953: Allow for the levy of taxes by an intermediate school district. Sponsor: Rep. Pamela Hornberger, R-Chesterfield Township.

HB 4954: Modify the requirement that state transportation funds be allocated to nonmotorized transportation services and facilities. Sponsor: Rep. Shane Hernandez, R-Port Huron.

HB 4955: Prohibit the department of health and human services from considering firearm possession in placement of a child in foster care. Sponsor: Rep. Holly Hughes, White River Township.

HB 4956: Eliminate the distance requirement between kingpins and axles on certain trucks. Sponsor: Rep. Triston Cole, R-Mancelona.

HB 4957: Allow an individual who is mentoring youths to purchase additional hunting licenses. Sponsor: Rep. Gary Howell, R-North Branch.

HB 4958: Prohibit compensation and health benefits of public employees to unmarried partners. Sponsor: Rep. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake.

HB 4959: Require prenuptial and postnuptial agreements to be enforceable. Sponsor: Rep. Michele Hoitenga, R-Manton.

HB 4960: Create a high-speed chase policy for local police. Sponsor: Rep. Sheldon Neeley, R-Flint.

HB 4961: Modify the property tax exemption for disable veterans and surviving spouses. Sponsor: Rep. William Sowerby, D-Clinton Township.

HB 4962: Allow purple paint markings to designate a no trespassing area. Sponsor: Rep. Gary Glenn, R- Midland.

HB 4963: Expand the distribution of emergency disaster contingency funds to include county road commissions. Sponsor: Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland.

HB 4964 and 4967: Provide defenses for defamation judgments. Sponsor: Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland.

HB 4965: Eliminate revenue sharing funding for communities that approve medical marijuana ordinances. Sponsor: Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland.

HB 4966: Provide for lawsuit liability protections for reporting suspicious activity or behavior. Sponsor: Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland.

HB 4968: Require members of planning commissions and zoning board to abstain from voting on financial issues or contracts when a conflict of interest exists. Sponsor: Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland.

HB 4969: Preclude prejudication confinement in jail for juveniles under the age of 18. Sponsor: Rep. Tommy Brann, R-Wyoming.

Senate bills

SB 544-49: Create an enhanced Michigan education savings program and website. Sponsors: Sens. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair, Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, Mike Green, R-Mayville.

SB 550: Modify the scope of practice for certified nurse anesthetists. Sponsor: Sen. Mike Kowall, R-White Lake.

SB 551: Provide for a process to determine the amounts available to spend from the Natural Resources Trust Fund. Sponsor: Sen. Dave Hildenbrand, R-Lowell.

SB 552: Extend the sunset on permit fees for off-road vehicles. Sponsor: Sen. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart.

SB 553-65: Update the references to the Michigan history center act in various state laws and modify the issuance of historical markers. Sponsors: Sens. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart, Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, Mike Green, R-Mayville.

SB 568: Modify the height restriction on motorcycle and moped handlebars. Sponsor: Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge.

SB 569: Modify the definition of a charitable or civic organization in the Michigan vehicle code. Sponsor: Sen. Dave Hildenbrand, R-Lowell.

SB 570-73: Modify the dates for filing documents on a variety of issues, including personal property tax exemptions, state essential services assessment and industrial facilities exemption certificates. Sponsors: Sens. Dave Hildenbrand, R-Lowell, Jack Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township, David Robertson, R-Grand Blanc, John Proos, R-St. Joseph.

SB 574: Revise the levy of regional enhancement millages. Sponsor: Sen. Dave Hildenbrand, R-Lowell.