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Michigan Legislature Approves Budget For 14 New Gaming Staff Positions In October

Michigan lawmakers have set aside $1.9 million to add 14 staff positions to the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB).

Michigan Capitol Building At Twilight
Photo by AP Photo/Al Goldis
J.R. Duren Avatar
3 mins read

When you’re one of the top states in the country for online casinos and sports betting, you need all the help you can get.

Michigan lawmakers have set aside $1.9 million to add 14 staff positions to the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), the regulatory body that oversees Michigan’s thriving gaming market.

Additionally, lawmakers increased the MGCB’s portion of online casino and sports betting revenue so it can double its contributions to the state’s Compulsive Gambling Prevention Fund. In a statement, MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams expressed his thanks to the governor and lawmakers for the added funding:

“I extend my deepest gratitude to Governor Whitmer and the Legislature for their commitment to enhancing the Michigan Gaming Control Board’s operations with their support of additional FTE positions, underscoring their dedication to strengthening the agency and [its] regulatory efforts.

Moreover, the MGCB’s increased contribution, from $3 million to $6 million, to the Compulsive Gambling Prevention Fund demonstrates our proactive approach towards responsible gaming. Together, we are safeguarding the integrity of the industry while prioritizing the well-being of Michigan citizens.”

The budget now heads to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer‘s desk for her signature. If she approves the new budget, the changes will go into effect on Oct. 1, the beginning of the fiscal year 2025 calendar.

PlayUSA reached out to the MGCB for comment about the new staff positions and increased responsible gaming contributions but did not receive a response.

Key takeaways

  • Michigan lawmakers have approved a $1.9 million increase in the Michigan Gaming Control Board’s (MGCB) budget for the board to hire 14 new staff members.
  • If approved by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the new budget will activate on Oct. 1, the start of the state’s 2025 fiscal year.
  • Michigan is home to top-ten online casinos and sports betting markets.

Michigan has matured into one of the country’s premier online gambling markets

Back in 2021, Michigan launched its online casino and sports betting markets. In its first month of online casinos, the state brought in $17.7 million. Just over three years later, Michigan eclipsed $200M in iGaming for the first time, posting $215.2 million in revenue.

On the sports betting side, online revenue debuted at $115.2 million in handle (total amount bet) its first month, more than tripled what it earned from in-person sports betting.

One year later, sports betting handle nearly hit $500 million, making Michigan one of the top states in the country for online sports betting. In October 2022, the state surpassed the $500 million mark for the first time.

Just over a year later in December 2023, handle shot past $600 million for the first time.

New hires will support efforts to combat problem and illegal gambling in Michigan

In the MGCB’s statement about its FY2025 funding, it noted a continued emphasis on problem and illegal gambling.

The board launched its Don’t Regret the Bet responsible gaming campaign in March 2023. The page offers helpful resources about problem gambling and provides tips on how to gamble responsibly. It provides visitors with a problem gambling helpline phone number.

The MGCB said the additional $3 million for problem gambling awareness will go toward the Don’t Regret the Bet campaign.

On the illegal gambling front, the MGCB has taken an active approach to offshore gaming sites (gambling sites based outside of the US that do business illegally in the US).

For example, in May the board sent a cease-and-desist letter to Bovada, a premier offshore online casino and sports betting site. Hiring new staff members will help the board combat Bovada and other unregulated gaming sites that cut into Michigan online casinos and sports betting revenue.

J.R. Duren Avatar
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J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

View all posts by J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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