LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation to legalize sports betting and internet gambling, calling it a bipartisan win for the state that will bolster funding for public schools and permanently dedicated funding to help first responders who get cancer from fighting fires.
The laws take effect immediately, but wagering will not start for a number of months because commercial and tribal casinos need to obtain state licenses. Lawmakers have said they are hopeful that sports betting and online gambling could start in time for the NCAA men's basketball tournament in March.
Whitmer said her priority in negotiations was ensuring that the new gambling does not negatively impact the $15.1 billion school aid fund, which is funded in part by the i-Lottery, and boosting the school aid fund.
All current forms of casino games will be offered online or on mobile devices once casinos are licensed. Those who are 21 or older will be able to participate.