The Michigan Gaming Control Board announced Thursday that it has collected more than $2.5 billion in total tax revenue from legal gambling over the past 25 years.
Since the inception of legal gambling in Michigan, the state has raked in an impressive sum from operators. The revenue comes from the Detroit casinos, internet casino gaming, internet sports betting, and fantasy contests.
The money goes to the Michigan’s School Aid Fund. Tribal casinos in Michigan, of which there are more than 20, are not regulated by the MGCB. However, online gambling — sports and casino — from the tribal groups is taxed and regulated by the state.
“Dollars invested in education are critical to the development of Michigan’s future workforce,” said Henry Williams, MGCB executive director. “My MGCB colleagues and I are proud to play our role in helping Michigan schools by collecting wagering taxes on legal, regulated gaming.”
Wagering taxes on the Detroit casinos for gaming and retail sports betting are collected and sent monthly to the School Aid Fund. For internet gaming, internet sports betting, and fantasy contests, taxes are transferred to the School Aid Fund at the end of the fiscal year. This happens after other required allocations are made from the internet gaming, internet sports betting, and fantasy contest funds. The respective laws authorizing the gaming established the transfer schedules.
Online gambling kicked off in Michigan in January 2021, so the bulk of the tax revenue comes from the Detroit casinos, which opened more than two decades ago.
Education tax funding by type of gaming includes:
- Retail Tables/Slots: $2.43 billion
- Retail Sports Betting: $1.7 million
- Internet Gaming: $87.2 million
- Internet Sports Betting: $1.8 million
- Fantasy Contest: $2.4 million
The Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act was signed by former Gov. John Engler on July 17, 1997. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the Lawful Internet Gaming Act, Lawful Sports Betting Act, and the Fantasy Contests Consumer Protection Act on Dec. 20, 2019.
“Legal, regulated gaming has grown in Michigan in ways no one likely imagined in 1997,” Williams said. “At that time, the internet had about 130 million users, and many thought it was a passing fad. The focus was on the brick-and-mortar casinos and what they could do for the city of Detroit. Both forms of gaming have proven their worth in raising funding for Michigan’s schools.”
In addition to the state’s haul, the City of Detroit also benefits from legal gambling.
The casinos have reported submitting to the city an estimated $3.44 billion in taxes from 1999 through 2021. Below is the breakdown by offering:
- Retail Tables/Slots: $3.39 billion
- Retail Sports Betting: $2.1 million
- Internet Gaming: $48.0 million
- Internet Sports Betting: $2.7 million