Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed legislation to legalize sports betting and internet gambling that was sponsored by a local lawmaker.

Commercial casinos in Detroit and tribal casinos will be able to offer online gambling and sports betting. The revenue generated will support the state school aid fund and First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund (FRPCF) - a fund for firefighters who get cancer. The laws enacted today take effect immediately, but wagering won't start for a number of months because casinos need to obtain state licenses. Lawmakers are hopeful sports bets can be placed by the start of March Madness – the NCAA men's basketball tournament in March. The Michigan Department of Treasury estimates that the legalization will bring in $19 million in new revenue to Michigan.

HB 4310 was sponsored by Republican State Representative Hank Vaupel of Fowlerville and among the bills included in the larger package signed into law. It updates state law to allow wagering on horse racing utilizing online gaming and Advanced Deposit Wagering. Vaupel has said he believes the plan will help steady the state’s horse racing industry, which accounts for about 12,000 jobs. (JM)