Recently, my TV and radio has been flooded with sport betting commercials by numerous vendors promoting online and casino sports betting with such ferocious intensity it left me wondering where all of this started, and why?
Upon further examination, you’ll find the Republican state legislature is to blame for introducing and then passing a bill in late 2019 legalizing what was previously an illegal form of betting in our state. A bill that purposely tied this new form of betting into the one loophole in Proposal 1, 2004, to avoid the vote of the people that this new gaming would require had it not done so.
Remember Proposal 1, 2004? This was the constitutional amendment that voters passed that has never been applied to a single one of the numerous state lottery games that have been introduced and advertised on your TV as ”new” games in the 16 years since this law was passed. Oops, they’d hoped we forgot.
Proposal 1, passed in 2004 reads:
A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO REQUIRE VOTER APPROVAL OF ANY FORM OF GAMBLING AUTHORIZED BY LAW AND CERTAIN NEW STATE LOTTERY GAMES
The proposed constitutional amendment would:
— Require voter approval of any form of gambling authorized by law after January 1, 2004.
— Require voter approval of any new state lottery games utilizing “table games” or “player operated mechanical or electronic devices” introduced after January 1, 2004.
— Provide that when voter approval is required, both statewide voter approval and voter approval in the city or township where gambling will take place must be obtained.
— Specify that the voter approval requirement does not apply to Indian tribal gaming or gambling in up to three casinos located in the City of Detroit.
Rather than taking this new form of gambling to the people for a vote as they should have, our state legislature decided to leave voters out of the process and chose instead to introduce and pass a bill that tied their new form of gambling into the one loophole that they created in the proposal to get around voters, the “Indian tribal gaming and gambling in up to three casinos located in the city of Detroit” loophole. Nice of them not to bother you with that pesky voting thing, eh?
So when you get sick of seeing one commercial after another promoting a new form of gambling you never got to approve, you can blame the Michigan legislature for purposely leaving you out of the process by passing bills that “authorize by law” gaming that was once illegal in our state and then tying that new gambling into casinos to avoid your vote.
This isn’t what voters expected when they passed Proposal 1, 2004. But it IS what we’ve come to expect from “representatives” and governors who we see time and again representing only those with the deepest pockets, while ignoring those who pay their salaries.