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State Senator Mike Kowall (R-White Lake) anteed up for the second consecutive session on a pair of bills to legalize online gambling in Michigan, after failing to obtain a full Senate vote last session. The bills, introduced by Kowall on March 1, co-sponsored by Senator Marty Knollenberg (R-Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Rochester, Rochester Hills), would create the “Lawful Internet Gaming Act” to allow for online gaming throughout the state. The pair would need the approval of a third bill addressing the criminal code. Efforts to approve online gambling in the state have been strongly opposed by Native American tribal casinos and opponents of online gaming, but Amaya Inc., a large backer of the efforts, has an apparent ace in the hole: lobby representation by MGS Consultants, which also happens to employ former legislator and Kowall’s wife, Eileen Kowall. Mike Kowall said there’s no stacking of the deck, as he started working on the legislation about four years ago, prior to his wife’s work with MGS. Further, he said Eileen does work on educational issues, not gaming, as a subcontractor with MGS. Kowall said he’s now working with the tribes before the bills go for a vote on the Senate floor.



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