News Story

Michigan Bill Legalizes March Madness and Fantasy Sports Bets

'Winning $100 ... shouldn't be a crime'

A Republican member of the Michigan House of Representatives has proposed legislation to make it legal to play online fantasy sports for money and bet on the March Madness basketball tournament, as long as the prize is less than $3,000.

Rep. Aaron Miller, R-Sturgis, introduced House Bill 5849 on Sept. 8 to decriminalize these activities. Miller said people from all facets of life are involved in fantasy sports and filling out NCAA basketball tournament brackets.

“Winning $100 for winning your league – that shouldn’t be a crime,” Miller said.

Miller said he didn’t expect the bill would be acted on this legislative session, but could be in the next session.

In September 2015, Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr., D-East Lansing, introduced Senate Bill 459. It had the same language as Miller's bill, without the limit of $3,000. That bill was referred to a committee and wasn't acted upon.