Governor Whitmer Increases Funding for Problem Gambling in 2025 Fiscal Year Budget



  • Early this February, Governor Gretchen Whitmer released her Fiscal Year 2025 executive budget recommendation.
  • Included in the proposal was an increased budgetary allocation to compulsive and problem gambling initiatives in the state.
  • MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams has since, in a press release, expressed his support towards the governor’s sixth budget proposal.

Michigan has been one of the most commercially successful online gambling states in the US. Last year, the industry raked in $1.92 billion in revenue from Michigan online casinos, placing it second among all six jurisdictions where internet gaming is legalized. It narrowly lost the first place to Pennsylvania, a state which had launched online gambling sites since 2019 compared to Michigan’s debut in 2021.  

With emerging first place on the radar, stakeholders in the state, including Governor Whitmer are including the gambling industry in fiscal plans for 2025. Most recently, the governor submitted her sixth executive budget recommendation with increased funding for problem gambling interventions.

FY 2025 Budget Targets Compulsive Betting and Illegal Online Gambling 

On February 7, 2024, Governor Whitmer unveiled an ambitious $80.7 billion budgetary proposal for the upcoming 2025 Fiscal Year in the state. This marked the governor’s sixth executive budget recommendation, and had affordable education, economic development and a more equitable Michigan as its highlights.  

Included in the budgetary proposal is a $4 million allocation to support gambling prevention and treatment services as well as sponsor the media campaign and problem gambling hotline. The amount is to be allocated to the Compulsive Gaming Prevention Fund from proceeds of sports betting, internet gaming and lottery funds in the state.  

On the same day the governor released the recommendation before a joint session of the Senate and House Appropriations committees, MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams expressed his full support towards the budgetary allocation.   

“The Michigan Gaming Control Board is committed to promoting responsible gaming and enhancing its existing regulatory frameworks to protect the interests of the citizens of the state of Michigan. As the Executive Director, I fully support the governor’s proposed budget recommendations, which allocate increased funds for compulsive gambling prevention initiatives and the expansion of iGaming regulatory capacity to counter illegal activities,” Henry Williams said.  

“The governor’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2025 showcases a strong commitment to addressing the challenges posed by compulsive gambling and ensuring the integrity of iGaming operations. Earmarking funds for both issues will enable better education, awareness, and support systems for those susceptible to developing gambling disorders.” 

Director Williams Expresses Willingness to Provide Appropriate Regulatory Oversight 

There’s also $1.9 million earmarked to the Michigan Gaming Control Board which “will expand the agency’s regulatory capacity and enhance protections against illegal activity.”  

Specifically addressing this aspect of the budget, Williams commended the governor for the bold step and committed to helping build a more responsible and safe industry.  

In a press release published on the MGCB  website, Williams stated the following: 

“...the proposed budget’s allocation for expanding the MGCB’s iGaming regulatory capacity is a significant step forward in safeguarding consumers and deterring illegal activities within Michigan’s online gambling sector. As iGaming continues to grow in popularity, enhanced regulatory oversight becomes indispensable in protecting vulnerable Michigan citizens, preventing money laundering, and mitigating the risks of fraudulent practices.” 

“I commend Governor Whitmer’s foresight and commitment to fostering a safe, responsible, and sustainable gambling environment. The earmarked funds are essential investments in building a stronger, socially responsible gambling industry.” 

Michigan’s “Don’t Regret the Bet” Reaches Tens of Millions in First Seven Months 

A notable part of Michigan’s problem gambling interventions is the “Don’t Regret the Bet” campaign. In FY2024, Governor Whitmer earmarked $3 million for the project and it appears that the funding has been put to considerable good use.

In an update provided by King Media after the campaign’s first seven months of operations, the project had reached almost 30 million people on Facebook alone.

As of September 30, Don’t Regret the Bet has had:

  • 2.2 million displays on digital billboards garnering over 28 million impressions across 255 locations.
  • 29 million impressions on Facebook and 176,000 clicks to the campaign website.
  • 6.6 million impressions to 840,000 people who streamed audio ad messages.
  • 6.7 million impressions reaching over 806,000 people on Over The Top Television.
  • Ads aired 12 million times in 1,500 locations via Gas State video, and
  • 68,000 sessions and over 57,000 users visiting the campaign landing page and downloading resources 450 times. 

“It has been extremely successful,” Coleen King, the founder of King Media, MGCB’s marketing partner on the campaign, said. “It’s resonating with the people that we want to talk to in Michigan, and it’s making an impact. And we have a very modest budget compared to what is being spent between the casinos and online.”

With even more allocation expected in the next fiscal year, the Don’t Regret the Bet campaign is hoped to reach more people and curb the menace of problem gambling in the state.

Jessica is a news contributor to Gamble Online Michigan. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics but has over three years of experience working in the hospitality and gambling industry. Despite her core finance and investment banking background, she has been a casino feature writer for N1 Interactive Limited and multiple gambling affiliate sites. Her work has been featured on the bet365 blog, and Max Force Racing. She spends her time between Michigan and California, staying up-to-date on the latest industry developments