Betting on sports could soon be legal in Michigan pending U.S. Supreme Court case

It is estimated that illegal sports betting is a $150 billion industry - that could change by the end of the year with states taking a sizeable bite out of that pie.

"People are going to bet on the games anyway so you might as well get a piece of it," said Kyle Van Elliot. 

And odds are, that Michigan could soon cash in on sports wagers. The U.S. Supreme Court could strike down a ban on sports betting in states that did not legalize it before 1991.

Now Eiler and Krejcik Gaming which tracks gambling legislation, says Michigan and more than two dozen other states could introduce sports betting bills.

"Just think of the financial impact the city of Detroit could receive from this," said Rep. Robert Kosowski (D-Westland). "It can be the next destination where people are coming. That's how big sports betting is."

Kosowski says a windfall for Michigan would be a sure bet.

"We did have the leading sports gamblers in, William Hill from Vegas, about a year and a half ago when I testified on this," Kosowski said. "They were talking about a very conservative number - about $300 million for the state."

Kosowski introduced legislation that would allow casinos like Greektown, MGM Grand and Motor City to take bets on pro and amateur sporting events.

He wants the money help fund public education, road repairs, city budgets and awareness programs on the dangers of irresponsible gambling.

FOX 2 hit Greektown and talked with people about the prospects of regulated sports betting in Michigan.

"I feel just like Geoffrey Fieger said, a red light district in Detroit would be awesome and better for taxes," Van Elliot said.

"If it's going to help people have food on their tables, do it," said Constandina Chronopoulous. 

"It can bring in a lot of money but it can also potentially to contribute to problems," said Sarah Schiel. "People who already have gambling problems it gives them another outlet."

Sports betting expert John English believes the ban will be struck down, but states will have their work cut out for them.

"It is going to be a lot of state by state issues," said English. "Who's going to be the person who's going to be the operator? Will it be the lotteries? Will it be limited to just casinos and racetracks? Will there be mobile betting?"

The high court is expected to rule on the sports betting case in June. If it overturns the ban you'd see a lot of states getting in on the wagers soon after.