GOP Leader Matt Hall Gambled $73K Month Before Pushing for Michigan Sports Betting Legislation?

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
May/17/2024

A shock report Friday morning reveals that GOP Michigan’s GOP leader may have gambled $73,000 in just a one month period back in 2018 prior to pushing for legalization of sports betting in the state.

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An account associated with state Rep. Matt Hall shows a major betting spree, according to the Rolling Stone report.

A spokesperson says it’s “blatantly untrue”.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed HB 4916, the Lawful Sports Betting Act, into law, thus allowing the legalization of both retail and mobile sports betting in the state.

Hall at the time said the legalization would benefit communities across the state through revenue for local public services and schools.

“Today marks the day Michigan took appropriate action to adapt to the modern era of gaming,” said Hall (R-Marshall) in December 2019. “Michigan residents will now have the means to legally participate in a hobby that includes important consumer protections and the state will no longer lose out on revenue being sent to neighboring states and countries overseas. We have played our cards right, and our economy, residents and communities will benefit because of it.”

Hall’s law was touted as part of a wide-ranging legislative package that would provide a regulatory framework for sports betting so Michigan could move forward recognizing a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows legalization.

According to Rolling Stone, three months earlier, Hall’s then-girlfriend called 911. The police write-up of the incident details how Hall — now the Republican state House minority leader — was rushing to place bets across the stateline in Indiana, which had already legalized sports betting. Hall apparently temporarily lost track of his gambling money. (He later found it inside his car.)

The Daily Beast at the time reported on the police report, noting that Hall “was driving fast and scaring [his girlfriend]. She became upset and asked him to stop driving in such a manner and just skip gambling for the night.”

From Rolling Stone:

Hall appears to have had a history of making audacious bets by that time, records reviewed by Rolling Stone indicate. An account associated with the lawmaker’s personal email appears to have placed roughly $73,000 in online sports bets in a span of just 33 days the year before, according to screenshots of Hall’s account provided by a Democratic source. Rolling Stone verified Hall’s account in leaked data from a sports betting app.

In the car that evening in September 2019, the woman seemed to blame Hall’s behavior on his desire to gamble.

“Maybe you shouldn’t gamble so much,” she says in a recording she made of the incident and later shared with the police.

The Gateway Pundit featured both the recording and a transcript on its site.

TRANSCRIPT:
Girlfriend: Just take me home. Take me back home. You’re not going to talk to me like that again.
Rep. Hall: I don’t have time to take you back home.
Girlfriend: I don’t care. Maybe you shouldn’t gamble so much. You’re not going to tell me to fuck off… and to shut the fuck up. Thank you.
Rep. Hall: [Unintelligible]
Girlfriend: Well guess what you’re going to take me home.
Rep. Hall: I don’t have time. I don’t have time. I don’t have time.
Girlfriend: You should go to …
Rep. Hall: I don’t have time.
Girlfriend: Maybe you shouldn’t gamble.
Rep. Hall: I don’t. Stop. Stop it. Shut up.
Girlfriend: Maybe you shouldn’t gamble so much.
Rep. Hall: Shut up.
Girlfriend: No, you’re not going to talk to me like that. Then take me home.
Rep. Hall: I don’t have time to take you home.
Girlfriend: Take me home. Because you’re gambling is more important?
Rep. Hall: Yes.
Girlfriend: Because… Why?
Rep. Hall: Because it’s more important.
Girlfriend: Than me?
Rep. Hall: Yes.
Girlfriend: Okay. Get. Take me. Take me home.
Rep. Hall: No, I don’t have time.
Girlfriend: Now, take me home.
Rep. Hall: Stop fucking with this.
Girlfriend: Take me home now.
Rep. Hall: I don’t have time.
Girlfriend: Take me home now.
Rep. Hall: Megan, I do not have time.
Girlfriend: Take me home now. Take me home now.
Rep. Hall: You… did not have to come.
Girlfriend: Take me home now. Take me home now.
Rep. Hall: Stop fucking with that. Every second, I listen to this!
Girlfriend: Take me home now.
Rep. Hall: I don’t have time to take you home.
Girlfriend: Take me home.
Rep. Hall: I do not have time. I want to take you home. I do not have time.
Girlfriend: I’m sorry your gambling is so important.
It is. Do not fuck with this. Don’t…
Girlfriend: You are not going to talk to me like that! Take me home now.
Rep. Hall: [Unintelligible] long time.
Girlfriend: Now. Apologize now! Matt! You fucking broke my phone!

Sports betting's impact has certainly been felt in the state.  Hollywood Casino at Greektown produced the most retail sports betting handle by a wide margin last month, courtesy of last month's NFL Draft.  They took in $7.5 million compared to just shy of $4 million each at MGM Grand Detroit and MotorCity Casino.

It's interesting to note that the state Hall was reportedly racing to in order to place bets is mired in its own political scandal tied to gambling. 

Back in December, Rep. Sean Eberhart pleaded guilty to federal charges accusing him of taking a $350k salary from Spectacle Gaming in exchange for support for HEA 1015, which paved the way for sports betting in the state.

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