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Michigan GOP Leader Matt Hall Apparently Gambled $73,000 in One Month


In September 2019, Michigan state Rep. Matt Hall’s then-girlfriend called 911. According to the police write-up of the incident, Hall — now the Republican state House minority leader — was rushing to place bets across the stateline in Indiana after he temporarily lost track of his gambling money. (He later found it inside his car.) 

The police report, previously reported by the Daily Beast, says 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.” Hall refused, the couple argued, and she called the police.

At the time, sports betting was still outlawed in Michigan. A package of bills that would legalize it had been introduced earlier the same month, and Hall — who once said legalizing sports betting is “one the reasons [he] ran for office” — was among the proposal’s staunchest supporters. 

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.

At the time those bets were placed, eight months before Hall was elected, Michigan had not yet legalized online sports betting. In a statement, a spokesperson representing Hall insisted the information was “blatantly untrue” without providing an explanation for the transactions or denying that they were made by Hall.

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 recording was obtained via a public records request and published by the right-wing news site The Gateway Pundit.) 

In response, Hall tells his girlfriend to “Shut up.”

She asks him to take her home. “I don’t have time to take you home,” Hall says. 

“Because your gambling is more important?” she asks. 

“Yes,” he answers. 

“Because… Why?” she asks again. 

“Because it’s more important,” Hall says. 

“Than me?” she asks. 

“Yes,” Hall replies, according to the audio. 

Hall did eventually drop the woman back at their home (after damaging her phone, the report says) but he left before the police arrived. The responding officer recommended charging Hall with domestic assault, malicious destruction of property, and interfering with a 911 call, according to the report, but Hall was never arrested. 

When the Daily Beast reached the woman in question earlier this year, the couple were still together. “The woman who filed the report told us that negative reports about Hall aren’t true and that she ‘wouldn’t be in a relationship with him if this was the type of person he was,’” reporter Kate Briquelet wrote.

The magnitude of Hall’s alleged gambling history came to light as the result of a data breach at the site he apparently used to track his bets. Hall’s personal email account appears in the leaked user database of Action Network, a sports gambling news site whose app allows users to track their bets across a range of different sports books. Hall’s Action Network account appears to have been linked to five separate sports books.

Hall’s email also appears in user data leaked from Playbooksports.com, which bills itself as “a revolutionary social sports gaming portal devoted to the art and science of sports handicapping.”

A Democratic source provided Rolling Stone with screenshots of Hall’s account on Action Network taken before the account went private. The images show Hall’s account placing roughly $73,000 in bets — or more than $2,200 per day, on average. Hall’s account shows a net loss of about $9,000  — with most of the action taking place within a month of his opening the account in January 2018. 

The amount wagered in the first 33 days represents more than the entire yearly salary of a state legislator; at the time, Michigan state lawmakers were paid $71,685 annually

“This accusation, stemming from before Leader Hall was even in the Legislature, is blatantly untrue,” Greg Manz, spokesman for the Michigan House Republican Campaign Committee, says in a statement. He adds, “Sadly, Rolling Stone would rather employ tabloid tactics, act as liberal activists, and do the bidding of feckless House Democrats, than practice journalistic integrity… Michigan House Democrats, who fielded their weakest recruitment class in decades, reek of desperation because come January 2025 when Leader Hall is Speaker Hall, they will no longer be able to dole out corporate welfare, raise taxes on working families, and keep low-income students trapped in failing schools.”

Michigan legalized sports betting when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed the Lawful Sports Betting Act into law in December 2019. Hall was the lead sponsor of the part of the legislation amending the Michigan penal code to exempt sports betting.

Beyond his role in the 2019 push to legalize sports betting in Michigan, Hall has developed a reputation as a friend and champion of the gaming industry. In 2020, he introduced a bill to repeal a ban on campaign donations from casino interests. In 2021, he proposed legislation that would have legalized betting on horse races “run in the past or to be run in the future.”  

In 2020, Hall invited Donald Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani to testify about his bogus election fraud conspiracy theories during an infamous seven-hour long hearing subsequently parodied on SNL where Hall refused to place the former New York City mayor under oath.

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Hall has remained a loyal Trump supporter, speaking at a rally in support of the former president in Freedland, Michigan earlier this month. 

His Action Network account indicates he is somewhat less loyal to his alma mater, Western Michigan University. The most recent bet displayed in the screenshots of Hall’s Action Network account — from September 2021, before the account was made private — was on the prospect that the University of Michigan would beat the spread against Western Michigan. According to the screenshots, that bet paid out $200.



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