Your Source For Michigan Gaming News

Since 1997, the Michigan Gaming website has been a comprehensive resource regarding gaming in the state of Michigan. This site is an RMC Ventures, LLC publication, with contributions by the original creators of the site, Attorney David Waddell and Gaming Analyst Robert Russell, and additional contributions by Attorney J.J. Burchman.

Mr. Waddell,  Mr. Russell and Mr. Burchman are also associated with Regulatory Management Counselors, P.C., which proactively assists clients in managing regulatory issues in an effort to maximize company profits and avoid legal problems.

Volume 24, Issue 33

October 19, 2018

Printable Version

 

MICHIGAN THOROUGHBRED RACING POSSIBLY RETURNING? SPORTS CREEK PURCHASE ANNOUNCED BY HBPA

The Michigan Horsemen Benevolent Protection Association (“HBPA”) announced this week that Amwest and AmRace & Sports, LLC have agreed to purchase the Sports Creek Racetrack.  Sports Creek, located in Schwartz Creek Michigan is off I-69 just west of Flint.   The track formerly was a harness racing facility that operated from 1986 until January 1, 2015.  The announcement on the HBPA website states the following:

 

We are pleased to announce that Amwest and AmRace & Sports, LLC have signed and entered into an agreement in principle to purchase the Sports Creek Race Track facility. It is expected that the closing on the property will be scheduled soon, possible before November 1.

The MGCB has received the necessary information needed and we are awaiting their decision on the order.

Additionally, . . . we should have a completed contract between AmRace and the Michigan HBPA in the next two weeks.

The immediate goal of AmRace & Sports is to begin simulcasting on January 1, 2019. Then, track conversion will begin, pending weather. Not knowing the role the weather will have on the conversion and barn improvements, the tentative race dates applied for will be thirty days of racing between May 31 and Labor Day. The proposed schedule is Friday and Saturday evenings with a 6:30 post time.

It should be noted that this entire deal has been put together in less than sixty days. Hundreds of hours have gone into this effort and working with Dan, Nelson Rob and the staffs of Amwest Kentucky and Amwest Oregon has been a most rewarding experience. Their commitment to the industry and Michigan thoroughbred racing is exceptional. I am looking forward to a grand relationship in the coming months and years.

George M Kutlenios, President

 

Before offering simulcasting, under Michigan law the track will need to receive necessary approvals from Rick Kalm, the Executive Director of the MGCB.   In order to allow simulcasting at the facility, Michigan law requires such facilities to offer live racing.   Thus, the new ownership will need to apply for race dates and get the necessary approvals.  The facility, which has been in disrepair and has most recently been used as a storage lot for General Motors, will need to be repaired and converted into a track facility that is appropriate and safe for thoroughbred racing. 

Amwest Entertainment is a Kentucky based “simulcast service provider”.  The company website states:

 

AmWest's mission is to be a source of enhanced wagering into U.S. track pools, we preserve the integrity of racing by ensuring that players comply with all applicable regulatory requirements, and that this wagering activity directly benefits state racing and breeding programs. AmWest is dedicated to enhancing our players' wagering experience while preserving the tradition of support for the horsemen and other contributing members of the racing industry.

 

Amwest is affiliated with and links directly to the Amwager.com website, an online portal for wagering on horse racing.  The Terms and Conditions of the AmWager site indicate that it has allowed Michigan residents to wager on its site, with a restriction prohibiting wagering on Northville Downs races. https://www.amwager.com/restrictions-by-state/page

No formal announcement has been made yet by Amwest of the pending purchase.

 

FREE AML WEBINAR HOSTED BY THE STATE GAMING COALITION APPROACHES

Next week, a distinguished faculty consisting of former senior officials from the U.S. Department of Justice and FinCen will host a webinar entitled “AML in Action: New Guidance for Gaming Operators”.  The free webinar is presented by The State Gaming Coalition, a group made up of associations and representatives of casino operators in numerous states.  It will be held on Thursday, October 25th from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.  Eastern Time.  Panelists will discuss key developments in anti-money laundering enforcement and policy and will be joined by compliance officers from major gaming operators who are addressing the challenges of assuring compliance.

The faculty includes:

  • Stephanie Brooker, Gibson Dunn, former Director of the Enforcement Division at the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and a former federal prosecutor;
  • M. Kendall Day, Gibson Dunn, former prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), serving most recently as an Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the DOJ’s Criminal Division, the highest level of career official in the Criminal Division; 
  • Ben Floyd, Senior Vice President, AML and OFAC Officer, Caesars Entertainment;
  • Peggy Jacobs, Vice President of Gaming Compliance, MGM Resorts International; and
  • Elizabeth Tranchina, Vice President, Legal Counsel, Pinnacle Entertainment.

The faculty will cover timely topics, including: (1) the impact of sports betting and the implementation of the new customer due diligence rule; (2) emerging regulatory and enforcement trends; and (3) what to expect going forward with regard to AML enforcement.

To register for the free webinar, please click on the  AML Webinar icon.

 

MICHIGAN LOTTERY EXTENDS CONTRACT TO OPERATE STATE’S ILOTTERY PLATFORM

NeoPollard Interactive LLC issued a press release on October 17, 2018 indicating that the company  negotiated a four-year extension to the iLottery technology and related services contract with the Michigan Lottery.   The agreement with the state provides that the company, through a joint venture with Pollard Banknote and NeoGames, will continue to serve as the providers of the Lottery's iLottery platform, games, and managed services, through July 2022.

According to the press release, Pollard Banknote and NeoGames first teamed up with the Michigan Lottery to launch their iLottery solution in 2014, providing the platform, managed services, and games required to deliver a comprehensive interactive solution to players throughout the state.   Initial unaudited results for the 2018 fiscal year show iLottery generated over $100 million in net win (wagers minus prizes paid and promotional costs).   The October 17th release noted that approximately 890,000 players have registered for the Lottery's online services.

"We are thrilled to continue our collaborative relationship with the Michigan Lottery as its iLottery provider," said Liz Siver, General Manager, NeoPollard Interactive. "Since the launch of iLottery in 2014, the Michigan Lottery has become a leader within the digital space, providing innovative digital products to players and continuing to seek out new experiences to enhance its technology, games, and services. In fact, the performance of the Michigan Lottery's iLottery platform has become the benchmark of the industry, with other lotteries launching similar operations."

 

MICHIGAN GAMING CONTROL BOARD UPDATES SUPPLIER LICENSE APPLICATION/5 YEAR RENEWAL FORM

The Michigan Gaming Control Board has updated the Supplier License Application.  The updated form will be utilized in connection with a supplier’s initial application and during the 5-Year Renewal filing.   The state has launched the form on its website.

The updated form has been formatted to be used by both gaming and non-gaming applicants.  The updates provide unique functionality to simplify digital form-filling and improve accessibility.  The new features include automatic calculations, field pre-population, and integrated tables that were previously only available as a separate template. 

The current licensing thresholds are outlined under Board Resolution 2017-02.

 

FIREKEEPERS CASINO HOTEL EXCEEDS $1 MILLION POOL FOR MSPT POKER TOURNAMENT

FireKeepers Casino Hotel announced this week that the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) Michigan State Championship surpassed its $300,000 guarantee by creating a prize pool of more than $1.2 million. 

Satellites and qualifiers for FireKeepers MSPT Michigan State Poker Championship started in late August and ran through October 12. the final event took place on Sunday, October 14.  Matthew Stammen of Coldwater, OH outlasted 1,270 competitors to win the competiton and a $218,565 grand prize payday, while four players cashed in for more than $75,000.  

“We are proud to partner with the Mid-States Poker Tour to bring a high caliber, competitive tournament series to Battle Creek,” stated Lance Allen, VP of Table Games at FireKeepers Casino Hotel. “We are even more proud of the FireKeepers Team, who continue to provide great guest service bringing thousands of players back event after event.”

 

Upcoming Events

 

Webinar - AML In Action

Thursday, October 25, 1 - 2:30 PM ET

Click on icon above for FREE REGISTRATION

Michigan Gaming Control Board Public Meeting 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 9:30AM

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