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Executive Order Transfers Regulation of Millionaire Parties to MGCB Executive Director

On Wednesday, April 11, 2012, Governor Rick Snyder issued Executive Order No. 2012-04, which serves to transfer the duty to license and regulate the conduct of "millionaire parties" from the Bureau of State Lottery and the Lottery Commissioner to the Executive Director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board ("MGCB").  The state Bingo Act (MCL 432.101, et seq) allows for certain charitable organizations to obtain licenses to hold a millionaire party, which is a Las Vegas style event where bets are placed using imitation money or chips in games associated with a casino, such as Black Jack, roulette, or Texas Hold'em.  The poplarity of millionaire parties has exploded over the past ten years, with event revenues increasing from slightly more than $4 Million in 2001 to more than $193 Million in fiscal year 2011, according to annual reports issued by the Charitable Gaming Division of the Michigan Lottery.

In a release from the Governor's office regarding the Executive Order, Governor Snyder stated, "[m]any of Michigan's fine nonprofits and charities count on these games to raise revenue.  This executive order allows them to continue doing so while also making sure they are not being swindled or used as a cover for criminal activity. We want to protect these civic-minded organizations from unscrupulous individuals who may try to take advantage of them or the generosity of Michigan residents."  

Despite this transfer of authority, all fees collected by the MGCB Executive Director in connection with the regulation and licensing of millionaire parties will still be remitted to the Lottery Commissoner for deposit in the State Lottery Fund.  Furthermore, other than with respect to the licensing and regulation of millionaire parties, the Bureau of State Lottery and the Lottery Commissioner will retain regulatory authority over all other forms of charitable gaming authorized under the Bingo Act.

In a public statement, MGCB Executive Director Rick Kalm detailed the transfer process. “The transfer of responsibility of the oversight and licensing of Millionaire parties to the [MGCB] will begin to occur in 60 days.  As a result, MGCB will be working with Lottery Charitable Gaming to evaluate processes and operations relating to an efficient transfer of duties and responsibilities.  When this is complete MGCB will apply its core mission to ‘ensure the conduct of fair and honest gaming to protect the interest of the people of the State of Michigan.’” 

To view Executive Order 2012-04, please click here.

 

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