Below are summaries concerning the most recent legislative action on gaming-related bills currently before the Michigan Legislature, including advertising during Club Keno games, preventing online Michigan Lottery ticket sales, recreational senior citizen wagering in approved facilities, and limiting welfare benefits of Michigan Lottery winners.

Charitable Gaming Bills

House Bill 5434 (HB 5434)– This bill, introduced on February 23, 2012 by Rep. Tom McMillan (R-Rochester Hills), would amend the Traxler-McCauley-Law-Bowman Bingo Act (“Bingo Act”) to limit the amount of expenses that a licensed charitable organization could pay a supplier or other service provider in connection with assistance in operating a millionaire party. Those licensed organizations would not be allowed to “incur or pay expenses” related to the gaming event in excess of 25% of the gross proceeds from the event. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Regulatory Reform.

House Bill 5435 (HB 5435)– This bill, also introduced on February 23, 2012 by Rep. McMillan, would establish licensing procedures and fees for venues that host millionaire parties. The bill would amend the Bingo Act and require a written application, $1,000.00 annual fee, $200.00 monthly fee, and $50.00 weekly fee for operating a venue. Licenses would be issued annually and would run from March 1 to the last day of February. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Regulatory Reform.

House Bill 5436 (HB 5436)– HB 5436 was introduced on February 23, 2012 and would amend the Bingo Act to allow a local unit of government to limit the number of millionaire parties conducted per month, within its jurisdiction. The bill was introduced by Rep. McMillan and has been referred to the House Committee on Regulatory Reform.

Lottery Bills

House Bill 5437 (HB 5437)– Introduced by Rep. Dale Zorn (R-Ida) on February 23, 2012, this bill would require the Bureau of Lottery to determine whether a winner of a prize over $1,000.00 has any current liability to the state unemployment insurance agency prior to awarding the prize. If the winner has a debt to the agency, then the amount of the debt would be deducted from the winner’s award prior to payment. The bill was passed by the Michigan House on June 14, 2012 and on November 29, 2012, it was reported favorably without amendment out of the Senate Committee on Reforms, Restructuring and Reinvesting for immediate effect.

Senate Bill 5009 (SB 5009)- Introduced on September 27, 2011, by Rep. Pete Lund (R-Shelby Twp.), this bill would amend the state penal code to allow senior citizen centers to conduct card games with limited betting.  The bill would allow senior citizen centers or a group of at least fifteen members who are 60 years of age or older to conduct and participate in card games.  Players would be limited to paying a maximum of $5 to enter the game, would not be allowed to bet more than 25¢ per bet, and the maximum win from any single hand could be $5.  The bill has passed the House and Senate and on June 6, 2012, a motion for immediate effect in the House was postponed temporarily. To date, no further developments have occurred.  Under the Michigan Constitution, unless the bill is given immediate effect, it will not take effect until 90 days after the current legislative session. To become law, the bill must also be presented to the Governor who has the opportunity to veto it.

House Bill 5417 (HB 5417)– This bill was introduced on February 21, 2012 by Rep. Jimmy Womack (D-Detroit) and would allow certain cities to establish and run independent lotteries. If passed, cities with a population of over 300,000 could create a city-run lottery, after receiving approval by local voters. In order to operate these lotteries, the city would be authorized to contract with outside operators, to establish city lottery commissions, and to put forth licensing rules and regulations for the sale of city lottery tickets. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Regulatory Reform.

Senate Bill 1003– This bill was introduced on March 6, 2012 by Sen. Green (R-Mayville) and seeks to amend the Lottery Act to prevent the Michigan Lottery Commissioner from participating in the sale of state lottery tickets over the internet.  On March 6, 2012, the bill was referred to the Committee on Regulatory Reform. Notably, in a recent Press Release the State Lottery indicated that such sales might start to occur next April.

 

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