HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveVolume 19Issue 21Executive Director Revises Charity Gaming Rules

On July 29, 2013, the Executive Director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board (“MGCB”), Richard S. Kalm, issued a letter notifying those companies and individuals that have participated in a Millionaire Party charitable gaming event of certain changes to the charity gaming rules and regulations. The letter states that the changes are in response to MGCB investigations into charitable gaming events that revealed “an inherent lack of internal controls at many events.”

Charitable gaming events in Michigan are conducted in accordance with the Traxler-McCauley-Law-Bowman Bingo Act of 1972 (“Bingo Act”). Authorized gaming activities include raffles, numbers games, bingo, and Millionaire Parties, events that include traditional casino-style games such as blackjack, poker, roulette, and craps. While the Bingo Act delegates oversight of all charity gaming activity to the state lottery, licensing and regulation of Millionaire Party events was transferred to the Executive Director of the MGCB by Executive Order No. 2012-4, entered April 11, 2012, as part of Governor Rick Snyder’s efforts to consolidate the functions of state regulatory agencies.

According to the letter, the MGCB retained a gaming consultant to conduct an audit of current Millionaire Party activity throughout the state. In addition, it stated “[w]hat has been observed and acted upon indicates several areas of deep concern relating to gaming integrity, compliance with the Bingo Act, and protecting the charities involved,” including incidents involving law enforcement agencies since 2010 at Millionaire Party Events.

The letter includes an attachment listing eight changes to the way in which Millionaire Parties must be conducted as of September 1, 2013. These changes include:

1. No more than three Millionaire Party events may be conducted at a single location per day.

2. Each event must now be held between 8am and 12am.

3. Only cash tips are allowed.

4. Any computer used for recordkeeping must not contain remote access or remote access software.

5. Seed money for tables is now included in the overall $15,000 per day chip limit per charity.

6. Only one charity may seed and have its chips available at a table.

7. Educational organizations must keep a separate account for managing proceeds from Millionaire Party events.

8. The “educational subordinate” and “religious subordinate” classifications for charities have been eliminated. Those charities that hold qualifications in either of these classifications must reapply for qualification.

Although the changes do not change the language of the Bingo Act or administrative rules regarding Millionaire Party conduct, they do embody changes in the Executive Director’s interpretation of many regulatory provisions or reinforce existing regulatory policy. The letter further notes that additional changes or requirements, including potential rule changes, may be issued in the future to further regulate Millionaire Party activity.

To obtain a copy of the letter or its attachments, please visit the MGCB’s website at http://www.michigan.gov/mgcb/

 

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