HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveVolume 19Issue 33Joint Committee on Administrative Rules Hears Comments on MGCB Proposed Charity Gaming Rules; MGCB Announces Suspension of Charitable Gaming at Flint Poker Room

On Friday, November 22, 2013, the Michigan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, a legislative committee with oversight over state administrative rules, held a hearing on draft regulations submitted by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (“MGCB”) that proposed changes to several provisions to existing charity gaming regulations. In addition, on November 27, 2013, the MGCB issued a press release noting that it had suspended all charitable gaming activity at Lucky’s Poker Room in Flint due to investigations into allegations of illegal gaming activity.

Administrative Rules Amendments and Hearing

The hearing was well attended with several representatives from charitable organizations noting that their ability to use charitable gaming for fundraising purposes would be negatively affected by the proposed rules. Those in support of the proposed changes noted the rapid expansion of charitable gaming activity and the increase in improper handling of charitable gaming events.

The revised charitable gaming rules were submitted by the Executive Director of the MGCB, who has official oversight over Millionaire Party gaming events, on September 18, 2013 and updated on October 28, 2013. The proposed rules would require additional disclosure requirements from charitable organizations seeking licensure for Millionaire Party events, including whether the charity or its principal officers have ever been convicted of certain crimes and are involved in any pending litigation, as well as evidence that the charity has raised at least $2,000.00 in non-gaming related fundraising in the past year. The rules also require review and approval of gaming areas prior to the award of a license.

In addition to these requirements, the proposed rules provide additional requirements for locations where charity gaming is operated. Rental agreements for locations, for example, must be at fair market value and may not exceed $250.00 per day for the location rental, including food and drink sales.

Suspension of Charitable Gaming License at Flint Poker Room

On Wednesday, November 27, 2013, the MGCB issued a press release noting it had suspended charitable gaming activity at Lucky’s Poker Room, Lucky’s Bingo Hall, Shamrock’s Tavern, and Shamrock Internet Café, all located at the same address in Flint. The suspension was issued admist an ongoing investigation into allegations of alleged illegal gaming activity at these locations, including the alleged use of computer slot machines.

According to the press release, the suspension represents the 18th location that has had its charitable gaming license suspended or banned since 2010. The Emergency Order of Summary Suspension Pending Further Investigation alleges that these locations have violated state penal code provisions, state gaming laws, state consumer protection laws, as well as liquor laws regarding unlawful gambling conducted on premises.

 

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