Millionaire parties, which are a form of Michigan charitable gaming that are subject to oversight by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (“MGCB”), continue to be a popular form of gaming in the state of Michigan.  According to the MGCB website, which includes a  Millionaire Party finder link, tonight and tomorrow night alone there will be 75 different Millionaire Parties held by charities throughout the state.  A “Millionaire Party” is “a charitable gaming event where wagers are placed on games of chance customarily associated with a gambling casino and participants use imitation money or chips”. 

According to the MGCB, it may issue a qualified charity up to four millionaire party licenses in a calendar year. Each charity’s license may authorize each license for up to four consecutive days.   The MGCB approves the hours of the game as part of the process, but a millionaire party may not begin before 8 a.m. or continue past 2 a.m. Chip sales for such a party are limited to $15,000 per day.

Last year, in 2017, there were 8714 event days for such parties, with a total of 2,387 licenses being granted to charitable organizations.

Charities said in a survey back in April of this year that the MGCB does a great job with licensing services for casino-style gaming fundraisers. The 27-question survey found 87 percent of customers are satisfied with MGCB services. PricewaterhouseCoopers conducted the survey for the agency and told the board these are impressive results for a government agency.

“MGCB employees continue to work well with charities, and we’re extremely pleased with the survey results, which show charities think highly of us,” said Richard Kalm, executive director, MGCB.

The survey measured multiple points of customer contact, including telephone, email and personal interactions with licensing staff and with regulation officers who visit events and conduct post-event audits. The survey was sent to charities that held casino-style charitable gaming events last year.

“We heard a lot of doom and gloom about the future of charitable poker after the MGCB introduced new rules and began enforcing the Bingo Act, which authorizes charitable gaming,” Kalm said in a press release issued in connection with the survey results. “We realized charities were asked to do things they hadn’t done previously. This prompted us to work hard on customer service, helping charities through the process from applying for a license to managing the event.”


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