New Announcement from MGCB – Emergency Rules

Another announcement from the Michigan Gaming Control Board.  Looks like some emergency rules have been put in place as of July 2nd.  Check out the notice here:

http://michigan.gov/documents/mgcb/2014-072_TY_Millionaire_Party_Emergency_Rules_Final_07-02-14_462047_7.pdf

DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE MICHIGAN GAMING CONTROL BOARD
MILLIONAIRE PARTIES
EMERGENCY RULES
Filed with the Secretary of State on July 2, 2014
These rules take effect upon filing with the Secretary of State
and shall remain in effect for 6 months.
(By the authority conferred on the executive director of the Michigan gaming control board
under executive order 2012-04, by section 13 of 1972 PA 382, MCL 432.113.)
FINDING OF EMERGENCY
The Executive Director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board promulgates these rules
to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of Michigan citizens and to advance the public
policy of prohibiting all gambling activities not conforming to the exception to otherwise illegal
gambling expressed in the Traxler-McCauley-Law-Bowman Bingo Act, 1972 PA 382, MCL
432.101 et seq.

DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY  EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE MICHIGAN GAMING CONTROL BOARD  MILLIONAIRE PARTIES  EMERGENCY RULES  Filed with the Secretary of State on July 2, 2014  These rules take effect upon filing with the Secretary of State and shall remain in effect for 6 months.  (By the authority conferred on the executive director of the Michigan gaming control board under executive order 2012-04, by section 13 of 1972 PA 382, MCL 432.113.)  FINDING OF EMERGENCY   The Executive Director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board promulgates these rules to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of Michigan citizens and to advance the public policy of prohibiting all gambling activities not conforming to the exception to otherwise illegal gambling expressed in the Traxler-McCauley-Law-Bowman Bingo Act, 1972 PA 382, MCL 432.101 et seq.

The Bingo Act was not designed to regulate permanent “poker rooms” and large-scale public gaming. But this type of large-scale public gaming has become a reality in this State after casino-style charitable gaming known as millionaire parties, run by qualified non-profit organizations, was expanded in 2004 to include Texas Hold’em poker. Since that time, self proclaimed for-profit “poker rooms,” have emerged across the state. Many of these businesses operate seven days a week, simultaneously host multiple charities’ gambling, and profit substantially off of charitable fundraisers. But these venues lack the protections for the health, safety, and welfare of citizens found in legitimate casinos regulated by the Gaming Control Board. Conducting multiple simultaneous events—where each charity may sell $15,000 in chips—creates an environment ripe for comingling chips, complicates enforcing the Bingo Act’s limitations, and increases the risk that the charities themselves will be victims of criminal activity, including fraud and theft.

Recognizing the public safety threat generated by large-scale gambling at unlicensed, self-proclaimed “poker rooms,” the Bureau of State Lottery issued a moratorium on new locations and suppliers. Ultimately, the Governor determined that such large-scale gambling should be regulated by the same body that regulates licensed casinos in this state. Subsequently, in June 2012, the Governor transferred authority over licensing and regulating millionaire parties to the Executive Director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

The Executive Director soon learned that allowing unlicensed for-profit businesses to thrive from casino-style gambling without proper oversight subjected charities, acting to raise money to support their lawful purposes, to manipulation by locations and suppliers. The Executive Director has conducted over 1,350 on-site and post-event inspections and audits, uncovering more than 500 violations of the Bingo Act and its rules. The investigations uncovered numerous instances of locations altering game records, either with or without the charity’s knowledge, in order to exceed the $15,000 chip-sales limit. The investigations have also uncovered “pay for play” schemes in which locations required charities to surrender two events worth of proceeds as a condition for conducting their events at the location. As a result, for-profit “poker rooms” have illegally diverted substantial monies from charities.

Further, the Executive Director’s investigations have revealed schemes in which locations have paid charities to not show up at events for which they had obtained licenses and have conducted the millionaire parties themselves, without accounting for the sale and redemption of chips or providing the proceeds to the charities. Charities have also reported suspected collusion among dealers and players. A systemic problem continues to exist with the locations and suppliers running the gaming for the charities and profiteering from it. Too few representatives from the charities are present at these events to ensure their control over the events and compliance with the law. Moreover, large-scale public gaming involving multiple charities in an unmarked area hinders effective regulation of these events.

The Executive Directer continues to discover substantial criminal activity at millionaire party locations, much of which occurs after 12:00 a.m. Criminal activity taking place includes armed robberies, assaults, criminal sexual conduct, incidents involving disorderly persons, disturbances, frauds, weapons offenses, and prostitution. Further, illegal unlicensed poker games have been discovered at various locations. This activity will continue without proper emergency regulatory measures.

Conducting multiple simultaneous events at profit-driven static locations seven days a week has distorted what the Bingo Act contemplated. In order to ensure the integrity of public gaming and the safety of the charity volunteers, patrons, and location and supplier employees, the Executive Director recently promulgated rules designed to more effectively regulate casino style gambling to be operated by charities. Specifically, the Executive Director determined that the public interest and the effective enforcement of the requirements of the Bingo Act would be best served by funneling enforcement through the charities and licensed suppliers, rather than unlicensed, for-profit, permanent “poker room” locations.

The new administrative rules went into effect on May 14, 2014. But on May 30, 2014, the Michigan Court of Claims, Hon. Pat M. Donofrio, issued an order enjoining the Executive Director from enforcing the new rules “in [a] manner that is inconsistent with the prior practice and rules that were in force prior to the issuance of the new rules.” Michigan Charitable Gaming Assn v Kalm, Mich Ct of Claims No 14-112-MZ (issued May 30, 2014). The implication of this order is to permit self-proclaimed “poker rooms” to daily operate large-scale gambling in a manner not contemplated by the Bingo Act, without the necessary safeguards found in the newly promulgated rules. Given the need for consistent regulation, the order must be applied beyond the parties to the suit. Further, attempts to enforce the new rules against non-parties may spawn additional litigation, which is not in the public’s best interest .

Notably, Michigan Courts have long recognized that gambling is an activity requiring strong police regulation to protect the public interest. Without proper regulation, far-reaching negative consequences to the public health, safety, and welfare like those discussed above will continue.

The Executive Director therefore finds that preserving the public health, safety, and welfare requires promulgating the following emergency rules without the notice and participation procedures required by sections 41 and 42 of the Administrative Procedures Act, 1969 PA 306, as amended, MCL 24.241, MCL 24.242. See MCL 24.248.

Rule 1. The executive director may authorize up to 2 millionaire party events per location per day.

Rule 2. There shall be no more than 4 millionaire party event days at a location per week.

Rule 3. A qualified organization shall only conduct a millionaire party with equipment that it owns, rents from another qualified organization under a rental agreement approved by the executive director, or purchases or rents from a supplier.

Rule 4. A qualified organization shall not enter into agreements with the location owner or lessor other than those addressed in the written rental agreement approved by the executive director.

Rule 5. (a) A qualified organization may have bona fide members serve as dealers at a millionaire party or it may hire dealers from a supplier. A dealer shall not be an employee of the location owner or lessor, unless that person is a bona fide member of the qualified organization and is dealing during an event at the organization’s location.

(b) A qualified organization applying for a license shall include with its application a list of the dealers who will work at the proposed event.

(c) A licensed supplier who supplies dealers to qualified organizations shall include with its application a list of dealers who will work at millionaire parties. A supplier shall be under a continuing obligation to provide a list of current dealers available for hire.

(d) The qualified organization or licensed supplier shall provide information to show the dealers have never been convicted of, or forfeited bond upon a charge of, or pled guilty to any of the following offenses:

(i) A felony.

(ii) A gambling offense.

(iii) Criminal fraud.

(iv) Forgery.

(v) Larceny.

(vi) Filing a false report with a governmental agency.

(e) A licensee is responsible for ensuring its dealers act in compliance with the act, these rules, and directives.

(f) If the application is granted, only those persons listed on the application may be a dealer at a millionaire party event.

Rule 6. The executive director will determine the permissible hours of the day during which a millionaire party may be conducted.
Rule 7. (a) Each expense that the millionaire party licensee pays concerning the millionaire party must be in compliance with all of the following:
(i) Incurred in connection with the conduct of the millionaire party.
(ii) Necessary and reasonable.
(iii) Itemized.
(iv) Approved by the executive director in writing before the licensed millionaire party.
(b) A qualified organization shall not accept any compensation in connection with a millionaire party unless expressly authorized by the act or rules.
(c) The payment of expenses incurred in connection with the conduct of the licensed millionaire party event shall be necessary and reasonable, but shall not exceed 45% of the event gross profits.
Rule 8. (a) A qualified organization shall include on its application the names of the bona fide members who will staff the event. At least 3 bona fide members must be present at all times during the event. A bona fide member acting as a dealer does not count towards the required number of persons staffing the event.
(b) One of the bona fide members listed on the application shall be the millionaire party chairperson. No person may serve as millionaire party chairperson of more than 1 qualified organization during the same calendar year.
(c) If for any reason the number of bona fide members is fewer than 3, the qualified organization shall report this to the executive director immediately and may be required to cease
conducting the licensed millionaire party.
(d) All bona fide members of the qualified organization shall wear vests, buttons, or other distinctive apparel to define them as members of the qualified organization and not employees or agents of the location or licensed supplier.
(e) Unless permitted by the act, rules, or by written authorization of the executive director, only bona fide members of the qualified organization holding the millionaire party license may perform any of the following duties:
(i) Monitoring the games and verifying all games have been conducted in conformance with the rules of the game.
(ii) Verifying the age of the players.
(f) A bona fide member of the qualified organization shall not play millionaire party games at an event where he or she is working or assisting.
(g) A bona fide member of the qualified organization shall not share in a prize, or purchase, play, or accept charity game tickets or numeral game tickets offered for sale by the licensee at any time during the day he or she is working or assisting.
(h) A bona fide member of the qualified organization shall not split a prize with a player or accept tips of any kind, except for cash tips given to bona fide members serving as a dealer at a millionaire party event.
(i) A location owner or lessor, a shareholder of a privately held corporate owned or leased location, partner, officer, agent, or employee of a location owner or lessor, or a person residing in the same household as a location owner or lessor, shareholder of a privately held corporate owned or leased location, partner, officer, agent, or employee of a location owner or lessor shall not do any of the following:
(A) Be an officer of a qualified organization conducting a millionaire party at the location in which he or she owns, leases, represents, or works.
(B) Participate as a player in any gaming event being conducted under the millionaire party license at the location in which he or she owns, leases, represents, or works.
(C) Participate in any aspect of a millionaire party event, including providing dealers, equipment, or workers; unless, subject to the executive director’s approval, all of the following conditions exist:
(1) A qualified organization is using a location it owns, rents, or leases on a continual basis for the regular use of its members.
(2) The qualified organization is using that location to conduct its own licensed millionaire party events.
(3) The waiver is granted for not more than 16 millionaire party events in a calendar year at that location.
Rule 9. (a) An organization applying for a license shall include with its application a description of the proposed location, the specific area of that location in which gaming will be conducted, and a description of how that area will be demarcated. Only the demarcated area approved by the executive director may be used for gaming during the millionaire party event.
(b) The qualified organization shall ensure that access to the demarcated area is controlled.
Rule 10. (a) Persons under 18 years of age shall not be permitted in the demarcated area of a millionaire party when gaming is being conducted.
(b) At events where alcoholic beverages are served, persons in the demarcated area who are 18 years of age or older, but less than 21 years of age, shall be identified by wearing a mark indicating the qualified organization has verified his or her age and identification.
Rule 11. (a) “Act” means the Traxler-McCauley-Law-Bowman bingo act, 1972 PA 382, MCL
432.101 to 432.120.
(b) “Bona fide member” means a member, according to an organization’s established membership criteria, who participates in the organization to further its lawful purposes.
(c) “Dealer” means the person performing the act of dealing, assisting in the supervision of the dealers, or providing technical advice to the millionaire party chairperson on an executive director-approved game in accordance with the approved rules of the game and in accordance with the act and these rules during a licensed millionaire party.
(d) “Executive director” means the executive director of the Michigan gaming control board under the authority granted in Executive Reorganization Order No. 2012-3, MCL 432.91.
(e) “License” means only a millionaire party or supplier license that is issued by the executive director.
(f) “Licensee” means a qualified organization issued a license to conduct millionaire party or an organization or persons licensed under section 4a(2) or (3) of the act. Licensee also means a supplier licensed under the act.
(g) “Location owner” means the owner, or the owner’s agent(s), who own the building, enclosure, part of a building or enclosure, or a distinct portion of real estate that is used for the purpose of conducting events licensed under the act.
(h) “Demarcated area” means the physical area in which licensed millionaire party gaming will be conducted, the boundaries of which are marked with rope or tape or separated in an access-controlled area of the location.
Richard S. Kalm
Executive Director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board
Pursuant to Section 48(1) of 1969 PA 306, as amended, MCL 24.248(1), I hereby concur in the finding of the Executive Director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board that circumstances creating an emergency have occurred and that protection of the public health, safety, and welfare requires the promulgation of the above rules pertaining to the millionaire parties conducted in accordance with the Traxler- McCauley-Law-Bowman Bingo Act, Act 382 of 1972, as amended, MCL 432.101 et seq.
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GRANTED Charitable Gaming Interests Celebrate Preliminary Injunction Against Harmful New State Rules

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—May 30, 2014

Contact: Stephanie Van Koevering—517-974-6065

GRANTED Charitable Gaming Interests Celebrate Preliminary Injunction Against Harmful New State Rules

The Michigan Court of Claims today held off devastating new regulations against the state’s charitable gaming industry, granting a preliminary injunction against the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB).   “This is the best news our industry could hope for,” said Stephanie Van Koevering, spokesperson for the plaintiffs.  “After months and months of fighting a losing battle against powerful state interests, we have a moment to breathe and figure out what’s next—legally, legislatively, and from a purely operational perspective.”

In granting the injunction, Judge Pat Donofrio ruled that the plaintiffs had proven their claim that irreparable harm was imminent if the MGCB rules took effect.   “Our hope now is that we don’t have to move this issue forward in the courts, but that the Governor’s office and MGCB will come back and work with us in the Legislature,” Van Koevering said.

“Senator Jones has  a bill—Senate Bill 878—which we believe addresses the MGCB’s concerns about industry practices, while protecting charities’ abilities to earn the revenues they need to survive.  It’s time to come to the table and begin to work together.”

The injunction will remain in place until the court case is resolved.  The next step in the process will be a June 12 status conference, at which time the major milestones in the future court proceedings will be established.  The status conference will take place by telephone at 11:00 AM.   “In the meantime, we urge the Michigan House to hold hearings on SB 878 before the Legislature breaks for summer in mid-June,” Van Koevering said.

“There are policy issues outstanding which remain unfinished. Resolving them legislatively offers a savings to the taxpayers of Michigan, will keep hundreds of people employed, and will support lasting resolution of this ongoing issue by updating the Bingo Act to align with what the state has condoned and even developed over the last decade.”  # # #



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—May 30, 2014
Contact: Stephanie Van Koevering—517-974-6065

GRANTED
Charitable Gaming Interests Celebrate Preliminary Injunction
Against Harmful New State Rules

The Michigan Court of Claims today held off devastating new regulations against the state’s charitable gaming industry, granting a preliminary injunction against the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB).

“This is the best news our industry could hope for,” said Stephanie Van Koevering, spokesperson for the plaintiffs.  “After months and months of fighting a losing battle against powerful state interests, we have a moment to breathe and figure out what’s next—legally, legislatively, and from a purely operational perspective.”

In granting the injunction, Judge Pat Donofrio ruled that the plaintiffs had proven their claim that irreparable harm was imminent if the MGCB rules took effect.

“Our hope now is that we don’t have to move this issue forward in the courts, but that the Governor’s office and MGCB will come back and work with us in the Legislature,” Van Koevering said.  “Senator Jones has  a bill—Senate Bill 878—which we believe addresses the MGCB’s concerns about industry practices, while protecting charities’ abilities to earn the revenues they need to survive.  It’s time to come to the table and begin to work together.”

The injunction will remain in place until the court case is resolved.  The next step in the process will be a June 12 status conference, at which time the major milestones in the future court proceedings will be established.  The status conference will take place by telephone at 11:00 AM.

“In the meantime, we urge the Michigan House to hold hearings on SB 878 before the Legislature breaks for summer in mid-June,” Van Koevering said. “There are policy issues outstanding which remain unfinished. Resolving them legislatively offers a savings to the taxpayers of Michigan, will keep hundreds of people employed, and will support lasting resolution of this ongoing issue by updating the Bingo Act to align with what the state has condoned and even developed over the last decade.”

# # #

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May 27th Hearing Ends without a Vote On SB878 Keep Contacting Rep. Jase Bolger!

May 27th Hearing Ends without a Vote
On SB878
Keep Contacting Rep. Jase Bolger!
Representative Hugh Crawford, Chair of the House Committee on Regulatory Reform heard testimony on Tuesday, May 27th but adjourned without a vote on SB878.
Immediately following, charities and room operators walked over to the Capitol Building and spoke with a number of House members about the need for a vote in before summer break.

We will continue working hard for you in coming days, pressing the House to act on SB878 before they break in mid-June.
Continue to have your charity members individually, and the people who receive the benefit of your charitable works contact Speaker of the House Jase Bolger at 517-373-1787.
There is still a chance lawmakers will do the right thing and vote immediately to protect the charities who are already fighting for the few spots remaining in 2014 due to the rules and finding their applications being denied for the first time in over 30 years.
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David/Goliath Battle Continues

For Immediate Release
Contact: Stephanie Van Koevering
517-974-6065

David/Goliath Battle Continues

Charity Interests Pursue New Legal Action Against State Agency as the Michigan House Fails to Act

May 27, 2014 — A coalition of Michigan charities, gaming suppliers and room operators are again turning to the state’s court system, asking for relief from new regulations that would cripple local nonprofits and small businesses.
A 14–member group of organizations has filed a motion in the Michigan Court of Claims against improper regulations issued by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB).
According to the plaintiffs’ filing, the promulgated rules are outside the scope of the authority contained in the Charitable Gaming Act, improperly restrict and essentially eviscerate the statutorily authorized fundraising activities of the Plaintiff charitable institutions, and end the small business operations of the other Plaintiffs.
“This is a sad day for many charities and suppliers,” said Stephanie Van Koevering,
spokesperson for the plaintiffs. “There are no gaming licenses forthcoming, and the industry is
already beginning to fold. We’re seeing many of the state’s major suppliers—which have done nothing wrong—getting ready to close their doors because of the state’s regulatory actions. Our fear now is that by the time this is all sorted out, it will already be too late.”
Van Koevering noted that as the legal actions were moving forward today, a Michigan House committee failed to act to block the proposed rules.
“Despite overwhelming opposition by their Senate colleagues, state House leaders appear to be bowing to pressure from the Snyder administration,” Van Koevering said. “We know there are lots of political considerations in play, but we still have hope that the needs of voters across Michigan won’t be ignored. Right now, there are a great many local charities mobilizing to protect their future existence.”
A ruling from Judge Pat Donofrio currently is the last hope of Michigan’s charitable gaming industry. Case No. 14-112-CZ has been awaiting action since last Thursday.
“The MGCB keeps saying that their intention is not to dismantle charity gaming events,” Van Koevering said. “However, the outcomes of their actions speak louder than their words. The sustainable fundraising model developed over the years is completely destroyed as soon as these new rules take effect. ”
# # #

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From Poker News Daily: Confusion, Controversy Reign as Michigan Lawmakers and Gaming Officials Battle over Charity Poker

Confusion, Controversy Reign as Michigan Lawmakers and Gaming Officials Battle over Charity Poker

By Earl Burton – Apr 26th, 2014

After apparently stepping back last month to reassess the situation, the battle over the charitable poker room industry has heated up once again in the state of Michigan. This time around, the fight between the Michigan General Assembly and theMichigan Gaming Control Board has led to confusion and controversy over the future of the industry.

In March, the MGCB suddenly dropped plans to adjust the regulations on charitable poker rooms when they withdrew a plan that was set to be voted on by the General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. At that time, the MGCB said the move was “made in order to determine if adjustments can be made to the rules and still accomplish the goals” that had been set out by the MGCB. Those goals were such issues as player safety, the integrity of the games and the participating charities ability to raise funds.

Although they withdrew their submission amid fierce opposition from players and card room owners at that time, the battle wasn’t over yet. Perhaps waiting for the opposition to move on, the executive director of the MGCB, Rick Kalm, resubmitted his proposed regulations on March 25. Adjustments had been made (“a compromise as suggested by some members” Kalm stated to Crain’s Detroit Business’ Sherri Welch) such as allowing two “millionaire parties” per day (instead of one as Kalm had suggested) and a 55/45 split between the charities and the poker rooms, up from the 65/35 split that Kalm had previously sought.

There were several components, however, that stayed the same. The proposed regulations from Kalm held poker rooms to four “millionaire parties” per week and stipulated that three members of the charity were supposed to be on the premises instead of two. The charities were required to have raised more than $500 outside of the charity poker rooms and the poker rooms would be required to have background checks performed on all dealers at events by the MGCB.

Not pleased with Kalm’s compromises, Michigan State Senator Rick Jones revived his bill that would pull some of the regulatory authority from the MGCB. That bill, S. B. 878, would place no regulations on how many days the charitable rooms could operate and would open the industry up for racetracks to enter into it. It would also establish the right of the charitable poker industry to exist in the Wolverine State, rather than the MGCB’s approach over the past three years of freezing licenses and closing rooms.

Jones’ bill was able to work through committee over the past month and, according to Melissa Anders of MLive.com, the Michigan Senate unanimously passed S. B. 878 on Thursday. The Jones bill has drawn support from the players and poker rooms due to its relaxed regulations (for example, the daily limit on chip sales per charity would increase from $15,000 to $20,000 and, if a charity was able to run the games themselves, chip sales could increase to $50,000). The bill is now moving over to the Michigan House for its consideration and vote.

Anders cites Jean Kordenbrock, the manager of the Michigan Charitable Gaming Association, as one of those involved that approves of Jones’ maneuvering. “The profitability of the events will be maintained with Sen. Jones’ bill while also providing increased oversight that the gaming control board has been saying that they need,” Kordenbrock said. Kalm stated he had no input on the Jones bill and, as such, he could not comment on its effect on the MGCB’s regulation of the industry.

The rules that had been resubmitted by the MGCB will take effect by April 30, but they would be superseded by action in the Michigan General Assembly. If the House were to pass S. B. 878 and get Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to sign it at any point, the draconian regulations presented by Kalm and the MGCB would be overridden and the charitable poker rooms (and charities) would be protected and move forward on a firm footing.

Original Article here:  http://www.pokernewsdaily.com/confusion-controversy-reign-as-michigan-lawmakers-and-gaming-officials-battle-over-charity-poker-25685/

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From the Detroit Free Press: Michigan Gaming Control Board backs off new charity poker rules for now

Michigan Gaming Control Board backs off new charity poker rules for now

LANSING — The Michigan Gaming Control Board abruptly withdrew its request today to change the rules regulating charity gaming.

The board gave no reason during a brief Joint Committee on Administrative Rules hearing this morning, but the withdrawal came after three hours of testimony last week, mostly from charities, poker rooms and suppliers who are adamantly opposed to the rules change.

Later, the gaming control board said in a statement: “The request (to withdraw the rules) was made in order to determine if adjustments can be made to the rules and still accomplish the goal of the MGCB to ensure the integrity of the games and protect the charity’s ability to raise funds.”

The rules would have: reduced the number of days that a poker room could operate from 365 to 208 days a year; required that three members of the charity volunteer at each poker night and that the charity prove it could raise at least $500 from other forms of fund-raising, and changed the split of profits from 50-50 between the charity and the suppliers to 65-35 with the charity getting the bigger chunk of profits.

These changes, which still allow charities to run 16 gaming events a year, were less drastic than the rules the gaming control board proposed initially. But the charities turned out in droves for several hearings to say that even the more relaxed new rules would put them out of business.

Lawmakers took the complaints to heart, said state Sen. John Pappageorge, R-Troy.

“Some things came up during that session that are worth looking at more,” he said. “We want to look at them and then come back.”

The withdrawal of the rules, however, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re dead. Mike Maher, of the gaming control board told the committee that the rules were being withdrawn “until a later date.”

Pappageorge told him he’d like to see something next week.

Charity gaming has grown into a big business in the state since 1976, when the Legislature gave charities the ability to sponsor forms of gambling. When Texas Hold ’Em Poker was added to the list of games that could be played, the millionaire parties boomed from a $22-million business to $197 million in 2011. Many of the poker rooms were hosting several different charities every night of the week.

Thecontrol board froze the number of gaming sites around the state and 22 were closed because of illegal gambling or fraud.

Contact Kathleen Gray : 517-372-8661, kgray99@freepress.com or @michpoligal on Twitter.

Original Article Here:  http://www.freep.com/article/20140319/NEWS06/303190094/Michigan-Gaming-Control-Board-charity-gaming

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From the Observer & Eccentric: State Legislation threatens charity poker events

State legislation threatens charity poker events

Proposal would hamper nonprofits’ ability to raise needed funds

A crucial fundraising tool used by the Northville Historical Society, Northville Chamber of Commerce, Tipping Point Theatre, and several other local nonprofit organizations might be restricted by state legislation in the near future.

These groups raise funds by staffing “Millionaire Parties” (AKA charity poker) at Northville Downs. These parties play a big part in helping the community groups exist.

“The Northville Historical Society derives 10 percent of its budget from working said parties,” said Fred Shadko citing the resolution approved by the Northville Township Historic District Commission late last month.

“The Northville Historical Society is entirely supported by donations and fundraising efforts,” the Township Commission resolution further stated.

The City of Northville also passed a resolution at its March 3 meeting asking the State of Michigan to refrain from implementing rules, which would effectively restrict legitimate charities’ access to such parties.

“The state gaming commission is under pressure to restrict these events, by putting limitations on the venues, the operators, and the charities themselves,” said City Manager Pat Sullivan. “There is an early estimate that if the changes go through, only one in four of the charities that participate today will be able to participate in the future.”

The Michigan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules has proposed changes that would restrict the number of days charity poker games could be held at a venue and the rule changes would also limit the number of charities that can work at said parties. It would also increase the number of people needed to be on hand during these events.

Shadko said these proposals would make it almost impossible for small nonprofits to operate the events.

It’s been reported the Michigan Gaming Control Board wants updated legislation to address issues like crime and gaming violations at some poker venues.

Sullivan said a public hearing on the proposed rule changes was scheduled for March 12 in Lansing.

lhuhman@hometownlife.com (248) 437-2011, ext. 255 Twitter:@lhuhman

Original Article Here:  http://www.hometownlife.com/article/20140319/NEWS12/303190038/State-legislation-threatens-charity-poker-events

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From the Detroit News: Gov. Chooses Casinos Over Charities

Letter published in the Detroit News March 19, 2014

Last week, The Detroit News posted a letter from the Michigan Gaming Control Executive Director Rick Kalm (“Why Michigan is fighting ‘charitable’ gaming,” March 14). It is clear from the letter that Gov. Rick Snyder has picked sides, as also evidenced by the number of lobbyists who were standing in the back of the room at the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules hearing last week, who represent Detroit casinos that want these rules that will end charitable gaming in our state.

Lions Club, Optimist Club International, VFW, American Legions, Rotary, Kiwanis and the Knights of Columbus, just to name a few, are all benefiting from an activity that, from 2006 until 2013, the state of Michigan encouraged them to participate in, and helped find locations to raise revenue through their licensed events.

The state encouraged the suppliers and locations to make financial investments to attract poker players and provide an atmosphere that the charities could raise significant revenue for their individual causes.

Why the sudden change? The executive director has already shut down over 15 charity poker rooms so he obviously has the rules he needs to take care of unlicensed or other criminal activity.

In early 2014, we heard in Lansing that a new Indian gaming compact was being negotiated and getting rid of charity poker rooms was an issue that was a deal breaker for the Indian reservations. We also learned from Legislators that many of them were being told by the casino lobbyists in Lansing that these proposed rules were actually good for the charities. In fact, we learned the staff responsible for writing the rules that the charities are now fighting are the same staff responsible for negotiating the Indian Gaming compact. It’s becoming clearer this week why the Indian casinos are being protected over the charities.

It is important to remember that each and every event that takes place in a charity poker room is licensed and monitored by the state. If it is unlicensed, then it is not a charity poker event and should be shut down.

State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, is introducing a bill this week to properly regulate these events and allow charities to raise money for projects and programs in their communities.

Many charities, especially those in Michigan’s more rural communities, rely heavily on the funding they raise from charity gaming. In fact, $17.2 million dollars from charity poker rooms has flowed back into Michigan’s communities through their charitable works.

The executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board should stop defending casino interests and enforce the present laws governing charitable gaming. The good works of hundreds of Michigan charities should not be hurt to benefit for-profit casino interests and their lobbyists.

William “Doc” Barr, member of Lions Club

of Novi, Gold Gloves Association of Metro

Detroit Inc.; board member, Michigan

Charitable Gaming Association
Original article here:
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140319/OPINION01/303190004#ixzz2wVi0P1hW

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140319/OPINION01/303190004/Gov-chooses-casinos-over-charities

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MiCGA Announcement about JCAR Meeting Tomorrow – Are you Going?

Senator Jones to Introduce Bill to HELP THE CHARITIES

MIRS News Reports 3/11

Charities, we can not stress enough how important your attendance is at the meeting tomorrow. For a few weeks, we have been aware that Senator Jones was interested in introducing legislation to stop the rules and assist us, but could not publicly announce this fact. MiCGA has been very involved in these developments and working diligently on your behalf. Today, the MIRS News has reported that Senator Jones is working on legislation to stop the rules that are going to hurt the charities’ ability to raise funds.  This is an extremely significant “win” for us on many fronts.  It is clear however that the threat of legislation is not intimidating the Governor’s office and the Executive Director to back down.  SENATOR JONES AND THE MICHIGAN SENATE NEED YOUR ORGANIZATION REPRESENTED AT THE JCAR MEETING TOMORROW TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT. It is as simple as that.  Below is the information on the location and time.  The winds are changing direction and it is time for you to ACT!

JOINT COMMITTEE ON ADMINISTRATIVE RULES

Scheduled Meeting

Senator John Pappageorge, Presiding Co-chair

Representative Tom McMillin, Co-chair

Date:                     Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Time:                    3:00 p.m.

Place:                    Senate Hearing Room, Ground Floor, Boji Tower, 124 W. Allegan St., Lansing MI 48933

We will have pointers coming later that will help you craft your testimony.  But, overall, you will have about 2 minutes to speak, you should keep your comments directed on 1) the services you provide with the money you raise and 2) which rules are going to hurt your organization and why. Two minutes is not a lot of time, so you are more than welcome to write your remarks and read them if you are called on to speak.

Comment cards will be available at the meeting, so arrive early to fill one out and bring a pen.  The comment card is used by the Chairman as  “list” of who would like to speak.  He will pick speakers based on who has turned in comment cards.

Parking: There is a parking structure across the street from the Boji Tower, called Boji Parking.  There is also a lot to the south side of the temple owned by Cooley Law School (about 1/2 block from the Boji Tower.)  Handicap parking is available on the street in front of the Boji Tower and in those two lots.

If you have any questions in the meantime, do not hesitate to contact us at info@micga.org.

See you or someone from your charity tomorrow!

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New Rules Charity Gaming Rules in 45 days – Unless you ACT NOW!!!

The following notice is an e-mail sent out by the Michigan Charitable Gaming Association today.  Please read and act!

JCAR Receives New Rules dated 2/18/2014
Contact Your Legislators and the Governor Today!

Contact your Senators, Representatives and Governor Snyder Today!

Today, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules,(JCAR), received the Rules that will become effective in approximately 45 calendar days if JCAR fails to act to stop them.

You can find a copy of the rules by clicking here.

Many of the rules will completely destroy the revenue that charities have been able to raise over the past 7 years, working with licensed suppliers and location owners to host millionaire parties sanctioned by the State of Michigan.  These new rules submitted in their final form this week include:

  • Millionaire party events may only take place four days a week at any single location;
  • Only 1 charity per day may hold an event at a location;
  • The executive director may stop issuing licenses at any time for any reason;
  • The licensee may not obtain millionaire party equipment from a location owner or the lessor of the location;
  • 3 bona fide members must be on site to staff the event;
  • The executive director has the sole discretion to set the permissible hours of the day during which a millionaire party may be conducted between the hours of 8am and 2am.
  • Payments to a millionaire party supplier for expenses incurred in connection with the conduct of the millionaire party event shall not exceed 35% of the event gross profits.
  • The location only can receive 250 per day for the rental of the facility.

You can find your Senator by clicking here.

You can find your Representative by clicking here.

You can contact the Governor here:

Governor’s Phone: 517-373-3400

Governor Rick Snyder
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, Michigan 48909

Even if you already wrote a letter or called please consider reaching out to your legislator again.   In addition, ask the people who actually receive the benefit of your charitable works to let the Governor know how they benefit from the money your organization has raised from charitable gaming.

CONTACT THEM TODAY!

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