Your Source For Michigan Gaming News

Since 1997, the Michigan Gaming website has been a comprehensive resource regarding gaming in the state of Michigan. This site is an RMC Ventures, LLC publication, with contributions by the original creators of the site, Attorney David Waddell and Gaming Analyst Robert Russell, and additional contributions by J.J. Burchman, and Blaine DeGracia.

Mr. Waddell and Mr. Russell are also associated with Regulatory Management Counselors, P.C., which proactively assists clients in managing regulatory issues in an effort to maximize company profits and avoid legal problems.

Volume 23, Issue 11

March 24, 2017

Printable Version

 

GOVERNOR SNYDER NAMES DALE ZAHN TO THE MICHIGAN GAMING CONTROL BOARD

On March 17, 2017, the Office of Governor Snyder announced the appointment of Dale Zahn of Holland to the five-member Michigan Gaming Control Board. His selection is subject to the advice and consent of the senate. Zahn, who holds an associate’s degree in general studies from Prairie State College and a bachelor’s in speech and theater from St. Joseph’s Calumet College, is the chief executive officer of the West Michigan Lakeshore Association of Realtors, and a member of the American Society of Association Executives and the National Association of Realtors.

“I thank Dale for his service and I believe his background in real estate will be an asset to this board,” Snyder said.

Zahn, appointed as a Republican member of the board, will serve a four-year term which expires on December 31, 2020. He replaces Michael Watza.

 

NEOPOLLARD INTERACTIVE WELCOMES SCOTT BOWEN, LOTTERY INDUSTRY LEADER

On March 17, 2017, NeoPollard Interactive LLC (“NPI”) announced that Scott Bowen has joined the company as Senior Vice President, Business Development, to help inform the industry of iLottery products and services as well as assisting North American lotteries in navigating the complexities of legislative approval and responsible Internet gaming.

Prior to joining NPI, Bowen served nine years as Commissioner of the Michigan Lottery. His resignation as Commissioner became effective on February 18, 2017.

 According to the Michigan Lottery, under Bowen, the Lottery provided $6.8 billion to support public education while garnering $22.8 billion in sales. Additionally, he guided the Michigan Lottery’s launch of online games and since launching, more than 500,000 Michigan players have registered to play.

“I am very eager to embark on this new opportunity and continue to play a significant role in the digital lottery space,” said Bowen. “NeoPollard Interactive has proven to be the iLottery leader in North America. I am enthusiastic about the potential that iLottery offers to North American lotteries, and I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experience with other lottery directors to assist their efforts to offer online games to their players and increase the support they provide to their beneficiaries.”

 

MICHIGAN WOMAN ALLEGEDLY EMBEZZLED NEARLY $20,000 FROM POKER ROOM CHARITY FOR FLINT KIDS

On March 20, 2017, the Michigan Attorney General’s office released a statement regarding  the charges brought against Dian Stephens, 53, of Flushing, Michigan, for obstruction of justice and six felony embezzlement charges levied against her. The charges come after allegations that she misused nearly $20,000 in charitable gaming funds that were intended for her charity for children.

In September 2016, Stephens was originally charged with the six counts of felony embezzlement after an investigation into her area “poker room” called Pocket Aces, by the Attorney General’s office and the Michigan Gaming Control Board (“MGCB”). However, on March 6, 2017, Stephens was arrested and an additional charge of Obstruction of Justice was brought against her after she presented allegedly falsified documents during a Genesee County Circuit Court appearance.

 “This woman claimed she wanted to help Flint kids, but instead it appears she used her charity as a front to bolster herself personally,” said Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette. “This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated and instead of facing up to her alleged actions, Ms. Stephens allegedly continued to try and shirk the law. In a city that has already suffered so much, I take any allegations very seriously.”

In total, Stephens is charged with the following:

· one count of Obstruction of Justice; a felony punishable by up to five years in prison;

· three felony counts of embezzlement of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000 from a nonprofit or charitable organization; each charge carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison; and

· three five-year felony counts of embezzlement-agent or trustee of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000; each charge carries a penalty of up to 5 years in prison.

“Unfortunately, this person allegedly used a fake charity to raise money, diverted funds for personal use and gave false evidence to thwart justice,” said Richard Kalm, MGCB Executive Director. “The MGCB wants people held accountable for illegal behavior so they don’t taint charities that do the right thing. We enforce Michigan laws to protect the public and the integrity of the games. We also seek restitution for those who may be harmed by any illegal charitable gaming-related behavior.”

 

THE NOTTAWASEPPI HURON BAND OF THE POTAWATOMI CONTRIBUTE A RECORD $22.5 MILLION TO STATE OF MICHIGAN AND FLRSB

On March 10, 2017, the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi (“NHBP”) who own FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek, Michigan, established a second consecutive annual record when they made payments totaling over $22.5 million to the State of Michigan and the FireKeepers Local Revenue Sharing Board (“FLRSB”). Specifically, the NHBP presented a check of $17,127,304 million to the State of Michigan, an increase of 3.3 percent as compared to the 2016 payment, and a $5,406,826 million check to the FLRSB which marks a 2.6 percent increase when compared to last year’s payment.

According to FireKeepers Casino Hotel, since opening in August 2009, the NHBP has contributed over $144.7 million to state and local governments with $107 million to the State of Michigan and $37.6 million to the FLRSB.

“The commitment of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi to the State of Michigan and our Local Revenue Sharing Board is stronger than ever, with our largest single distribution to date of over $22.5 million dollars,” said Jamie Stuck, Tribal Council Chairman of the NHBP.

 

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