Administrative Rules for Fantasy Contests Take Effect in Michigan
The Michigan Gaming Control Board’s (“MGCB”) proposed Administrative Rules for fantasy contests took effect on October 11, 2023. The Administrative Rules for fantasy contest are required under the Fantasy Contests Consumer Protection Act.
The Rules provide the regulatory framework for the licensing and operation of fantasy sports contests in the state, and ensure a secure, responsible, fair, and legal system of fantasy contest offerings.
“Fantasy contests, like any other form of competitive gaming, thrive on rules and regulations. The Administrative Rules, which were reviewed by the Michigan Legislature, provide a level playing field for all fantasy contest operators and participants, and will help ensure that fairness, transparency, and integrity are upheld,” said MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams.
The Fantasy Contests Consumer Protection Act, MCL 432.501 to 432.516 authorizes the operation, conduct, and offering of fantasy contests. The MGCB issues two types of fantasy contest licenses:
- Operator license is needed to conduct or offer fantasy contests for play
- Management company licensee handles the day-to-day fantasy contest operations for an operator
Under the Fantasy Contests Consumer Protection Rules, a fantasy contest operator or licensed management company may only offer or conduct a fantasy contest that is based on an athletic event — defined under MCL 432.502(a) as a real-world professional, collegiate, or nationally recognized sports game, contest, or competition involving skills of the participating individual athletes
and upon which the outcome of the game is directly dependent on the athletes’ performances. However, fantasy contest operators or licensed management companies may not offer any contests that have the effect of mimicking betting on sports or that involve ‘prop bets’ or the effect of mimicking proposition selection.
The MGCB will conduct a review of the offerings of all current fantasy contest operator applicants to ensure they comply with the Fantasy Contests Consumer Protection Act and Rule requirements. The commercial casinos and the federally recognized tribes operating Class III casinos are not required to have a license to conduct fantasy contests, but they must meet all other requirements of the Fantasy Contests Consumer Protection Act and associated Rules. With the passage of the Rules to the MGCB may move forward with issuing operator and management company licenses.
The Innovation Group’s Insights from the 2023 Global Gaming Expo
The Innovation Group (“TIG”) recently published its insights and takeaways from this year’s Global Gaming Expo (“G2E”). According to TIG, G2E and Las Vegas felt energized in a way that it hadn’t for the last few Octobers. The following reflects TIG’s top six observations on the direction of the industry coming out of G2E 2023.
- Firing on all cylinders – There was definitive confidence in the health of the gaming industry and undeniable optimism building on the two years of gradual recovery from the pandemic. Both regional and destination brick-and-mortar facilities are planning reinvestment, and developers are still seeing expansions in many parts of the world.
- Branded slots lead the way – In product development, NFL-branded slot machines from Aristocrat Gaming were a highlight of the show. Light & Wonder showed off their new “Squid Game” product with Steve Aoki, while IGT promoted a Whitney Houston slot machine.
- iGaming usurps sports betting as the talk of the town – The launch of Fanatics Sportsbook, along with the fall of Barstool Sportsbook and the upcoming launch of ESPN Bet, are driving questions around the sports betting model. The talk of the show , however was iGaming, and which state may pass online casino legislation next. iGaming is currently live in only six states.
- Non-gaming elements driving success – There was plenty to like at G2E this year, but the excitement and energy around Las Vegas seemed to be centered around two key elements: the opening of the Sphere and the upcoming Formula One race. A trend in shifting towards non-gaming revenue may be coming to regional markets soon.
- Indian Country continues to innovate – The trends are as relevant for Indian gaming as they are for the commercial section. As tribes navigate the complex legislative and implementation issues of sports betting and iGaming, they also continue to work through other issues such as DEI initiatives, tribal member development, economic diversification, and considering smokefree casinos. G2E featured many Class II games this year, presenting some tribes with a quicker-to-market opportunity to offer “full” casino gaming.
- Changes afoot in Canada– In Canada, private and public sector gaming are converging with an increasing focus on social responsibility and responsible gambling. The recapitalization of long-standing casino properties is resulting in new discussion between gaming operators and governments about control, capital risk and what the “casino of the future’ will look like.
The full article issued by TIG is available here.
AGEM’s Memorial Awards Recipients Announced
Bob Manz and Victor Rocha have been named recipients of the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers’ (“AGEM”) 2023 Memorial Awards.
The Jens Halle Memorial Award Honoring Excellence in Commercial Gaming Professionalism was awarded to Bob Manz. The late Bob Manz spent over a half century in the gaming supplier sector, including a 35-year stint with Bally Gaming and a decade with Rocket Gaming, among his many professional roles. Manz was involved in all facets of gaming supplier operations throughout his career, whether in sales, service and customer management, technical management or operations and game design, including his leadership in the design of Blazing Sevens, a game theme that remains a staple in the Light & Wonder portfolio and was a foundational game concept for many games that followed. Manz also helped Rocket Gaming transition into a leading company and innovator in tribal gaming.
“I was fortunate to know and admire Bob during part of his long tenured career in gaming. His knowledge, experience and insightfulness all contributed to a positive impact on both product innovation and the people around him. It’s an honor for AGEM to be able to recognize his contributions to the industry with this award.” said Bob Parente, AGEM President, who also serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Business Development Officer for Light & Wonder.
The Peter Mead Memorial Award Honoring Excellence in Gaming Media & Communications was awarded to Victor Rocha. Rocha, a proud member of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians in Temecula, California, has been involved in Indian gaming since 1998 and has earned numerous awards for his work, including the Indian Gaming Association’s 2002 Outstanding Contribution to Indian Country, VCAT’s 2001 Catalyst Award, Global Gaming Business magazine’s “40 Under 40,” the 2012 Casino Marketing Lifetime Achievement Award, and the AGA’s Lifetime Achievement for Gaming Marketing. In addition to serving as the Conference Chair of the Indian Gaming Association, Rocha also founded and operates Pechanga.net, a website that was created to help his tribe stay informed on the rapidly changing world of politics and gaming, but soon expanded to become a resource for all Native American tribes in North America. Pechanga.net has become one of the most important news resources for Indian Country and the gaming industry as a whole.
“Victor has been, and remains, a critical source for information and issues surrounding Indian gaming in the United States. The growth and continued success of tribal gaming is critical for so many constituencies and Victor’s commentary, analysis, and dedication to delivering news and information about the tribal landscape is appreciated by our entire industry. We are proud to honor Victor with this year’s Peter Mead award.” said Daron Dorsey, AGEM Executive Director.