The Michigan Gaming News Letter

Michigan Gaming Control Board Adopts 1-800-GAMBLER as Statewide Problem Gambling Helpline

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (“MGCB”) announced on February 8th new efforts to streamline access to help by promoting 1-800-GAMBLER as the state’s primary problem gambling helpline. Operated by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), the National Problem Gambling Helpline (1-800-GAMBLER) is the largest problem gambling helpline network in the world by call volume, population served, and geographic area covered. The helpline connects people and families impacted by problem gambling with professional support, local referrals, and resources.

Online gaming platform providers operating in Michigan will be required to display the 1-800-GAMBLER number as part of their responsible gaming messages and update any existing listed helpline numbers.

“The National Problem Gambling Helpline Network connects individuals struggling with gambling addiction to trained professionals who offer confidential assistance and resources,” MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams said. “By adopting 1-800-GAMBLER as the statewide problem gambling helpline, the MGCB reinforces its commitment to ensuring a safe and secure gaming environment for players across the state by ensuring that resources for treatment and recovery can be accessed quickly and easily.”

“An easily accessible helpline is a vital tool in providing problem gambling support services across the country,” said Keith Whyte, NCPG Executive Director. “We applaud MGCB for taking proactive efforts to address the needs of those affected by problem gambling and for recognizing the significance of promoting 1-800-GAMBLER in Michigan.”

The MGCB’s collaboration with the NCPG and advertising 1-800-GAMBLER as the problem gambling helpline signifies the agency’s dedication to promoting responsible gaming practices, protecting citizens from gambling-related harm, and providing support to those in need.

Four Winds Casinos Appoints Mary Smith as Chief Operating Officer

Earlier this week on February 5, 2024, The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi’s Four Winds Casinos published a press release to announce the naming of the first Pokagon Citizen and the first female to serve as Chief Operating Officer (COO). Mary Smith, who first joined the company in 2007, has been appointed for the position.

Smith commented, “It is a tremendous honor to be named COO of Four Winds Casinos. I want to thank Chairwoman Richards and the Pokagon Gaming Authority for their confidence in my ability to serve on the casino operations team in this capacity. I look forward to continuing my service to my tribe and leading Four Winds Casinos for years to come.”

Mary Smith has operated in the roles of Financial Analyst, Assistant Property Shift Manager, Property Shift Manager, Director of Hotel Operations, Vice President of Hotel Operations, Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations and Development, and Executive Vice President of Casino Operations.

“We are very pleased to promote Mary Smith to the role of Chief Operating Officer. In addition to being a Pokagon Citizen and the first female executive to take the help as COO, Mary is a long –time member of our casino operations team, who has been with us from the beginning. Her knowledge and diverse experience with the inner workings of our organization will provide her with the necessary perspective and insight to lead Four Winds Casinos into the future.,” said Rebecca Richards, Tribal Council Chairwoman of the Pokagon Band and CEO of the Pokagon Gaming Authority.

Gun Lake Casino Announces $10 Million Interior Renovation Project

According to a press release issued by Gun Lake Casino (“GLC”) it will invest $10 million  to enhance its food and beverage, entertainment, and gaming amenities. This will entail the construction of a new Crossroads Casino Bar and lounge, a new high-limit table games room, and a new restaurant, Lucky Dragon Noodle Bar, offering authentic and exquisite noodles and Asian cuisine.

“We are excited to announce exciting renovations coming soon here at Gun Lake Casino. Continuing our commitment to enhancing the guest experience through innovation and excellence, this $10 million investment by the Gun Lake Tribe will bring a new noodle restaurant, a new center bar, and a new high-limit table games room,” said Sal Semola, CEO.

Preparation for construction of these renovations will begin immediately. The all-new Crossroads Casino Bar, high-limit table games room, and Lucky Dragon Noodle Bar are scheduled to open by year’s end. Updates can be found on Gun Lake Casino website.

MGCB Public Meeting Scheduled for Tuesday, February 13

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (“MGCB”) will hold a regular public meeting on Tuesday, February 13, 2024, at the MGCB’s Cadillac Place Office, 3062 W. Grand Boulevard, Suite L-700, Detroit, 48202-6062. The meeting will begin at 9:30 AM and will also be accessible via Zoom.

The MGCB will consider recommendations of occupational licenses level 1 and 2, supplier license requests, supplier license renewals, approval of new key persons, and the approval of some acknowledgements of violation of supplier license among other issues. The full agenda for the February meeting may be found here.

The meeting is open to the public, and comments from the public are welcome and encouraged during the public comment portion of the meeting. The MGCB asks you to submit this form to by 9:30 AM, Tuesday, February 13, to notify that you plan to address the Board during public comment. Please include your telephone number on the form. You also may use the Q&A in the Zoom meeting to indicate that you wish to speak during public comment. Please provide your name and telephone number, and you will receive a call placing you in the queue.

The meeting will also be accessible to the public via Zoom at this link.