The Michigan Gaming News Letter

NCLGS Sets Priorities, Expands Outreach, and Brings Impact of Illegal Gambling Into Focus

Per a press release this week, the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (“NCLGS”) is expanding its outreach to lawmakers across the United States to advance its goal of promoting best practices in gaming law and regulation. That is a central policy goal for Sen. Jon Ford of Indiana, the recently installed president of NCLGS, which convenes for its Winter Meeting, December 8-11 at Resorts World Las Vegas. In taking the helm of NCLGS, Ford is establishing several priorities, including:

  • Identifying best practices for legislators in promoting responsible gaming and addressing problem gambling .
  • Combatting illegal gambling, as well as unregulated gaming.
  • Working with states to effectively address the evolution of cashless wagering, both online and at brick-and-mortar casinos, including identifying effective controls to set limits on deposits and wagers.
  • Working with lotteries, gaming operators and other stakeholders that are considering the adoption or expansion of digital forms of gaming, including ilottery and igaming. The goals are to help such states establish effective regulatory and licensing practices.
  • Helping states understand the economic and social impacts of gaming.


Ford will work with NCLGS officers as well as with Spectrum Gaming Group, which serves as Executive Director of NCLGS, to provide resources to state lawmakers as they consider issues related to gaming policy. “NCLGS is neither pro-gaming nor anti-gaming, but we have long maintained a focus on helping states address concerns and identify best practices in gaming,” Ford said. “We have the resources to help, and we want states to join our organization and leverage those resources.” Ford is encouraging lawmakers to attend the upcoming NCLGS event in Las Vegas, as well as future events that will be held in various locations across the United States. As the only gaming conferences that focuses on legislative decision-making, the NCLGS semiannual meetings attract dozens of lawmakers from across the country among the more than 300 expected attendees.  The four-day Winter Meeting will include six NCLGS Committee presentations, two general session panels, morning and luncheon keynote addresses, International Masters of Gaming Law Masterclasses, 2023 igaming legislative preview, two evening networking receptions, and off-site tours. The Sports Betting Regulators Association, a project of the Association of Racing Commissioners International, will once again co-locate with NCLGS, meeting on December 8.

The upcoming NCLGS meeting will have a special focus on the threat of illegal gambling which is neither taxed nor regulated.   According to the release issued by the NCLGS, “While the extent of illegal and unregulated gambling is unknown, its existence is unquestioned. States have been endeavoring for decades to battle an industry that is neither taxed nor regulated.” Per the NCLGS announcement, “the absence of regulation and licensing also means the absence of controls on responsible gaming and underage gambling, among other serious issues.”

The NCLGS panel session Fighting Illegal Gambling: How a Legal, Regulated Industry Can Win will be moderated by Mr. Ford. Expert panelists include:

  • Greg Brower, Chief Global Compliance Officer and Deputy General Counsel, Wynn Resorts, (former FBI Assistant Director)
  • Danny DiRienzo, Senior Director, Government Relations, GeoComply (former US Secret Service)
  • Fredric Gushin, Managing Director, Spectrum Gaming Group (former Assistant Attorney General, New Jersey)
  • Christopher Hebert, Director of Gaming Division, Louisiana Attorney General’s Office


The four-day Winter Meeting will include six NCLGS Committee presentations, two general session panels, morning and luncheon keynote addresses, International Masters of Gaming Law Master classes, 2023 igaming legislative preview, two evening networking receptions, and off-site tours. Click here to view the Winter Meeting agenda and to register to attend.


Q3 2022 Sets Second Consecutive Record for Quarterly Commercial Gaming Revenue

According to press release issued by the American Gaming Association (“AGA”) the U.S. commercial gaming revenue reached a quarterly record of $15.17 billion in Q3 of 2022.  According the AGA’s Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker, the all-time high beats the previous record by two percent. The previous record of $14.81 billion was reached in Q2 of 2022.

2022 is on pace to surpass 2021 as the highest-grossing commercial gaming revenue year, tracking 14.7% ahead of the same nine months of the year as well as already surpassing the full year of 2019 revenue.

“While business challenges remain, high consumer demand continues to fuel our industry’s record success. Our sustained momentum in the face of broader economic volatility points to gaming’s overall health today and provides confidence as we look to the future” said Bill Miller AGA’s President and CEO.

Commercial gaming’s year-over-year growth rate in Q3 2022 of 8.8% outperformed the broader U.S. economy’s growth rate in Q3 2022 of 2.6 %.

Land-based slots and table games continue to be the foundation for the industry’s revenue growth, generating a record $12.27 billion in Q3 2022—up 1.8% from Q3 2021. Combined year-to-date revenue for the verticals stands at $35.94 billion, up 8.1% year-over-year.

Due to a high sportsbook win percentage and solid growth in existing markets, sports betting also set a new quarterly revenue record of $1.68 billion, up 80.6%  year-over-year. Sports betting revenue through September has already reached an all-time annual high of $4.78 billion, beating 2021’s full-year record of $4.34 billion.

iGaming revenue of $1.21 billion fell less than one percent short of a new quarterly record. With $3.62 billion generated in iGaming revenue through September, the vertical remains on pace to join slots, table games and sports betting in posting record revenue in 2022.

Out of 33 commercial gaming states that were operational one year ago, 16 reported quarterly highs in overall commercial gaming revenue in Q3 2022, including five of the six largest markets: Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, New York, and Pennsylvania.


FireKeepers and The Fire Hub Continues Tradition of Feeding Neighbors in Need this Holiday Season

Firekeepers Casino announced in a press release that The Fire Hub restaurant will be feeding neighbors in need again this Veterans Day and Thanksgiving.

For the sixth year in a row, The Fire Hub will provide Thanksgiving dinner for Battle Creek area neighbors in need.  Pre-packaged meals will be served to-go at Battle Creek Central High School from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday November 24.  Anyone in need is welcome to pick up a traditional Thanksgiving meal.  The restaurant will be closed to the public to accommodate this effort.

Last year, The Fire Hub was able to provide more than 500 Thanksgiving dinners and expects to do even more this year! Anyone interested in receiving a hot meal on Thanksgivings Day can call The Fire Hub at 269.753.0065 for more information.

Additionally, in celebration of Veterans Day, yesterday veterans at the VA Medical Center in Battle Creek received meals provided by the Fire Hub and FireKeepers Culinary team. This year, The Fire Hub took the meals to them via FireKeepers Food Truck.


Northville Downs Approved to Offer 52 Live Racing Dates in 2023

Michigan Gaming Control Board Executive Director Henry Williams approved 52 live race dates for Northville Downs on Fridays and Saturdays in 2023 pursuant to an executive order.   Post time will be 7:00 p.m. for the first race on each race date.

“I wish Northville Downs and the Michigan Harness Horsemen’s Association much success for the remaining 2022 season and for the 2023 season,” said Mr. Williams. “Live horse racing at Northville Downs has been a Michigan tradition since 1944.”

The race meeting will run from Friday, April 7, through Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023. Each race date must offer no fewer than eight and no more than 16 live horse races per race day. The 2023 schedule includes 10 fewer dates than the 2022 race meeting.

Northville Downs also received permission to simulcast races to and from the track and to offer pari-mutuel wagering on simulcast races in 2023 except on April 9, Nov. 23, Dec. 24 and Dec. 25.

The 2022 live racing season at Northville Downs concludes Saturday, Dec. 17.


Bay Mills Casino Opens DraftKings Retail Sportsbook

On Sunday, November 6th Bay Mills Casino and DraftKings held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of a retail sportsbook at the casino in Brimley, Michigan according to an article in CasinoBeats that was retweeted by Bay Mills Casino.   According to the article, the retail DraftKings sportsbook includes in-game sports betting and other wagering options. The space also offers customers real-time score updates, three odds boards and four kiosks to place bets. An additional two kiosks are also located on the main casino floor.

DraftKings and the Bay Mills Casino and Resort have worked together in offering the DraftKings online gaming and online sports betting platform in the State of Michigan.