One of the several gaming bills that passed last week was HB 4173, which amends the Traxler-McCauley Bingo Act to address the topic of charitable gaming in the state of Michigan. The Michigan Charitable Gaming Association (“MIGCA”) long sought amendments to the Act to address concerns that various charities and suppliers had with Administrative Rules adopted by the Michigan Gaming Control Board that has oversight responsibilities for Millionaire Parties in Michigan. Initially, the MIGCA was supportive of the bill, as it contained identical language to a bill the association had advocated for during the last session. The MICGA had been working to help restore charities to the level of fund raising that they enjoyed before the adoption of the Administrative Rules. Specifically, they sought: a raise to the chip limit; a provision allowing for 7 days that a location could be open; and an increase in the number of licenses a charity could obtain each year to six from four.

During the legislative process, a House substitute was introduced and the MICGA sought to address concerns it had with the substitute at the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee hearing in mid-December. As amended, the Association stated that it was neutral to the bill at that time. Given this history, this Newsletter touched base with the MICGA to get its reaction to the bill as passed by both houses of the legislature. 

The MICGA responded and noted that although the final draft of the legislation did not include all of the changes the Association had sought, it did make some changes that the MICGA had advocated for including:

  • Sec. 32(1)(D): returning the “lawful purpose” definition to the language that had been in the definition in last year’s HB 4081;
  • Sec. 32(1)(a) making it clear that spouses would be allowed to be considered as workers for a millionaire party;
  • Sec. 40(1): strengthening the language that no more than 2 workers are required;
  • Sec. 51: reducing the felony penalties to misdemeanors; and
  • A chip limit increase from $15,000 to $20,000.

That being said, the Association noted that its work is not over. The MICGA sent an update to its membership stating that it will continue to monitor events, and will let charities, suppliers, locations and advocates know as the changes take effect and get implemented by the MGCB. The MICGA has indicated that it will continue to advocate for the sustainability and the expansion of charitable gaming.


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