On February 18th, the House Regulatory Reform Committee met to discuss HB 4686, which would modify the disassociated persons law in Michigan for problem gamblers. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Ryan Berman, who noted that under the current law, a person who places himself on the list and then gambles at one of the Detroit casinos can be charged with criminal trespass and face confiscation of his winnings. Current law  provides for a lifetime ban with no opportunity to remove oneself from the list. HB 4686 would allow a person to petition the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) after 5 years to have his name removed from the list. In addition to the 5-year removal provision, the bill would allow casinos to advertise non-gaming services to persons on the list – something that is not currently allowed under the law.

Other states have allowed shorter terms, such as one, two, or five years, in addition to the option of a lifetime ban. Michael Burke, President of the Michigan Association of Problem Gamblers (MAPG), testified that MAPG remains neutral on legal gambling, but is in favor of HB 4686. Mr. Burke noted that a lifetime ban is a deterrent to someone seeking treatment, while a 5-year period may provide motivation for a problem gambler to get help. About 1-2% of the State’s residents have problem gambling issues. MAPG seeks to provide better treatment tools for problem gamblers in Michigan, including a push for an initiative that would offer a free 30-day inpatient program.

Dave Murley, Deputy Director of the Indian Gaming and Legal Affairs Division of the MGCB, testified that it is debatable whether criminal provisions work for problem gamblers. He noted that there are about 4,800 persons on the list, and that casinos are not required to ID every person. Mr. Murley questioned how effective the disassociated persons list would be once mobile gaming launches, when a person on the list could stand outside the casino to gamble on his mobile device. He indicated that the MGCB is in favor of the bill.

The Committee did not vote on HB 4686 at this meeting, so it will have to take it up again before it advances to the House Ways and Means Committee.


Upcoming Events

Casino Job Board

Official Publications


RMC Legal

Visit our other website below: