Michigan Gaming Control Board
Detroit, April 23, 2021 - Michigan Gaming Control Board Executive Director Richard S. Kalm today announced he will leave his position following the successful launch of online gaming and sports betting. Kalm has offered to remain in his post until Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appoints a successor and the appointment is confirmed by the Michigan Senate.
"I've had a great run and accomplished my final goal with the successful launch of online gaming and sports betting," Kalm said. "My career has been devoted to public service, and I have enjoyed serving the people of Michigan since 2007 as MGCB executive director. Our agency's mission has grown since my initial appointment, and I am proud of the MGCB's accomplishments during my tenure."
When Kalm was appointed in 2007, Detroit's commercial casinos were still building their hotels. He soon faced the challenge of protecting the state's interests during the Greektown Casino bankruptcy proceedings from 2008 until 2010.
Kalm also moved the agency's headquarters to existing Cadillac Place state office space in Detroit from rented space in East Lansing.
"The agency was now closer to the entities we regulated, and we achieved cost savings," he said.
During Kalm's MGCB tenure, the agency's mission grew from regulating the Detroit casinos and auditing the 12 federally recognized tribes' compliance with gaming compacts signed with the State of Michigan.
Following a 2010 executive order, the MGCB became the regulator for pari-mutuel horse racing. Another executive order in 2012 moved oversight of millionaire parties, commonly known as charitable poker, to the MGCB from Michigan Lottery.
The MGCB added online gaming and sports betting regulation to its mission after Gov. Whitmer signed the gaming bills package in December 2019. Online gaming and sports betting is off to an impressive start in Michigan with a combined $259 million in gross receipts collected between the launch on Jan. 22, 2021, and March 30. The resulting tax revenue will help educate children, fund economic development and support tribal communities across the state.
"I appreciate the opportunity Governor Whitmer gave me to stay on and oversee the launch of online gaming," Kalm said. "It has been my pleasure to work with everyone involved in online gambling and sports betting in Michigan, including the commercial and tribal casinos, the gaming suppliers, the Governor's Office, other state departments and the Legislature."
In 2020, Kalm oversaw the closures of the three Detroit commercial casinos and pari-mutuel racetrack Northville Downs due to COVID-19 public health concerns. The agency, while working remotely, concurrently developed rules for online gaming and sports betting, which were approved by the Michigan Legislature in early December and enabled the recent launch of online gaming and sports betting. Michigan was the first U.S. state to license both commercial and tribal casinos for online gaming and sports betting.
Kalm also guided the 2020 launch of mobile wagering on live and simulcast horse races.
"The agency adapted quickly in 2020, helping the casinos and the track shut down safely and developing guidelines for the resumption of business when the orders changed," Kalm said. "As we note the success, we also need to keep problem gambling and prevention and treatment resources a part of the ongoing conversation about gambling in Michigan."
"The Michigan Gaming Control Board shall ensure the conduct of fair and honest gaming to protect the interests of the citizens of the State of Michigan."