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Judge Lifts Temporary Injunction Against the Executive Director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board, Letting 7 of 8 Charity Poker Regulatory Measures Take Effect
September 16, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 16, 2013
Contact: Information Officer MGCB
Location: Cadillac Place, 3062 W. Grand Blvd., L-700 – Detroit.
Time: 2:50 p.m.
Ingham County Circuit Judge Clinton Canady lifted a temporary restraining order against the Michigan Gaming Control Board and its Executive Director, Rick Kalm, enabling all but one of the new charity poker game requirements issued by the director to take effect.
Canady ruled on September 5, 2013, that it was within the Executive Director’s discretion under the law to issue the new requirements. Among other things, the new requirements will cap the number of charities at each site at three, limit the number of chips in play at a table to $15,000 and prohibit the use of poker chips as tips for dealers and others. A partial preliminary injunction was issued, however, barring the executive director from restricting the times the "millionaire party" licenses can be used under the current rules, the court ruled. That means the midnight curfew the director sought to impose on the charity poker games cannot be enforced, and games can go on until 2 a.m. as they previously have. The time change was required and based on charities’ complaints, reported crimes, and LCC violations occurring after midnight.
19 nonprofits and civic groups filed suit against the Board and director seeking the temporary injunction on the new requirements — most of which were scheduled to take effect September 1st. Most of the charities bringing the lawsuit use Aces Gaming Supply LCC as their supplier and it is believed that Aces and various locations are actually behind the lawsuit. Kalm plans to begin enforcing the new requirements once Canady has issued a written order supporting his rulings in the case. Kalm laid out the new, millionaire party requirements in a July 29 letter sent to charities and suppliers.
In the last decade millionaire party gaming and revenues have sky rocketed. Just in the last two years over $380 million in “reported” revenue has moved through Millionaire parties in Michigan. Since the Governor’s Executive Order transferring the authority of regulating the gaming from the Lottery Commissioner to the Executive Director, his staff has conducted over 1200 on-site and post-event inspections of qualified organizations since June of 2012. These investigations have uncovered hundreds of violations of the Bingo Act, rules, or other state laws.
The Gaming Board staff, through the Executive Director, has a duty to protect the integrity of charitable millionaire parties and ensure the qualified organizations are protected and complying with the Bingo Act.