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Appeals court reverses lower court, upholds Mich. Gaming Control Board's rule-making authority

Detroit  -  The Michigan Court of Appeals today reversed a lower court’s order permanently enjoining the Michigan Gaming Control Board’s (MGCB) millionaire party (charity poker) administrative rules filed in May 2014.  The Court of Appeals upheld the legality of MGCB’s rule-making process, reversed the Michigan Court of Claims’ ruling the MGCB did not have legal authority to make rule changes requested by the Legislature's Joint Committee on Administrative Rules and vacated the injunction.

“This victory goes a long way toward insuring the integrity of gaming and the future of millionaire parties as a fundraising option for charities,” said Richard Kalm, MGCB executive director.  “The court recognized our ability to change the rules in response to legislative input.”

Legislators requested rule changes during administrative proceedings last year, and the MGCB subsequently agreed to their suggestions.  Last May, the Court of Claims enjoined the rules because the judge questioned the rulemaking process and not the rules’ content, saying the MGCB could not consider legislative input and amend the rules without restarting the process.

“Now that the permanent rules are in place, we anticipate charities will continue to raise funds by hosting millionaire parties,” Kalm said.

The MGCB issued emergency rules that included some of the major provisions of the permanent rules on July 2, 2014. Since then, charities have obtained 2,170 millionaire party licenses which equates to more than 7,595 event days and more than $113.9 million in potential chip sales at events.  The MGCB also has seen reduced illegal activities, Kalm said.

"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."