Michigan Authorities Seek Crackdown on Charity Poker
The last decade has seen gambling authorities in Michigan clamp down on charity poker games in a big way. A number of ‘millionaire casinos’ in the state hold regular poker tournaments, which are run by non-profit organizations and then go on to share their cash proceeds with unlicensed poker rooms and local bars.Last year Governor Rick Snyder transferred the regulation of these casinos from the Lottery Bureau to the Michigan Gaming Control Board, the board then began a crackdown on the larger poker locations. This led to a 22% drop in licenses issued for millionaire parties and subsequently a drop in the funds raised for local charities.
However, the crackdown is enraging the local public, at a recent Capitol committee meeting Governor Snyder’s deputy lawyer was booed when he said, “Charitable poker began as a good cause, evolved into a highly lucrative business and has degenerated into a racket.”
Now the Executive Director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board, Richard Kalm, wants to introduce harsh new regulations. Regulations include insisting on the presence of a charity member to help run the poker games and restrictions on how much poker businesses can charge charities for their services.