Charity poker rooms have new rules in Michigan

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Since June, about 60 charity events participating in the state’s charity poker room fundraisers have been shut down for illegal practices. This has caused the Michigan Gaming Control Board, which oversees charity poker rooms in the state, to implement new rules.

One of the most visible new rules is players can’t tip dealers using the chips in play. The rooms used to have cups on the table that patrons could put chips in whenever they wanted to tip dealers. As in most poker rooms, it was customary for the winning player in every hand to tip the dealer.

Some patrons have now resorted to handing out dollar bills or using tokens to keep track of how much to tip dealers at the end of a session. Some dealers are reporting a significant downswing in their earnings because of the rules and there are reports some dealers have had to quit to find better paying jobs.

The rules do not affect any of the state’s casinos, where you can still tip the dealers with chips in play. One of those casinos, MGM Grand Detroit, also takes a dollar from every pot toward a bad-beat jackpot, which has not been hit since October 2012, so it has grown to around $340K at press time.

— Email Frank Panama at anteupmichigan@gmail.com.