MGCB looks to change rules for charity poker rooms

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Michigan Gaming Control Board executive director Richard Kalm is proposing new rules for charity poker rooms that would go into effect soon. Among the proposed rules changes, charities will only share 35 percent of the income from millionaire parties (including poker revenues) with the poker room suppliers, a decrease from 50 percent. Also, charity rooms will be allowed to open just four days a week instead of seven. Charities will be required to have at least three staffers working at the event at all times.

The Michigan Charitable Gaming Association has been trying to mobilize its constituents to ask representatives, senators and the governor to block the changes that likely would close some charity rooms, which had sales of around $530 million in poker chips between 2010-12. Charities share in 50 percent of the income from those rooms.

Players are concerned because charity rooms are some of the few outlets for tournaments in the state. Since the state closed some of the larger charity rooms for rules violations, most of the cash games are played in casinos, but tournaments remain mostly the domain of the charity rooms.

— Email Frank at anteupmichigan@gmail.com.