Will charity poker survive in Michigan?

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In early August, the Michigan Charitable Gaming Association and several charities won a temporary injunction against rules imposed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board that attempted to change the rules, including:

• There can be two charities per poker room (yet only one license has been issued per room so far).
• Rooms only can operate four days per week.
• Charity expenses won’t exceed 45 percent of total proceeds. (Previously 50 percent)

When the injunction was won, the MGCB received help from the governor with an emergency executive order, forcing these rules to go into effect. Shortly after, a permanent injunction was granted by the courts, negating all of the new rules. However, the governor’s order still stands. At the time of this writing, a separate lawsuit was filed against the executive order.

On Sept. 16, the MCGA held a peaceful protest at the Capitol in hopes of getting HB-878 out of committee and voted on by the House. The Senate passed its version of the bill 37-0. This bill is a virtual rewrite of the Traxler-McCauley Act of 1972 and would force the MGCB to allow the rooms to open seven days a week and allow six charities at a time. Until then, we won’t see many $30-$100 tournaments that many in Michigan have grown to love.

FIREKEEPERS: The Mid-States Poker Tour visits the Battle Creek poker room this month (Oct. 11-19), including the $1,100 Michigan State Championship with a $200K guarantee. Satellites are running constantly.

— Email Scott at anteupscottm@gmail.com.