MiCGA Current Advocacy Activities
2021 - 2022 Legislative Session
HB 5393 to create Online Raffles in the State of Michigan, was introduced by Representative Bradley Slagh (R-90th District, Zeeland) in October 2021, and testimony on this bill was heard on November 9, 2021, by the House Regulatory Reform Committee. MiCGA worked with other interested stakeholders on this reintroduced bill.
MiCGA is supportive of this bill.
Senate Bill 564 to allow for temporary modifications to Millionaire Parties
***SB 564 passed the Senate 23-15 on January 20, 2022, and was referred to House Regulatory Reform on that same date. ***
Senate Bill 564 was introduced by Senator Michael MacDonald (R-10th District, Sterling Heights, Macomb Twp, Clinton Twp) in June 2021, and has been referred to the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee.
This bill would allow for the following changes to the Traxler-McCauley Bingo Act, and would sunset on December 31, 2023:
i) waive the license fees for millionaire parties
ii) allow qualified organizations to receive up to 6 licenses, instead of 4
iii) remove the limitation on number of days a location can be open (currently limited to 4 days)
iv) raise the chip limit to $30,000 (currently $20,000)
MiCGA is supportive of this bill.
Senate Bill 126 to suspend fees for large Bingo licenses in 2021
Senate Bill 126 was introduced by Senator Kevin Daley (R-31st District, Bay City/Lapeer) in February 2021, and has already passed the Senate unanimously, and was referred to House Regulatory Reform Committee on March 24, 2021. Under the bill, for the 2021 license year, the Lottery Commissioner could not charge a license fee for a large bingo license fee if the applicant held a large bingo license for the 2020 licensing year.
As no action has been taken on this bill since March 24, 2021, MiCGA will be following up to see if this bill will be amended to include calendar year 2022.
MiCGA is supportive of this bill.
House Bill 4431 to amend definition of "occasion" for Bingo events in the Traxler-McAuley Bingo Act
House Bill 4431 (a reintroduction of HB 5902 from last legislative session) was introduced by Representative Kevin Hertel (D-18th District, St. Clair Shores) in March 2021, and was signed into law by the Governor on November 2, 2021.
House Bill 4908 to allocate net proceeds from vet org's charity game tickets to the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency
House Bill 4908 was introduced by Representative Beau LaFave (R-108th District, UP) in May 2021, and has been referred to the Committee on Military, Veterans and Homeland Security. This bill would provide for net proceeds from a vet organization's charity game ticket sales that normally would go to the Michigan Lottery to instead be directed to the MI Veterans Affairs Agency.
MiCGA takes no position on this bill.
Past MiCGA Advocacy Activities
2019 - 2020 Legislative Session
Representative John Chirkun and Representative Angela Witwer introduced HB 4173 & 4172, respectively. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed HB 4081 into law on December 20, 2019 - this bill made changes to the Traxler-McCauley Bingo Act.
Senator Tom Barrett introduced SB 236 & 237 and Representative Ben Frederick introduced HB 4538 & 4539. These bills likely will not be taken up by Senate Regulatory Reform Committee, as the changes made by HB 4173 were signed into law.
Representative John Reilly introduced HB 4730 - the only purpose of this bill is to raise the chip limit from $15,000 to $30,000.
2017-2018 Legislative Session - SB 35 / HB 4081
February 1, 2017: SB 35 passed Senate Regulatory Reform 8-0 (1 absence)
February 9, 2017: SB 35 passed the Michigan Senate 34-3 (1 absence)
March 29, 2017: HB 4081/SB 35 passed House Regulatory Reform, with amendments, 13-2 (+ 1 pass)
May 1, 2017: HB 4081/SB 35 passed the House 100-9, but had to return to Senate due to amendments by the House
May 10, 2017: HB 4081/SB 35 passed Senate Regulatory Reform 9-0
December 20, 2018: SB 35 passed 37-1 and HB 4081 passed 36-2 in the Michigan Senate
December 28, 2018: Governor Rick Snyder vetoes both bills. Read Gov. Snyder's veto letter here.
2015-2016 Legislative Session - SB 187 / HB 4293
March 23, 2016 - In a 15-0 unanimous vote, SB 187/HB 4293 passed through the House Regulatory Reform Committee. In addition to passing through the committee unanimously, 4 amendments were offered and passed. Click here to read the amendments.
February 10, 2016 & February 17, 2016 - House Regulatory Reform Committee heard testimony on SB 187/ HB 4293. Senator Rick Jones and Representative Tom Barrett testified on both days in support of their bills. Representative Jeff Farrington and MiCGA members testified in support of charities and charitable gaming throughout the state of Michigan. The committee held no vote.
Minutes from the Committee hearings, as well as written testimony submitted can be accessed here.
January 2016 - Senate Bill 187 was referred to Regulatory Reform Committee, the companion bill HB 4293 had already been referred to the House Regulatory Reform Committee.
December 9, 2015 - SB 187 passed the Senate in a 34 -4 vote. The 4 "no" votes came from Senators Coleman Young II, Morris Hood, Bert Johnson, and Virgil Smith. MiCGA was successful in working with Senator Jones on some amendments to the bill, including the most significant change important to our members - decreasing the required number of workers from 3 to 2 (Art.2, Sec. 40)
Senator Stamas introduced additional amendments - these amendments were all supported by MiCGA:
Art. 2, Sec. 32 (1)(A) - allows spouse to be considered bona fide member for the purpose of working an event
Art. 2, Sec. 33 (2) - eliminates requirements to list all bona fide members in a license application
Art. 2, Sec. 43 (3) - requires reporting on financial statements of those bona fide members that worked at the event
March 2015 - MiCGA partnered with the offices of Senator Rick Jones and Representative Tom Barrett to propose legislation to aid the sustainability of charitable gaming in the state of Michigan. Two companion bills were introduced, one in the House and the other in the Senate. Below you will find a summary of the progression of the Bills.
Other Past Advocacy Accomplishments
Court Case: March 30, 2016 - MI Supreme Court denied the application for leave to appeal the 5/28/2015 Judgment of the Court of Appeals. Click here to view the Order.
On May 28, 2015, the Court of Appeals issued a 2-1 decision, reversing the Court of Claims order granting a permanent injunction on the administrative rules promulgated by the State. However, the Court of Appeals did remand the matter in part back to the Court of Claims, on the remaining issue of whether the MGCB violated the administrative rules process by failing to properly issue an impact regulatory statement.
Therefore, the rules promulgated in May 2014 (to which MiCGA and other charity plaintiffs were successful in the Court of Claims at receiving injunctive relief from) took immediate effect.
The former rules that organizations had been operating under (with the exception of some of the compromised emergency rules from Fall 2014) can be viewed here.
On June 25, 2015, the Court of Appeals granted the State of Michigan and the Michigan Gaming Control Board's request for the rules to be given immediate effect. The rules effective June 25, 2015, can be viewed here.
On July 9, 2015, a motion for leave to appeal was also filed with the Michigan Supreme Court. As of August 20, 2015, the Supreme Court has received briefs from both the MGCB and the Plaintiffs' attorneys regarding the request for leave to appeal, and no decision has been made yet as to whether the Supreme Court will take up the matter.
Permanent Injunction: MiCGA and other charity plaintiffs obtained a Permanent Injunction on the new rules that went into effect on May 8, 2014. The State appealed this decision.
Settlement Agreement: MiCGA entered into a settlement agreement with the MGCB that allowed twice as many charities to participate in Millionaire Party events in local poker rooms as would have been allowed under the Emergency Rules that went in place July 2, 2014. It also kept a number of rooms open that would have had to close under the MGCB decree that charities were limited to $650 in expenses each day for a millionaire party event. The new limit under that agreement was $900 but not to exceed 45% of gross revenue.
Senate Bill 878, introduced in 2014, passed the Senate by unanimous consent.
Charities can do business more than 1 adjacent county away: Under the rules that were ultimately enjoined by the Court of Claims in July 2014, MiCGA was successful in putting enough legislative pressure on the MGCB to remove the provision that would have prevented charities from doing business with suppliers who were located more than one adjacent county away. This one legislative victory alone preserved the rights of hundreds of charities located north of Mt. Pleasant and Muskegon and Saginaw, not to mention southwest Michigan, to be able to hold Millionaire Party events in lucrative rooms located in southeast and western Michigan.
Charities can hold Millionaire Party events during the more lucrative hours of 11-2am: Because of MiCGA, charities were able to keep their events going during the time that poker players typically prefer to play: 11 p.m. thru 2 a.m. In August of 2013, the MGCB tried to limit those hours to no later than midnight. MiCGA filed a complaint in Ingham County Circuit Court and won on this issue.
House Bill 5121, introduced in 2010, would have increased the license fee by 400% and imposed restrictions on charitable gaming so as to make it unprofitable. MiCGA representatives successfully fought for changes in the legislation to keep charitable gaming sustainable.
New rules were issued in July 2010 that adversely impact room operators, and consequently charitable organizations. MiCGA negotiated the addition of new regulations, mitigating the adverse impact of the new rules.