Aces Gaming Supply release the following about their recent suspension. You can find the MGCB Press Release here.
The Truth and Nothing but the Truth:
If you’ve been following this charity poker at all then you are aware of the States efforts to severely cripple our industry. Gaming Control has been notorious for stating misleading and distorted information designed to scare the public and legislators. Their statements about Aces Gaming Supply and our relationships with the locations and Doug Cruce are much the same. The State has taken parts of the truth and added words like “illegally” and “diverted”, thrown in a bunch of big dollar amounts to change the story line into something much more menacing and sensational. I assure you the story is much more innocent and simple.
TRUE: Aces did pay Northville, Trippers, and Doug Cruce all of the money they say. Aces is on suspension for 30 days, through August 10, 2014.
FALSE: Aces did not illegally divert funds, they did not collude with locations, and they did not charge in excess of “reasonable expenses” as defined by Gaming Control.
Gaming Control intentionally ran our good names through the mud in order to assist their efforts to bring down an industry that helps charities raise approximately $16 million dollars annually.
Background: Aces Gaming Supply entered into Operating Agreements with Northville and Trippers. These Operating Agreements defined our relationship. They were created by a well known attorney that is well versed in our industry and the rules and regulations we must adhere to. In 2010 our Attorney submitted these Agreements to Charitable Gaming, our regulator at the time, with a cover letter asking them to review the documents and let us know if there are any problems or concerns with the documents or our relationship with the locations. Charitable Gaming responded with a few questions of clarification and nothing more. Supplier licenses are only good for a year so each year we had to reapply. We applied for a renewal of our supplier license each year since that time and received it without delay or contingency. We had absolutely no reason to believe we were doing anything wrong.
In spite of the fact that Charitable Gaming allowed the Agreements, Gaming Control decided they would not. They redefined the agreements as rental contracts and said they were a violation The exact violation is that we were “involved directly or indirectly in the rental or leasing of a facility used for an event”. Basically and very simply t he Rules say you cannot have a lease. They found us in violation of that rule. The rest of the story is untrue and designed to make the public, charities and legislators lose faith in charity poker as a viable fundraising option.
Doug Cruce, former State Senator – Yep, we paid him alright! He has been an independent contractor for Aces for many years. He was the Operations Manager for our Lansing operations, and he has been our consultant on the political front. We legally paid him for these activities. Doug also worked with Aces and several charities to form the Michigan Charitable Gaming Association. Gaming Control has been trying to discredit the MiCGA for years.
Gaming Control published the article about Aces, and threw in Doug Cruce and the MiCGA because they want to discredit all of us. We have been very vocal opponents to the new rules and have worked hard to organize charities and room operators for the battle to save charitable gaming in Michigan. That’s it! The whole truth!
I believe the Bureau of State Lottery (BSL) was fully aware of these agreements and was fine with how they were run at the time. I have sent in many rental agreements to the BSL for about 6 different locations that were approved. They had the same information about paying the 50% of the rake to the suppliers.
While I never had an event at Aces Gaming Supply (AGS), I would think the charities sent in similar contracts that were reviewed and approved by the BSL.
So since Richard Kalm does not like that AGS has been in the forefront of the fight for charity poker, he has to go back to time that this was allowed by a BSL and suspend them for it. I would not be surprised if this was the first of many suspension of rooms in Michigan.