The Michigan Charitable Gaming Association (MiCGA) had an emergency General Membership meeting at the Kellogg Center on Michigan State University campus yesterday. This meeting was to discuss the documents that were released on the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) website outlining changes to the rules that govern Millionaire Parties. You can read my thoughts on the rules here.
Many of the charities attending the meeting plan to fight back by filing for a temporary injunction against some of the changes in an attempt to prevent them from going into effect on September 1st. They believe that Richard Kalm, Executive Director of the MGCB, has not properly followed the Michigan Administrative Procedures Act and has circumvented the legislative process. A final permanent injunction will need to be heard in the courts within 6 months.
During the meeting, the MiCGA pointed out that the number of licenses being issued has decreased by 70% since the MGCB took over compared to last year at this time. This decrease has significantly reduced the amount of money that charities are raising. Governor Snyder transferred control to the MGCB in September of last year because he believed they were more capable of regulating the rooms better than the lottery commission.
According to the documents released by Richard Kalm, they have completed 900 audits of charities since they took over and there were 300 violations found prompting these changes. Speaking from experience, (yes, my charities has received one of these audits because I missed filling out a box on my financial statement) a violation could be a simple as missing a signature on a Rake Log sheet or failing to put a description in a memo section on a check.
I believe a lot of these issues would be better handled is the MGCB had training for the charities like the Charity Gaming Division of the Lottery Commission use to do. However, I was told that no one was requesting training. I know that when the Michigan Charitable Gaming Association approached the Michigan Gaming Control Board last Fall to assist with conducting their own trainings for their members, they Michigan Gaming Control Board stated they were flat-out not interested. I know our charity has asked about these in the past and we were instructed to watch the website as they will post training dates. Now I don’t check every day, but I have not seen any posted in the 2 years I have been looking.
The MiCGA is hoping to get a sponsor on new bills that will make changes to the Bingo Act of 1972 that will help charities continue to raise money for their causes. Nothing is set in stone yet, but I will happily report on it when it is.