Two Michigan bills recently signed into law have changed the funding source for Michigan’s charitable Millionaire Parties. Laws SB1111 and SB1112 were signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmire on December 22, 2022, and will take effect on March 29, 2023.
These laws aim to provide charities with a more sustainable, dependable funding source for Millionaire Parties. The funding for the Millionaire Parties will now be taken from the state’s Internet Gaming Fund.
It also allows charities to continuously raise funds without limiting events and preventing them from paying higher licensing fees to Michigan Gaming Control Board.
SB1111 amended the Lawful Internet Gaming Act (LIGA). It is now known as Public Act 269 of 2022. SB1112 amended the Bingo Act and is now known as Public Act 270 of 2022.
“The new law addresses funding concerns and allows the MGCB to continue its high level of service to charities, eliminating a potential need for fee increases or limits on issuing licenses,” said Henry Williams, MGCB executive director in a press release. “Internet gaming has been extremely popular. Operators paid $289.24 million in taxes and payments to the state of Michigan in 2022.”
What is a Millionaire Party?
According to MCLS 432.103a, Millionaire Party means “an event at which wagers are placed upon games of chance customarily associated with a gambling casino through the use of imitation money or chips that have a nominal value equal to or greater than the value of the currency for which they can be exchanged.”
Millionaire Parties are charitable gaming events that host casino-style games organized by select charities. Charities can hold four Millionaire Parties annually through licenses granted by the MGCB.
These forms of charitable gaming are subject to the supervision of the Michigan Gaming Control Board. Each charity can receive approval for four Millionaire Parties licenses per year. Each charity can authorize each license for up to four consecutive days.
The most frequent game we see played at Millionaire Parties is Texas Hold ‘Em poker. Charities can make up to 50% of the profits from these games, and the more chips sold, the more the organization can make.
Who is Eligible to Have a Millionaire Party?
Not just anyone can host Millionaire Parties. The organization must have been around for five consecutive years and must be exempt from taxation under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue code. Any charity that wants to be eligible must provide the required documents and fill out a qualification form to the MGCB.
Some examples of organizations that are eligible to qualify for Millionaire Parties are:
- Educational: schools, including public, private, and charter
- Religious: Churches
- Service: Kiwanis Club, Lions Club
- Service (local civic): sports clubs, school groups, animal rescues, auxiliary groups
- Fraternal: Eagles, Shriners, K of C, Knights of Templar
- Veterans: VFW, AMVETS
- Senior citizens: organizations with at least 15 members over the age of 60
How Will This Change Affect Millionaire Parties in the Future?
“As the statewide association for charities engaged in charitable gaming events, the Michigan Charitable Gaming Association (MiCGA) is pleased to see the commitment by the Legislature and the Governor,” said Katherine M. Hude, MiCGA executive director. “This funding will allow the MGCB to continue its good work in developing, implementing, and training on technology tools, such as the Online Portal for Millionaire Party applications. These tools help simplify and streamline the application process for our charities and make it easier to continue providing valuable programs and services to their communities through the funds raised through charitable gaming.”
Prior to these changes, Millionaire Parties were funded by charitable gaming license fees and ticket sales that were held in the States Lottery Fund. Switching the funding sources will mean more recourses in the fund for various forms of charitable gaming licenses.
Overall this will provide charities with a more reliable system and funding for their Millionaire Parties.
Additionally, as of 2022, the MGCB created an online portal that allows charities to do many things online, such as submitting applications, tracking applications, paying license fees, and viewing profiles. This new addition was made possible by past budget appropriations. This new addition is more helpful and efficient for charities applying for Millionaire Party licenses.
Mac Daniel is a writer for PlayOnlineCasino and PlayOnlineSportsBetting. He has experience writing about a wide variety of topics, including healthcare, tourism, non-profit organizations, and most recently casino and sportsbetting news. To check out more of his work, visit: playonlinemichigan.com