MGCB to Receive $50.7 Million in Funding for 2024 Fiscal Year

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On Wednesday, June 28th, the Michigan Legislature approved the 2024 fiscal year budget. According to a Michigan Gaming Control Board official press release, the state allocated $50.7 million for the MGCB. The bipartisan budget agreement will now head to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for approval and signing into law. The state of Michigan’s fiscal year begins October 1st, which is when funding allocations are expected to take effect. 

“A well-funded gaming control agency is crucial for ensuring fair and honest gaming in the State of Michigan, preventing fraud and illegal activities, and addressing problem gambling,” said MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams. “I sincerely appreciate the support from Governor Whitmer and the Legislature of a budget that will help the MGCB continue its responsible gaming messaging campaign, support our state’s growing gaming economy, and allow us to grow our team and make investments into efficient systems that help strengthen our mission and integrity while supporting those we serve.”

Funding Allocations

This year, the MGCB will receive over $4.2 million in additional funding. Here is how the new funds will be spent, according to the MGCB:

  • $2.2 million will go towards supporting 16 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions to help support new gaming programs and initiatives.
  • $2 million will be used to create an accounts receivable system. The new system will be integrated with an existing internal agency database and the state’s financial system, SIGMA, according to the MGCB.
  • $63,000 will be used to begin compensating MGCB board members who have been serving on an unpaid volunteer basis.

Is It the Right Time for Additional Funding?

The additional funding comes during a time in our country when states are reporting an increase in gambling abuse in adults and children. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, high school students are gambling more than ever before. It was reported that 60% to 80% of high school students have gambled for money sometime in the past year. It was estimated that 4% to 6% of those students are at risk of developing a gambling addiction or problem. 

Some have blamed the increase in gambling problems on the rapid expansion of legalized online sports betting. The average age that people begin gambling is becoming lower and lower, leading to an increase in demand for formal education surrounding gambling abuse.

Online sports wagering is now legal in 33 US states, with three more on the way. Companies use age confirmation, identity, and geolocation checks to ensure users are following local laws and regulations. It is now believed that teenagers are downloading these apps on their phones with a relative’s information, hence bypassing state age restrictions. Although the legal gambling age in Michigan is 21 (in some states, 18), teenagers can work around this regulation. 

Problem Gambling Council Executive Director, Keith Whyte, believes adding gambling risk education could be “comparable to the dramatic reduction in drunk driving deaths from when drinking and driving education became widespread.”

In Virginia, Whyte spoke with a group of 40 high school juniors, inquiring whether they had participated in online sports wagering.

“Every single one of them said either they bet, or said their friends bet,” said Whyte. “Almost every single one of them had sports betting apps on their phones; some were legal; more were not.”

The state of Michigan and New Jersey both have bills pending in their legislatures to create classes for problem gambling. In the past couple of years, Maryland and West Virginia have also tried to accomplish this goal but failed to successfully legalize any such classes. 

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: