Michigan Charity Poker Rooms Could Disappear
State Considering Even Stricter Rules For Such Card Play
Charity card games in Michigan are on the verge of possibly disappearing, according to MLive.com.
State officials have been restricting what such rooms can do for awhile now, but some regulators are eyeing an even greater tightening on what is allowed to go on in such establishments.
Right now, there are about 40 such poker rooms in the state, and that number is falling.
Not long ago, there were 65 such places to play poker across the Great Lakes State, before the state put a moratorium on them.
The games raise money for schools, churches, clubs and other nonprofits.
According to MLive, Michigan charity gaming was an $8 million market in 2004, eventually reaching $197 million about seven years later. However, that figure has also been dwindling recently.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board is currently considering a rule change that would allow the facilities to only host 30 such events each year. That rule, which has been deemed a killer for the industry, would effectively end permanent charity poker rooms in the state.
Regulators have looked at other measures like limiting chips sales and mandating an earlier closing time than 2 a.m. in order to restrict the rooms, which also often offer food and beverage.
One lawmaker has proposed legislation that would allow the state to better control such rooms without having to shut them down. It’s unclear what chances the bill, which is still active, has of passing. Check out the bill here.
Michigan has three commercial casinos. Opponents of the restrictions on the charity card rooms have complained that casino interests are behind the state’s efforts.
In neighboring Ohio, what was believed to be the last remaining charity poker room in the Buckeye State closed its doors. Ohio has four commercial casinos.
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