Beginning at the end of March, Michigan’s Millionaire Parties will be funded through the Internet Gaming Fund.
In a bill signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Dec. 22, the funding changed from charitable gaming license fees and ticket sales to the IG Fund. The changes will take effect on March 29.
It should allow for a more sustainable, reliable funding source. It will also allow for charities to continue to raise funds without event reductions or paying higher license fees to the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
How the new bills impact Millionaire Parties
The signed bills were SB 1111, which amended the Lawful Internet Gaming Act (LIGA), and SB 1112, which amended the Bingo Act.
“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.”
Revenue remaining after the annual MGCB appropriation – the required $500,000 transfer to the compulsive gaming prevention fund and the required $2 million transfer to the first responder presumed coverage fund – will go to the state School Aid Fund at the end of the fiscal year.
How was Michigan Millionaire Party funded previously?
Previously, the MGCB received Millionaire Party funding from charitable gaming license fees and ticket sales held in the State Lottery fund.
The Legislature annually approves the agency’s Millionaire Party appropriation. Moving millionaire party funding to the LIGA will mean more resources in the fund for other forms of charitable gaming licensed and regulated by the Michigan Lottery. That includes:
- Charity-ticket games
“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.”
In 2022, the MGCB improved service to charities by launching the online portal. This allows charities to submit event applications online, pay licensing fees, track event application progress and view their organization’s profile information.
The new tool makes applying for a Millionaire Party event more efficient and accessible to charities throughout Michigan. Past budget appropriations made the online portal project possible.
Organizations interested in hosting millionaire party events can find information on the MGCB website.
What is a Millionaire Party?
According to the MGCB, a Millionaire Party is “a charitable gaming event where wagers are placed on games of chance customarily associated with a gambling casino and participants use imitation money or chips.”
A Millionaire Party is a form of Michigan charitable gaming that is subject to oversight by the MGCB.
Charities that qualify can be issued up to four Millionaire Party licenses in a calendar year. Each charity is able to authorize each license for up to four consecutive days. The license fee is $50 per day of an event.
Organizations can make up to 50% of the profits from the games. The more chips sold during the event, the more profit the organization makes.
The most common game conducted through the state is Texas Hold ‘Em poker.
What organizations qualify for a Millionaire Party?
The MGCB states that an organization may be eligible for a Millionaire Party if it is one of the following organizations without profit to its members, including these examples:
- Religious: churches
- Educational: schools, including public, private and charter
- Service: Kiwanis Club, Lions Club
- Service (local civic): sports clubs, school groups, animal rescues, auxiliary groups
- Senior citizens: organizations with at least 15 members over the age of 60 that exist for the mutual support and advancement of the causes of elderly or retired persons
- Fraternal: Eagles, Shriners, K of C, Knights of Templar
- Veterans: VFW, AMVETS
The organization also must have existed continuously for a period of five years. An organization can also qualify if it is exempt from taxation under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue code.
Organizations that want to qualify must complete a qualification form and provide required documents to the MGCB. A mandatory on-site meeting also will take place.