Michigan moving forward with changes to state's charity poker rules

(WXYZ) - The Michigan Gaming Control Board is changing the rules again for charity poker rooms in the state.

MGCB Director Richard Kalm tells 7 Action News it is very difficult for them to regulate the games and charities in part because rules go back to the 1970 and bingo games. Now only 3 charities can be set up at one time in a poker room, they can only sell $15,000 in chips in a session and they are limited in the number of days they can be in the game. 

At The River charity poker room in Shelby Township, charities made almost $2 million dollars last year. They used to have 6 at a time. 

People with the charity sell the chips for the games, keep track of the money and make their profit on a "rake" or 10% of each poker pot up to $6. 

The new rules also mean poker dealers can not get tips in chips at the table. 

The MGCB says in 2011 almost $200 million dollars was raised in charity poker rooms. Then a moratorium was out into effect on new licenses. The number of rooms and charities has been reduced. 

State officials say many closed because of enforcement of rules. 

The state also wanted poker rooms to close at midnight, but after a court battle, the judge ruled closing will be at 2:00 am. 

Legislation has been introduced in Lansing that would allow more charities back in the game and provide better oversight for the state, but that is in the early stages.  

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