‘Millionaire Party’ Charitable Events Benefit From Michigan Online Casino Success

Some revenue from Michigan online casinos will now go to help the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) oversee charitable gaming fundraisers. As a result, charities can continue to host these “Millionaire Party” events without seeing an increase in license fees or a decrease in the allowed number of parties.

New laws coming into effect on March 29 will shift the burden of funding the events from the State Lottery Fund (SLF) to the Internet Gaming Fund (IGF). A Jan 30 press release from the MGCB describes online gambling as “a more sustainable, reliable funding source.”

The Michigan Legislature approves how much the MGCB can spend on Millionaire Parties annually.

The new laws – Public Act 269 of 2022 and Public Act 270 of 2022 – have more to do with accounting than where the money ultimately comes from. The balances of the SLF and IGF are both deposited into the School Aid Fund at the end of each fiscal year.

To hold a Millionaire Party, organizations pay a license fee of $50 a day for a maximum of four days, or $200.

Organizations can also continue to use the Millionaire Party Portal to apply to host events.

The events benefiting religious, educational, service, senior citizens, fraternal, and veterans organizations resemble retail casino floors. MGCB says they use chips, and the most popular game is Texas Hold ‘Em.

Also, calling one of the events a Millionaire Party is a bit of a misnomer. The MGCB’s video describing the events talks about thousands rather than millions of dollars in proceeds.

Michigan Online Casino Revenue Is Helping

In 2022, Michigan online casino revenue reached nearly $1.6 billion.

In the Millionaire Party press release, MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams said:

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. Internet gaming has been extremely popular. Operators paid $289.24 million in taxes and payments to the state of Michigan in 2022.

The Michigan association for charities engaged in charitable gaming events, Michigan Charitable Gaming Association (MiCGA), also lauds the change.

MiCGA Executive Director Katherine M. Hude said:

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.

The new laws also mean “other forms of charitable gaming licensed and regulated by the Michigan Lottery like bingos, raffles, and charity ticket games” will have more resources, the MGCB said.

About the Author

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher is a writer for Michigan Sharp with a focus on online casino content. She had her first published byline at age 10, but didn't get paid for her writing until she got her first newspaper job. Heather's work in Suburban News Publications in Ohio and eventually took her to The New York Times, where she's still a contract freelance reporter for the National Desk. In March 2021, Fletcher began writing about online casino gambling as the lead writer for Online Poker Report, which lead her to MI Sharp.