Senate approves Jones bill to protect charitable gaming

Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Wednesday approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Rick Jones to allow charity poker rooms to continue to operate in Michigan.

“Charitable gaming in Michigan is not about making huge profits for casinos; it’s about raising funds to support local charities and organizations such as Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions clubs; schools; and police, firefighters and veterans groups,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “I recently met with charities in Lansing who asked me for help, saying that they have lost about half of the money they used to get to support their causes and our communities.

“Michigan should learn from the Grinch story and open its heart to the Spirit of Christmas and allow people to support their local charities.”

Last summer, the Michigan Gaming Control Board and the governor filed emergency rules after the current rules were challenged in court because charities said they would drastically limit their fundraising ability. Senate Bill 187 is an attempt to codify those emergency rules into statute with some changes.

Rep. Tom Barrett, R-Potterville, is the sponsor of a similar bill in the House of Representatives.

SB 187 has been sent to the Michigan House for consideration. Barrett’s bill is House Bill 4293 and has been referred to the House Regulatory Reform Committee for consideration.

Jones’ measure is supported by numerous groups, including the Michigan Jaycees and the Michigan United Conservation Clubs.