State Rep. John Reilly, of Oakland Township, this week unveiled legislation making it easier for non-profits and charitable organizations to raise money through fundraising events involving casino-style gaming.
The events, referred to as “millionaire parties,” are crucial fundraising initiatives for Lions Clubs, Kiwanis, Knights of Columbus, veterans groups, schools and other entities across Michigan. Charities use the raised money from gaming to fund initiatives like food banks, community outreach and school programs.
Under current state law, organizations can obtain four millionaire party licenses per year with each license valid up to four days. The amount of days the fundraiser takes place determines the amount of gaming chips a charity can sell – with a maximum limit of $15,000 per day. Four-day licenses allow for the sale of $60,000 in gaming chips. These restrictions, however, have been in place for over forty years and don’t coincide with the fundraising needs of non-profit organizations today.
Reilly’s proposed legislation would double the amount of gaming chips charities may sell at Millionaire Parties to $30,000 per day, making the total possible revenue raised through gaming chips $120,000.
“The amount of money raised for charities through gaming has dropped dramatically the past several years because of the restrictive rules put forth by unelected state bureaucrats,” Reilly said. “This is an urgent situation for charities statewide. Think of the good work that will be done once Michigan adopts reasonable rules allowing charities to raise more money solely for the benefit of others. Allowing charities to raise more money on their own may also lessen the dependence on tax-supported social services.”
Over Memorial Day weekend, one of Rep. Reilly’s constituents reported they had to turn away over 500 people, forgoing approximately $50,000 in money that could have been raised for charity, simply because they had sold out of chips.
The legislation will formally be read into the record next Tuesday and is expected to be House Bill 4730.