The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) is receiving an additional $7 million in funding thanks to a bipartisan deal that allowed legislative leaders to work together to unlock the extra money. The funds will be used towards responsible gaming (RG) initiatives and bolstering the Board’s IT infrastructure to cope with the demands of igaming.
According to the statement put out by the MGCB, the funding is awaiting final sign-off from Governor Gretchen Whitmer — with the money estimated to be released to the MGCB by October 1, 2022.
The $7 million is expected to be used to create and support a “comprehensive responsible gaming messaging campaign, direct citizens to services available for problem gambling,” and will see the MGCB extend outreach to community organizations. In addition, funding will help the core parts of the MGCB — notably, tech infrastructure to “assist with the surge of higher-than-expected internet gaming activity, internet sports betting, and fantasy contests.”
“I would like to thank Governor Whitmer and the legislature for their leadership and a budget deal that recognizes the crucial role the MGCB plays in ensuring fair and honest gaming in the State of Michigan. Our 2023 budget emphasizes investments to help strengthen our mission and integrity, support local charities, and educate Michigan citizens on ways to enjoy gaming responsibly,” MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams said via press release.
As of May 20222, the MGCB stated that $127.4 million was generated that month from igaming revenue. This equates to $4.1 million per day across all internet games.
Revenue from online poker is also sure to increase before the year is out as Michigan joins the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA), an interstate online poker compact that allows operators in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and now Michigan to share player pools. Adding Michigan to the MSIGA will see the combined player pools from the four states explode from about 13 million to 23.5 million people who will benefit from robust responsible gaming offerings from the state.
With the MGCB mandate being to “ensure the conduct of fair and honest gaming to protect the interests of the citizens of the State of Michigan,” the increased funds to help with RG efforts to keep players safe from gambling addiction will be welcomed by many.
The MGCB told pokerfuse last month — as part of an exclusive interview — that since 2021, over 10,000 Michigan citizens have self-excluded from various online and live gambling platforms. Self-exclusion is where a player can choose to be banned from online and live casinos to stop harmful gambling behavior.
“Gambling should be a leisure and entertainment activity,” Mary Kay Bean, Communications Specialist at the Michigan Gaming Control Board, told pokerfuse last month as part of the same interview.
“It’s important to know your limits and use the self-limit options if you need help. If the problem becomes more serious, exclude yourself and seek professional counseling. A range of options also helps those who want to set limits but are not ready to ban themselves. These options include self-imposed gambling limits such as deposits, wagers, and time-based options, which can be changed with 24 hours’ notice,” Bean added.