by Haley Hintze
Michigan State Sen. Rick Jones has introduced new legislation in Michigan that would formally regulate standalone charity poker rooms in the state. Michigan’s charity-poker offerings had proliferated in the past decade as unofficial gaming venues governed under the state’s 1972 bingo bill, but had evolved in many cases as independent operations with no bingo or other gaming evolved. The rooms’ growing popularity had its drawbacks, however, including sometimes lax security that led to a spate of violent crimes, including armed robberies, and sometimes lax oversight that allowed some locations to operate far beyond legislators’ previous attempt. State gaming rules modification issued last year addressed some of the existing issues, but Jones’s new bill, supported by a bipartisan collection of legislators, hopes to take additional regulatory steps for the charity-funding operations.