State Lottery Releases Ruling Into Booster Club

By: Liam Martin Email
By: Liam Martin Email

LANSING -- Through a Freedom of Information Act request, News 10 has obtained a State of Michigan Lottery letter addressed to the Downtown Coaches Club, outlining its ruling into the investigation of the booster organization.

As we reported first last week, that ruling includes a one-year suspension, an additional year of probation after that and a sanction of some members.

What's new? The sanction is a lifetime ban on eight members of the club from involvement in any charitable-gaming licensed event.

"If you were on a committee during the time of their investigation, that's who they named," said Norm Gaffney, the lawyer for the club. "It's not that these people did anything purposely wrong."

He said the Lottery used too broad of a stroke, sanctioning everyone who was a member of the raffle committee. And he added that two of the eight sanctioned members weren't even on that committee at the time of the alleged violations.

"Some of these people might not have even been involved with the 50/50 raffle, and yet they were on that committee, so they were named," Gaffney said.

News 10 also spoke over the phone Monday with the new president of the DCC, Norm Darris, who said the club has asked the State Lottery for clarification on the lifetime sanction. A ban from all charitable-gaming events, after all, extends to just about every activity of the club.

And in a statement this weekend to News 10, Harris admitted that the club had held some raffles without a license, but said more serious allegations of improper use of raffle proceeds were due to accounting errors.

Errors, he said, the board has cleaned up, noting, "I definitely believe we have a complete understanding of the issues brought forward and are putting controls in place to insure that this does not happen in the future."

In the meantime, the club will have to wait at least a year before they can make sure those controls are working.


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