MI Appeals court rules against for-profit lottery service

The state Court of Appeals says a for-profit lottery pool violates Michigan's anti-gambling laws.

The state attorney general's office went to court to shut down the PowerPick Players Club based in the Grand Rapids suburb of Comstock Park. The service charges its customers a fee for randomly pooling them with other players in hopes of sharing in a lottery jackpot.

The state Court of Appeals says that's an illegal game of chance because players are essentially betting that they will be assigned to a winning pool. The court says PowerPick also breaks Michigan's lottery law by re-selling tickets for more than their face value. PowerPick argued it's no different than office pools and other lottery clubs. But the court says those pools put all their money into buying tickets while PowerPick keeps almost half the money it collects for office expenses and profits.

PowerPick could appeal the decision to the Michigan Supreme Court.