Michigan Authorities Cracking Down on Illegal Gambling Operations

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Black and yellow caution tape 1229987 Stock Photo at Vecteezy

Authorities in Michigan are still arresting those who run illegal gambling operations. On September 28th and 29th, a joint raid between the Michigan Department of Attorney General and the Michigan Gaming Control Board confiscated 56 illegal gaming machines in southeast Michigan.

Since the launch of legal sports betting in Michigan at the beginning of 2021, state authorities have been relentlessly following up on tips that lead them to illegal gambling and betting operations. The authorities seized over $12,700 in gambling profits in separate raids, according to MLive. If you are interested in legal gaming, regulated MI online gambling sites can be found here.

Illegal gaming operators need to be shut down by regulatory bodies to protect the safety of Michigan citizens. Furthermore, the same people running illegal gambling often also commit other crimes. These include racketeering, drug possession, and money laundering. “Illegal gambling can lead to more serious crimes that reduce safety in Michigan communities,” said Henry Williams, MGCB executive director. “Citizens who use these unregulated machines also have little recourse if they feel cheated,” he said. “They can’t file a formal dispute with an unregulated operator. Therefore, they can ask our agency to review the outcome as they can when participating in licensed, legal gaming.”

The flint raid

On Sept. 29, the MGCB ( Michigan Gaming Control Board), police officers, and Michigan Department of Attorney General members raided an area in Mundy Township near Flint.

The target was a store that offered casino-style games to customers who paid inflated prices for snacks and drinks. As authorities allege, $9,141 in profits from illegal gaming were confiscated at the location.

The Macomb County illegal gambling ring was shut down thanks to a few helpful local citizens.

The police have not yet announced who is responsible for the games or their charges. The addresses of the raids were as follows:

  • 8808 Pelham Road in Taylor, MI

  • The Hot Spot, located at 5542 Fenton Road in Mundy Township, MI

  • 19350 Ecorse Road in Allen Park, MI

  • 25845 Eight Mile Road in Redford Township, MI

So far this year, the police have confiscated 110 illegal gaming machines and $30,000 in cash from purported gambling earnings and made five arrests.

Illegal operators in Michigan

MGCB reports that authorities have made a total of four raids. Law enforcement officials carried out the raids in Redford Township at Taylor and Allen Park gas stations, as well as a Flint area storefront.

Every legal sportsbook and casino in Michigan must have a license from the MGCB. In September, those deemed guilty of running illicit Michigan sportsbooks in Macomb County were given sentences.

Illegal gaming operators must not adhere to the same safety and transparency standards as reputable ones. If you choose to bet with an illegal betting operator in Michigan, you are breaking the law, and your money is unprotected from fraud or dispute.

Unlicensed gaming establishments will frequently use old and unregulated machines, such as early slot-style machines. Last month, Michigan authorities confiscated a “coin pusher” device. These machines require players to deposit a quarter to make other coins fall off the edge of the game platform. The player can then collect any coins which fall. Michigan law prohibits these types of gaming machines.

How can you report suspicious gambling activities?

If you live in Michigan and think you might have a gambling problem, the Responsible Gaming website offers 24-hour assistance through a toll-free helpline at 1-800-270-7117. If you witness any suspicious gambling behavior, you can report it by calling 1-888-314-2682.  The state website offers a fact sheet full of detailed information on legal gambling in Michigan.

Illegal Gambling Education Effort

In 2022, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) and the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) will be working together to crack down on illegal gambling operations in Michigan. The Michigan Department of Attorney General and the State Gaming Control Board will be teaming up to spread awareness about illegal gaming. The agencies will be partnering closely with businesses such as bars and others that possess liquor licenses. The team’s main goal is to help businesses run smoothly and avoid costly penalties by pinpointing machines that are prohibited in the state. MLCC will be providing those with liquor licenses the opportunity to get rid of illegal machines or face the consequences. The possible negative impacts of these situations could be significant, such as hefty fines, loss of liquor license(s), or even being charged with a misdemeanour or felony.

Conclusion

The Michigan Gaming Control Board is responsible for ensuring the legality and integrity of gaming in the state. It is important to remember that participating in illegal gambling can lead to negative consequences for yourself and the businesses involved. If you suspect any illegal gaming operations, do not hesitate to report them through the proper channels. Remember always to gamble responsibly.

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