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Joint Investigations by Attorney General’s Office and Gaming Control Board Halt More Than a Dozen Illegal Gambling Locations

February 18, 2020 | Legislative

DETROIT, Michigan — More than a dozen businesses were issued cease-and-desist orders to stop offering illegal gambling games during 2019 through a joint enforcement effort by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office and the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

Illegal gambling can lead to money laundering and other crimes that impact the safety and security of Michigan communities,” said Richard S. Kalm, MGCB executive director. “Legal gambling is taxed and regulated, and taxes go back into the community as funding for K-12 education. An illegal gambling operation doesn’t support the community but instead siphons funds away from it.

MGCB investigators visited 14 businesses that claimed to operate redemption games, which are legal in Michigan. Investigators determined the locations instead were offering casino-style video slot machines for patrons’ use. Outcomes on these types of machines are based on chance and not on skill.

When given the opportunity to cease operations, each location chose to close rather than face potential criminal charges, Kalm said. An unlicensed gambling business operator can face a 10-year felony charge.

Gambling regulations are in place for a reason, and when bad actors choose to ignore the law, they must be held accountable,” Nessel said. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to work with our partners at the Michigan Gaming Control Board in putting a stop to these illegal operations.

The locations ordered in 2019 to cease offering illegal gambling games are located in six counties including Kent County, Macomb County, Oakland County, Genesee County, Lapeer County, and Washtenaw County. Four of the businesses are found in Oakland County.

CONTACT: Mary Kay Bean 313-456-1344

SOURCE: The Michigan Gaming Control Board.

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