Michigan Authorities Clamp Down on Illegal Gambling Operations

Michiganโ€™s gaming watchdog, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), has reaffirmed its commitment to eradicating unregulated casino-style gambling machines from local businesses and dismantling illicit gambling rings.

Michiganโ€™s Crackdown on Unlicensed Gambling Protects Consumers

Under Michigan law, gambling is strictly regulated and confined to licensed casinos, making any unauthorized gambling activity illegal. The proliferation of unlicensed gambling machines not only threatens the investments made by legitimate gaming establishments but also exposes consumers to risks due to the absence of regulatory oversight and safeguards.

In a recent statement, Henry Williams, the executive director of the MGCB, highlighted the agencyโ€™s efforts in combating illegal gambling.ย 

โ€œThanks to the vigilant supervision of the Michigan Gaming Control Board, last year, agency personnel were able to target and disrupt several instances of illegal gambling activities that undermined the integrity of our legitimate, regulated gaming industry,โ€ Williams emphasized.

Throughout 2023, the MGCB took decisive action against illegal gambling operations, sending cease-and-desist letters to 64 businesses across the state, resulting in the removal of 167 illegal gambling machines.ย 

Furthermore, substantial progress was made in seizing and liquidating assets associated with these unlawful operations, dealing a blow to the financial networks that sustain such activities.

Collaborating closely with the Michigan Attorney Generalโ€™s Office, the MGCBโ€™s investigations led to the seizure of an additional 79 illegal gambling machines, with nine individuals convicted of criminal gambling and 24 others facing illegal gambling charges.

MGCB Acknowledges Public Support in Crackdown on Illegal Gambling

Williams commended the public for its role in aiding investigations and encouraged continued cooperation. He stated that the proactive efforts were undertaken with a commitment to maintaining fairness, transparency, and public trust, and he attributed these efforts to the many tips from concerned Michigan citizens. He urged individuals to report suspected illegal gambling activities promptly.

The MGCBโ€˜s crackdown on illegal gambling extends into 2024, with recent closures of illegal wagering locations in Flint. Two individuals, Linos Antonio Kas-Mikha and Robert Jamerson, have been arraigned on multiple felony charges for their alleged involvement in operating an unlicensed gambling facility in the area.

The illegal gambling den, known as The Cellular Bank, housed 11 standalone slot machines and 13 computers for patrons to play slot-style games. Additionally, patrons were provided with PIN cards, enabling remote gambling from offsite locations.

As legal proceedings continue, the MGCB remains steadfast in its mission to preserve the integrity of Michiganโ€™s regulated gaming industry and protect consumers from the harms of illegal gambling. Citizens are encouraged to report any suspected illegal gambling activities to the MGCB promptly.