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Michigan Gaming Control Board continues to combat illegal gambling machines

3 April 2024

(PRESS RELEASE) -- In a concerted effort to uphold the integrity of Michigan’s gaming industry and protect consumers from unregulated and illegal activities, the Michigan Gaming Control Board continued to identify and remove casino-style gaming machines last year from businesses and dismantle illicit gambling operations.

Michigan law broadly prohibits any kind of gambling unless specifically authorized under state law, such as gambling machines operated within licensed casinos. Gaming machines have become a pressing concern with the potential to undermine the significant investments made by legitimate gaming establishments. Moreover, these unlawful operations often lack the necessary consumer safeguards that licensed and regulated establishments provide, leaving vulnerable individuals susceptible to unfair practices.

“Thanks 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,” MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams said. “With a commitment to maintaining fairness, transparency, and public trust, these proactive efforts were undertaken — thanks to many tips from concerned Michigan citizens — to ensure safe, regulated gambling environments. I encourage the public to please keep the tips coming, as we take each one very seriously.”

The MGCB hopes that by raising awareness about how they are acting on information and removing such machines, citizens and business owners will take note of the consequences of illegal gambling in Michigan. In 2023, 64 Michigan businesses received letters to cease illegal gambling, which led to 167 illegal gambling machines being removed and/or taken out of operation.

Substantial progress was also made in confiscating and liquidating assets connected to illegal gambling operations. These seizures not only cripple the financial networks sustaining illegal activities, but also serve as a deterrent for those considering engaging in such unlawful practices. As a result of MGCB investigations, and in partnership with the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, 79 machines used for illegal gambling were seized last year. Nine individuals received criminal gambling convictions and 24 individuals were arraigned on illegal gambling charges.

The MGCB’s success last year in combating slot-style gambling machines, and holding the individuals involved responsible, serves as a stark reminder that illegal gambling activities will not be tolerated in Michigan.

 
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