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Michigan issues warnings to illegal gaming operators following crackdown on gambling machines

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Michigan authorities have convicted 9 individuals, and seized more than 160 gaming devices in an effort to crack down on illegal gambling across the entire state.

Michigan Gaming Control Board and the state authorities have issued orders to 64 businesses that they must stop illegal gambling by 2023. The result was that 167 illegal gaming machines were removed from operation or taken off the market.

Nine individuals were convicted of criminal gambling as a result MGCB’s investigations and in collaboration with Michigan Attorney-General’s Office. Additionally, 24 people were charged with illegal gambling.

Michigan’s Campaign for Gambling Integrity

MGCB stated that the measures were taken as part of an effort to protect the gaming industry of Michigan and maintain its integrity. Michigan’s law forbids all gambling except that which is specifically authorized by state law. Only licensed casinos are allowed to have gambling machines.

MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams stated that “thanks to MGCB’s vigilant surveillance, agency personnel last year were able target and disrupt several illegal gambling activities which undermined our legitimate, regulated, gaming industry”.

These proactive efforts have been undertaken with a commitment towards maintaining fairness and transparency, as well as public trust to create regulated, safe gambling environments.

MGCB said that the machines could undermine legitimate gambling establishments’ investments.

MGCB said in a press release that “These illegal operations lack many of the consumer protections provided by licensed and regulated businesses, making them vulnerable to unfair business practices.”

MGCB junkyard of gaming machines photo shoot

A Michigan junkyard destroys gaming machines

MGCB published photos in 2023 of machines that were being destroyed by a junkyard to illustrate its crackdown.

In 2022, as part of their joint efforts to stop illegal gaming the MGCB began working with the Liquor Control Commission to inform the public about the illegal use of gambling devices. Investigations from 2015 to July 2023 resulted in the seizure of 1,195 machines illegally used and $470 402 as a sum.

Last year, Michigan’s Attorney-General, Dana Nessel said that the machines destroyed by MGCB were the tools used to cheat their neighbors out of hard-earned cash and the state of the gaming revenue which supports our schools.

Illegal gambling operations can be a threat to local communities. They are often hotspots of violence and other criminal activity. The Michigan Gaming Control Board and we will work together to enforce the gambling laws in our state.

Detroit Casinos Closed in February

For February 2024, the three Detroit casinos generated $104.6m monthly in aggregate revenue. Table games and slot machines generated $104.8m, while retail sports betting brought in a negative $124.853.

Table games and slots revenue in February 2024 decreased by 0.2% compared with February 2023. The monthly revenue for February 2024 was higher by 11.6% than that of January.

Detroit casinos have reported a total of $13.2 million in retail sports bets. The total gross receipts for February were negative $120 142. The retail sports betting adjusted qualified gross receipts were $583 605 lower than the same period last year.

Michigan’s online gambling operators experienced a decline in revenue and receipts in February. In February, the combined gross of $218.5 million in sports betting and icasino was 4.8% lower than January. Online casino’s $188m was the largest amount ever in history. The gross revenue of $188m was higher than the previous January record, which stood at $181.9m.

MGCB has launched a multi-media marketing campaign in July to promote responsible gambling. The “Don’t Regret the Bet”, developed in partnership with King Media promoted safer gambling in Michigan with licensed operators. This campaign consisted of broadcast television and radio advertising, digital billboards and social media marketing.

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