As states continue to increase their pressure on gaming-adjacent companies, the list of operators is growing. Michigan Attorney general Dana Nessel announced on Tuesday that she had pushed Golden Hearts Gaming out of Michigan.
Nessel’s Office began investigating the Massachusetts-based firm two years ago, in conjunction with the Michigan Gaming Control Board. The office sent Golden Hearts an official cease and desist in 2022. It is alleged that the company ignored the letter.
Golden Hearts Gaming website states that the site is open to all US States for those who are over 18 years old. However, state minimum age requirements do vary.
Golden Heart is a product that combines elements of sweepstakes casino gaming and charitable gaming. Users can donate money to a variety of charitable organizations that fall under the 501(c), and they will receive sweepstakes coin to use to play casino games online. If users win, then they can cash in a secondary currency (also known as sweepstakes coin) and cash out real US dollars.
Other sweepstakes casino such as Luckyland Casino or Chumba Casino, are legal in Michigan.
Nessel stated that unlicensed gaming leaves our schools, our government and consumers without protection. When companies such as Golden Hearts try to circumvent Michigan gaming laws, they give the false impression that consumers are safe and their games are legal. Nessel said that his office was committed to strict enforcement of Michigan’s gaming laws and holding those who break them accountable.
Golden Hearts has been informed by the AG’s Office that it believes the company is illegally operating as an unlicensed gambling establishment in the state. Michigan is among a few states that have legalized and regulated online casinos for real money.
Golden Hearts Gaming agreed to leave the state after Nessel’s team threatened to sue it under the Michigan Consumer Protection Act. The company filed an Assurance of Discontinuance with the state in September.
As Fliff and Golden Hearts Gaming demonstrated, the legal perception of these organizations varies from one state to another.