Dana Nessel, the Michigan Attorney General announced that Golden Heart Games had been shut down in the state after the Massachusetts sweepstake was declared illegal by regulators.
Golden Heart Games was cited by the Department of Attorney General for violating the law when it offered online gambling games, without having been licensed by the state regulator Michigan Gaming Control Board.
Golden Heart Games also gave Nessel, via her Alcohol and Gaming Enforcement Division in the office, an assurance that they would cease operations on 1 September. The operator’s Michigan operations were effectively closed on 1 September.
Nessel said that unlicensed gaming deprives our schools, our government and consumers of vital funding.
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. My office is dedicated to ensuring our gaming laws will be strictly enforced, and that those who violate these laws are held accountable.
Golden Heart Games
Golden Heart Games, a charity sweepstakes based in Massachusetts. The company offers free online casino games including video poker and slots.
The player donates to charity and earns in-game currency. They can then bet using the igaming options.
The money does not go to the charity that was requested by the user. The money is sent to a foundation called Golden Hearts Charitable Foundation. The Golden Hearts Charitable Foundation “then grants money to the charity of each donor.”
The charity sweepstakes, which includes a mail-in option, allows consumers to place bets on charitable causes without having to spend money.
An investigation into sweepstakes activities
Golden Heart was investigated by the MGCB in August 2021. The regulator stated that the operator’s gambling activities were illegal in Michigan.
Golden Heart Games received a cease and desist letter from the Department of the Attorney General in 2022. The department stated that it was operating illegally in the letter.
The sweepstake continued to run despite this. Golden Heart was notified by the department that it would be filing a lawsuit at state court.
Golden Heart responded by announcing that it would cease its gaming activities. It then signed the assurance of discontinuance. According to the assurance, the operator will not be offering their games in Michigan.