State takes action against internet cafe - WNEM TV 5


State takes action against internet cafe at the center of TV5 investigation

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Attorney General Bill Schuette has responded to TV5's investigation into the Dixie Highway Internet Cafe. His office sent an order to cease and desist illegal gambling after the story aired.

The Attorney General's office confirmed the cafe constitutes an illegal gambling house. The letter states:

"This conclusion arises from the business's ongoing practice of receiving money from customers in exchange for internet access and chances to win prizes by playing computer-based casino-style games."

According to Michigan Law anyone who operates an unlicensed gambling operation is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to 10 years or a fine of up to $100,000 or both.

A TV5 investigation uncovered the Dixie Highway Internet Cafe has games you might expect to see in a casino, not a strip mall. Reporter Liz Gelardi received a tip that people were actually gambling at this business so we went in undercover.

The following story is the result of our month-long investigation. The Dixie Highway Internet Cafe is located in Bridgeport.

TV5 sent in a team member inside the cafe on three separate days. He was wearing a hidden camera. While undercover an employee at the cafe described something he called sweepstakes. He said internet access was also available for $6.

An employee with the cafe explained there were 18 games available to choose from. He said bet levels ranged from 20 cents through $2.

During the first visit our undercover guy put down $30 to play some games and 45 minutes later he more than doubled his money. He walked out with $70 in cash.

TV5 lost $60 during our last two visits.

Attorney J. Kim Welch represents ITC Internet Cafe and spoke on the owner's behalf. Welch insisted the Dixie Highway Internet Cafe is a good clean business and there is no illegal activity. Welch said people go to the business to use computers and access the internet.

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