Michigan Gaming Control Board, Flint officials try to combat illegal gambling

Download the WNEM-TV5 streaming app so you can watch your favorite newscasts wherever you are.
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 2:14 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) - In an effort to combat illegal gambling, the American Gaming Association has designated Sept. 11 to Sept. 17 as “Legal, Regulated Gambling Protects Players” week.

According to the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), unlicensed casinos, unauthorized online gambling platforms, underground sports-betting operations, or any other form of wagering that is not regulated by the MGCB are all considered forms of illegal gaming.

From January 2015 through July 2023, 1,195 illegal machines and $470,401.98 have been seized, the MGBC said, adding since November 2022, 48 locations have received cease-and-desist letters involving 105 illegal machines.

On Aug, 29, the MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams met with Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley and Rep. Cynthia Neeley to talk about strategies to help prevent and crack down on illegal gaming operations in the city.

A week prior to their meeting, authorities seized 48 computers used to play slot-style games and two gaming machines allegedly used for illegal gambling, plus $13,260 in suspected gambling proceeds from The Flint Arcade, located at 3301 Corunna Road in Flint.

Related: Investigators seize computers, cash from alleged storefront casino

That same location was previously served a search warrant by the Attorney General’s Office on Aug. 18, 2022. The MGCB investigated suspected illegal gambling at The Cellular Vault, a business that was at that location at that time.

The Cellular Vault had 39 computers used to play slot-style games while the Cellular Bank had 11 standalone slot machines similar to those in a commercial casino and 13 computers used for slot-style games, the MGCB said. It was later shut down.

Related: 67 gambling devices, $10K seized from two alleged Flint storefront casinos

The MGCB said the officials also discussed the impact storefront casinos and illegal gambling has on residents, as well as how those establishments are a nuisance for the city, as they tarnish the reputations of regulated, legitimate gaming establishments.

“It is important to protect the Flint community from predatory illegal gaming operations, and I thank Director Williams for his continued partnership in this effort,” Neeley said. “These unwelcome operations threaten public safety by creating environments where other criminal activity can thrive.”

To report illegal or suspicious gambling activity, residents can anonymously call the 24-hour tipline at 1-888-314-2682. Although not anonymous, residents can also send an email to MIGamblingTip@michigan.gov.

Subscribe to the TV5 newsletter and receive the latest local news and weather straight to your email every day.