Illegal gambling operations

This photo was taken from the Burton Redemption Center during an investigation of illegal gambling operations.

An Ohio woman is facing multiple charges for allegedly conducting illegal gambling operations in Flint Township and Kentwood.

Evelyn Deitz-Smith, 52, of Sidney, Ohio, is accused of conducting the operations between July and November 2018.

Deitz-Smith was arraigned on Jan. 15 in Lansing 54A District Court on two felony counts of running a gambling operation without a license, two felony counts of using computers to commit a crime, and two misdemeanor counts of keeping a gambling house.

The alleged activities happened at Evelyn’s Arcade, 1493 Linden Road, Flint Township, and Big Winners Skill Café, 5246 Eastern Ave. SE, Kentwood.

Both of the locations were closed in late November 2018, according to the Michigan Attorney General’s Office.

“Illegal gambling operations can lead to other serious crimes,” said Richard Kalm, executive director for the Michigan Gaming Control Board. “In general, people are cheated, and the money earned by these facilities funds organized crime. We urge Michigan citizens to report suspected illegal gambling to local authorities or to our agency.”

Authorities began investigating the two locations in July 2018 after they received allegations of illegal gambling there, the AG’s Office said, adding the sites claimed to offer patrons “skill-based” games under Michigan’s redemption statute.

Investigators determined the games did not comply with the statute.

“Law enforcement is often a team effort, and I’m proud of the collaborative work done by our partners at the Michigan Gaming Control Board and local police departments in Flint Township and Kentwood,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said. “When bad actors violate the law, it is our duty to hold them accountable – it’s as simple as that.”

Deitz-Smith was released on bond and is due back in court on Feb. 27 for a preliminary exam.

You can report illegal or suspicious gambling activity by calling the MGCB’s anonymous tip line at 888-314-2682.

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