Authorities Raid Bridgeport Bar, Confiscate Computers and Gift Cards Worth $180,000

Jessica Aletor
By:
Jessica Aletor
25/10/2023/
Legal
michigan sports news

Highlights

  • On October 18, Michigan law enforcement officials conducted a joint raid on an illegal gambling outlet in Bridgeport Township.
  • The MGCB received a tip from an anonymous Bridgeport resident about illegal gambling operations at a venue called PlayStation Bar and Grill.
  • Authorities seized six slot-style machines, about a dozen computers, $6,306 in illegal gambling proceeds, and gift cards worth $182,430.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board has been one of the most vibrant gambling regulators in the United States this year. At the core of the Board’s achievements in 2023 has been its massive clampdown on illegal gambling outlets and the promotion of responsible gaming practices. On the latter, the Board recently received an award, its third in as many months, for the ‘Don’t Regret the Bet” campaign.

However, its work in combating unlicensed gambling operations is even more impressive. A joint-institution raid conducted on a Bridgeport Township facility is the regulator’s latest attempt at eradicating illegal gambling in Michigan.

Authorities Seize Hundreds of Gift Cards Used as Player Prizes.

On October 18, a joint team comprising the Bridgeport Township Police Department, Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, the Liquor Control Commission, and the Department of the Attorney General conducted a raid on the Bridgeport Township area of Michigan. The target location was an illegal gambling site called the PlayStation Bar and Grill, located at 6154 Dixie Highway, Bridgeport Township.

Law enforcement officials confiscated six illegal slot-style gaming machines, 11 computers, $6,306 in cash proceeds from illegal gambling, and $182,430 worth of gift cards. However, no arrests were made at the time of the raid. This is the third time in only three months that Michigan authorities have either closed down unlicensed operations or apprehended devices and cash from illegal gambling centers.

The hundreds of gift cards recovered at the location are suspected to have been used by the illicit gambling establishment as prizes for game winners. This typically happens because these fake casinos cannot process online payments to their customers. Undoubtedly, the risks posed by these sorts of operators are immense, especially to Michiganders. There are no safety nets against fraud or regulatory checks to settle potential financial disputes, unlike licensed Michigan gambling operators.

“Business owners who house illegal, unregulated gaming machines in their establishments are breaking the law, creating opportunities for increased crime in communities, and allowing unnecessary consumer risk to those who use the machines,” Henry Williams, MGCB Executive Director, said in a statement.

Anonymous Caller Noticed Illegal Nudgemaster Gaming at Bridgeport Bar

Tips from anonymous callers have triggered many illegal gambling raids in Michigan. This case was no different. The call came from a resident of the township who noticed that illegal Nudgemaster casino-style gambling devices were used in the outlet. From previous confiscations, the Michigan Gaming Control Board had notified the public that these machines were common with illegal gambling operations.

The tip caused the MGCB to investigate the situation further. After which, two search warrants were issued for October 18. One of the warrants was to the PlayStation Bar and Grill, while the other was issued to a Goodrich residence, which was connected to the owner of PlayStation and close to the location of Universal Video Inc. The latter company is a popular supplier of Nudgemaster machines.

According to an MGCB report, a search warrant for Universal Video Inc. was requested because a preliminary investigation revealed that the slot-type machines at the illegal gambling site were labeled with “Property of Universal Video” stickers. In addition, the owner of the PlayStation Bar and Grill previously owned a business known as Nudge Master Café, located in Grand Rapids. This business received a cease-and-desist letter in October 2019.

MGCB Executive Director Encourages Locals to Contact Authorities

The Department of the Attorney General is focused on collaborating with the MGCB to rid the state of illegal gambling outlets.

“Our department works hand in hand with the Michigan Gaming Control Board in our efforts to shut down illegal gaming operations as a matter of public safety and consumer protection,” said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. “Illegal gambling diverts revenue from our state and schools, and these operations can pose a danger to their neighborhoods as they typically attract other types of criminal activity.”

MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams has also encouraged Michiganders to contact the Board if they notice any semblance of illegal gambling.

“The public is encouraged to contact us if they see a casino-type gaming machine in a restaurant, gas station, or convenience store. We investigate every tip and work hard to protect Michigan citizens from such crime in their neighborhood,” Williams said in a statement.

Jessica is a news contributor to Gamble Online Michigan. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics but has over three years of experience working in the hospitality and gambling industry. Despite her core finance and investment banking background, she has been a casino feature writer for N1 Interactive Limited and multiple gambling affiliate sites. Her work has been featured on the bet365 blog, casino.zone and Max Force Racing. She spends her time between Michigan and California, staying up-to-date on the latest industry developments