Michigan Authorities Seize Alleged Illegal Gambling Machine in Belleville

Jessica Aletor
By:
Jessica Aletor
05/07/2023/
News
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Highlights

  • Collaborative efforts by the MGCB and state authorities have led to the seizure of an alleged illegal gambling machine in Belleville.
  • The Department of Attorney General seized the machine on June 22 after the owners failed to honor a cease-and-desist letter.
  • Since the past year, up to 373 illegal gambling machines have been confiscated and about 17 people were convicted.

On June 22, the Michigan Gaming Control Board, the Michigan Department of Attorney General, state investigators and the Belleville police department combined to crack down on an alleged gaming machine in the state. The seizure is the latest action in a long line of confiscations and arrests that have been recorded over the past 12 months.

According to officials, the tip leading up to the seizure came from an anonymous Michigander and authorities have since stressed the importance of collaboration to the crackdown on illegal gambling in the state. More details about the seizure and how you can report illegal gambling are detailed below.

Seizure of Coin-Pusher Machine Happened After Non-Compliance to Cease-and-Desist Letter

The alleged illegal gambling equipment was confirmed to be a coin-pusher machine located in a Sunoco gas station in Belleville. On March 8, 2023, the Michigan Gaming Control Board and the Department of Attorney General issued a cease-and-desist letter to the gas company. However, this was ignored, forcing authorities to seize the equipment on June 22.

“Illegal gambling can lead to other, more serious, unwanted crimes that compromise the safety of our communities,” Henry Williams, the Executive Director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board noted in a press release. “This investigation is a firm reminder that business owners should abide by the law and not offer illegal gaming in their establishments and, if they do, we are prepared to take action against them.”

According to the Michigan Penal Code, all types of gambling that are not expressly authorized by law will be deemed prohibited. Businesses and gaming platforms violating this rule and operating illegal gaming equipment may be liable to criminal conviction and/or fines.

MGCB Actively Collaborating with Government Officials to Clamp down on Illegal Gaming in the State

Officials of the Michigan Gaming Control Board actively worked with other important agencies to bring operators of this illegal gaming machine to book. Last year, the MGCB took decisive steps that reinforced its readiness to stamp out the menace of illegal gambling from the state.  

Back in February, the Board and local police conducted a raid into a gambling operation at Delta Township, leading to the seizure of 36 machines and over $23,000 in cash. Similarly, in April, an elderly woman, Connie Durham from Romulus was also convicted for her role in an illegal gambling operation. She was sentenced alongside four others during a clampdown on Ypsilanti County that led to the seizure of 37 computers and gaming machines. 

The Romulus granny was sentenced to 50 hours’ worth of community service and a year’s probation. In 2022, about 17 people were also convicted while over 370 illegal gambling machines were confiscated during investigations led by the MGCB and the Michigan Liquor Commission. 

“I am grateful for the collaboration between my department and the Michigan Gaming Control Board in furtherance of our efforts to shutter illegal gambling operations,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a published statement. “Illegal gambling diverts taxes and revenue from our communities which is otherwise used to support our state and schools.” 

With continued crackdown efforts such as this, Michigan online gambling is sure to reduce revenue leakages and grow at an unprecedented rate

Anonymous Michigan Resident Gave Tip Leading to the Seizure

The seizure would have been impossible without Michigan citizens. Authorities revealed that anonymous Michiganders sent several tips alerting the police and the MGCB about the illegal gaming machine. This sparked the initial investigation into the alleged criminal equipment.

Michigan residents are enjoined to report any suspicious or apparently illegal gambling activity in their area. The Michigan Gaming Control Board operates a 24-hour tipline where individuals can report such activities anonymously. To do so, simply call 1-888-314-2682.

Otherwise, you can provide an anonymous written tip detailing the incident via the MGCB website’s online form. This is located under the “Report Illegal or Suspicious Gambling Activity” section of the Resources tab visible when you visit the official MGCB website.

You may also send an email to [email protected] to alert authorities of any suspicious gaming activity. This method requires your registered email address, so it is not an anonymous reporting channel. For doubts about what gambling machines are legal or what types of gaming activities constitute an offense, you can check the Fact Sheet on Unregulated Machines, also available at the official website of the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

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