The Michigan Gaming Control Board has assisted in another seizure of illegal gambling equipment in the state.
Last week, an alleged illegal gambling machine was seized from a Sunoco gas station in Belleville.
A joint investigation by the MGCB, the Michigan Department of Attorney General and state investigators led to the seizure with assistance from the Belleville police department.
It’s just the latest in a string of efforts by the MGCB to crackdown on illegal gambling in the state.
Coin-pusher machine seized at Belleville Sunoco
The machine in question that was taken was a coin-pusher machine. The management at the Sunoco failed to comply with a cease-and-desist letter that had been served on March 8. The machine was seized on June 22.
“Illegal gambling can lead to other, more serious, unwanted crimes that compromise the safety of our communities,” MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams said in a 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.”
The Michigan Penal Code prohibits any kind of gambling except what is authorized by law. Consequences for Michigan businesses operating illegal gaming machines potentially include criminal charges and/or monetary fines.
“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,” said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. “Illegal gambling diverts taxes and revenue from our communities which is otherwise used to support our state and schools.”
Over 370 machines confiscated in Michigan last year
The MGCB has made it a point to put a stop illegal gambling in the state.
Last year, along with the help of law enforcement and the Michigan Liquor Commission, MGCB investigations led to the confiscation of 373 illegal gaming machines in the state.
A total of 17 individuals received criminal convictions through those investigations.
Most recently, Connie Durham of Romulus was sentenced to one year of probation and 50 hours of community service in April for her role in an illegal gambling ring in Ypsilanti.
She was one of five that faced charges in the ring, which saw 37 gaming machines and computers taken.
In February, a raid took place at a Delta Township gambling operation where 36 machines were seized, as well as more than $23,000 in cash.
Latest seizure came from anonymous tip by Michigan resident
The initial investigation into the illegal machine was started through anonymous tips received from citizens.
Residents in the state are encouraged to report illegal or suspicious gambling activity in their area. They can do so anonymously by calling the 24-hour tipline at 1-888-314-2682.
Written tips can be done anonymously on the MGCB website sing an online form located under the “Report Illegal or Suspicious Gambling Activity” link of the Resources section on the homepage.
You can also send an email to [email protected], but that will not be an anonymous approach due to using a registered email address.
If you are uncertain as to whether a gambling machine is legal or not, you can reference the MGCB’s fact sheet on unregulated machines.