The continued crackdown of illegal gambling in Michigan continues.
On Wednesday, the Michigan Gaming Control Board announced investigators seized equipment and cash from an alleged Delta Township gambling operation.
This latest raid was helped through anonymous tips and is part of the MGCB’s efforts to help stop unregulated gambling across the country.
What was seized in Delta Township illegal gambling raid?
The latest raid took place on Feb. 16 at an alleged illegal gaming operation at Cozy Barcade. That is located at 3280 S. Waverly Road, Suite C-2 in Delta Township.
Following an investigation by the Michigan Department of Attorney General and MGCB, search warrants were served at the business. Assistance was provided from the Eaton County Sheriff’s Department and Lansing Police Department.
State investigators seized a total of 36 machines. Included in the seizure were:
- Computers being used as slot-style gaming machines
- Freestanding slot-style gaming machines
- Table-mounted gaming machines
- A coin pusher machine
- More than $23,000 in related cash
The initial investigation began once the MGCB received multiple anonymous tips about the location.
“We have received several complaints from residents in the area about this place,” said Captain Rob Block, Eaton County Office of the Sheriff, in a press release. “These establishments breed other types of crimes such as robberies, assaults and drug activity.”
Michigan authorities confiscated 373 illegal gambling machines in 2022
This latest raid if part of a continued emphasis by the MGCB to stop illegal gaming in Michigan.
In 2022, along with the help of the Michigan Liquor Commission and state law enforcement, MGCB investigations led to confiscation of 373 illegal gaming machines in the state. It also led to 17 individuals receiving criminal convictions.
The MGCB has a fact sheet for consumers to help identify unregulated gaming machines in the state. The public can also report any alleged illegal gambling activity by contacting the MGCB at 1-888-314-2682 or emailing [email protected]
“Illegal gaming locations prey on vulnerable people and don’t offer the patron protections required for legal, regulated gaming,” said Henry Williams, Michigan Gaming Control Board executive director. “The MGCB will continue to work hard to protect Michigan communities from crime by eliminating illegal gambling. We appreciate the public’s help in identifying possible illegal gambling locations.”
Earlier in February, a former Flint police chief pleaded no contest to charges related to illegal gambling back in 2018.
Over $500 billion illegally wagered in U.S. last year
Just last week, the American Gaming Association reported that $510 billion was illegally wagered in the United States in 2022.
Those illegal wagers deprived the gambling industry of $44.2 billion in gaming revenue. It also took away $13.3 billion in tax revenue for state and local communities across the country.
In Michigan, a total of over $679 million in tax revenue was generated through legal gambling in the state. That revenue helps support K-12 schools, first responders and other funds in the state.
“Illegal gambling diverts taxes and revenue from our communities which is otherwise used to support our state and schools,” said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. “I am grateful for the work of the Michigan Gaming Control Board in putting a stop to these unlawful actions.”
The AGA is continuing to work with Congress and state attorney generals to cooperatively put and end to illegal gambling.