MGCB Continues Crackdown On Illegal Gambling, Shuts Down Flint Facilities

Written By Matthew Lomon on March 15, 2024 - Last Updated on March 19, 2024
Chain link fenced locked with a chain and large padlock. There is a red sign hanging from the fence reading

Few state gaming authorities take more pride in trying to eliminate illegal gambling than the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

Aided by Michigan’s Department of Attorney General, the latest in the MGCB’s long line of crackdowns targeted an illicit operation in Flint. As a result, two defendants now face eight charges for allegedly operating a storefront casino.

Linos Antonio Kas-Mikha, 52, of Grand Blanc, and Robert Jamerson, 55, of Saginaw, were recently arraigned in 67th District Court located at 630 South Saginaw Street in Flint. For their alleged roles in the scheme, the suspects each face four felony charges:

  • One count for running a gambling operation without a license
  • Two counts for using computers to commit a crime
  • One count for maintaining a gambling house for gain at Cellular Bank (4622 N. Saginaw Street in Flint)

Felony gambling warrants were first issued for the pair on Feb. 15.

Slaphouse sheltered two dozen unsanctioned gambling devices

According to an MGCB news release, the bootleg wagering facility housed two dozen illegal gambling devices. Specifically, The Cellular Bank held 11 standalone slot machines like the ones available at commercial casinos. And there were 13 computers on which patrons could play slot-style games.

Further, the corrupt operation also provided patrons with a PIN card, enabling them to wager online from offsite locations such as their homes.

“Holding those who choose to break the law and run alleged illegal gambling operations accountable for their actions is paramount to ensuring the safety and integrity of our neighborhoods,” MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams said in the release.

“By enforcing strict regulations and prosecuting offenders, we strive to maintain a gaming environment that is not only enjoyable, but also adheres to the principles of fairness, legality, and community safety.”

Once the arrest warrants were filed, it didn’t take long for either party to be arraigned. First, it was Kas-Mikha on Feb. 21, and then exactly one week later, on Feb. 28, it was Jamerson’s turn. Both suspects posted their respective bonds of $50,000 and $25,000 soon after.

Soon after, the duo found themselves back in court. Probable cause hearings had Kas-Mikha in the defendant’s chair on Feb. 29 and Jamerson on March 7.

Most recently, hearings for each defendant occurred on March 14 at 8:30 a.m. in 67th District Court.

Cellular Bank co-owned by company in Kas-Mikha’s name

Based on the MGCB and Co’s. findings, one company and one name from Cellular Bank’s ownership group. The company, L.D. Lam Properties, LLC is owned by Kas-Mikha and Abdulmunem Ghrer of Toledo, OH. The business partners also own The Cellular Vault, situated at 3301 Corunna Road in Flint.

Locals may also know this venue as “The Vault,” “The Flint Arcade,” or the “Corunna Road Arcade.” Regardless of which location or what people call it, the unlawful wagering properties operated by Kas-Mikha and Ghrer are no stranger to police activity.

Three separate raids, two of which came in August 2022, have been carried out at the facilities over the past two years:

Aug. 18, 2022: 4622 N. Saginaw Street at Cellular Bank – Police confiscate 11 standalone slot machines, 13 computers, and $7,568.52 in winnings and gambling proceeds. Authorities also found a card with a PIN allowing betting online from offsite locations.

Aug. 18, 2022: 3301 Corunna Road at The Cellular Vault – Police confiscate 43 computers used for gambling and $2,572.48 in winnings and gambling proceeds.

Aug. 23, 2023: 3301 Corunna Road at The Flint Arcade – Police confiscate 50 gambling devices and $13,260 in suspected gambling proceeds.

Series of raids prompted gathering of state officials last August

The series of raids triggered by illegal gambling pressed state officials to take action. On Aug. 29, 2023, Williams met with Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley and State Rep. Cynthia Neeley (D-Flint) to discuss potential strategies and actions beyond physically smashing illegal machines.

The trio not only wanted to crack down on unlawful operations. It also wanted to figure out the flaws that allowed establishments like The Cellular Vault — which continued to operate under different names — to tarnish the reputations of regulated, legitimate gambling venues.

One solution involved taking action under MCL 600.3801. According to said rule, any building that is “used for the purpose of lewdness, assignation, prostitution, or gambling is declared a nuisance.” As such, The City of Flint filed an illegal-gambling-centered complaint at the 7th Judicial Circuit Court in Genesee County against L.D. Lam, Ghrer, and their businesses at 3301 Corunna Road.

“Illegal gambling operations harm the public health and safety of our community by creating environments where bad actors can prey on vulnerable people,” said Mayor Neeley.

“The City of Flint is seeking forfeiture of another building allegedly used for illegal gambling activity with the intent to return it to a positive use for Flint residents. I want to thank the Michigan Gaming Control Board for taking strong action to protect Flint residents from people who seek to profit from the pain of our community.”

Specifically, the city requested to abate the building with all its contents removed and sold. Further, it wants the building closed, not used for any purpose for one year, and forfeited to the City of Flint.

In its final request, the city also asked to ban L.D. Lam and Ghrer from engaging in any other nuisance in any other building or setting in Genesee County.

Photo by PlayMichigan
Matthew Lomon Avatar
Written by
Matthew Lomon

Matthew Lomon has been a contributor at Catena Media’s network of regional sites since July 2022. He first broke into covering the legal North American gambling industry with PlayCanada. Since then, Matthew's reporting has extended to PlayMichigan, PlayPennsylvania, and PlayIllinois. Based out of Toronto, Ontario, Matthew is an avid (bordering on fanatic) sports fan.

View all posts by Matthew Lomon
Privacy Policy