MGCB Shuts Down Illegal Gambling Operation At Saginaw’s Red Horse Bar

Written By Corey Sharp on June 20, 2024
The Red Horse Bar in Saginaw, Michigan. The Michigan Gaming Control Board continues its strong reputation for uncovering illegal gambling by shutting down a Saginaw bar.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board announced on Thursday morning the uncovering of an illegal gambling operation at the Red Horse Bar in Saginaw.

The MGCB takes illegal gambling extremely seriously, and has issued multiple cease-and-desist letters, including one to the Red Horse Bar (above). The owners of establishment ignored a previous notice the MGCB sent. The Michigan State Police raided the bar on June 5.

The MGCB has already shut down multiple illegitimate gambling rings, and is in the process of going after Bovada, an offshore sportsbook.

Two arrests made in illegal gambling raid

On June 5, the Michigan Department of Attorney General, MGCB and state investigators successfully executed a search warrant at the Red Horse Bar, confiscating the following materials:

  • 6 slot-style gaming machines
  • $2,820 in gift cards
  • $5,161 in suspected gambling proceeds

The Michigan police took Christopher and Nicholas Adams, the owners of the bar, into custody on June 5 after an investigation following a citizen’s tip. The two were arraigned on felony gambling charges on June 6.

MGCB Executive Director, Henry Williams, said in a press release emailed to PlayMichigan:

“The Michigan Gaming Control Board remains steadfast in its commitment to ensuring compliance with all state gambling regulations. We will continue to work diligently to identify and eliminate any illegal gambling activities that pose a threat to the integrity of the industry and the welfare of the public.”

The MGCB provides a website that details numerous ways to report suspicious gambling activity. Citizens can:

Other instances of MGCB cracking down on illegal gambling

The last 18 months have been an important time in catching unregulated gambling activity in the Great Lakes State. The MGCB sent cease-and-desist letters to 64 businesses last year, which led to the removal of 167 illicit gambling machines.

The MGCB has continued that effort in 2024, after closing multiple illegal wagering locations in Flint. The two men involved in the scheme each faced four felony charges.

Currently, the MGCB is in a public sparring match with Bovada, a notable offshore sportsbook located in Curacao. It sent Bovada cease-and-desist letter on May 29, giving the unlawful bookmaker 14 days from receipt to shut down operations in Michigan.

Today marks 22 days since the letter has been sent. As of June 14, the MGCB said the 14 day period has not expired, yet. Bovada’s website remained in operation in Michigan as of late Thursday morning.

When the 14 days does expire, and Bovada is still active, the MGCB does have options at its disposal, according to Michael Lipton, senior partner at Dickinson Wright law firm.

“They could run the full gamut of sealed indictments, seizure of websites, seizing funds, if they’re available in the jurisdiction, name and shame, the cease and desist and going after third party facilitators,” Lipton told PlayMichigan earlier this week.

“The bottom line is, while governments have a number of tools at their disposal, they may be hesitant, in many cases, to pursue each and every one of them unless they’re absolutely certain that they’re going to result in something of a positive nature.”

The MGCB is looking to uphold its reputation for fighting illegal gambling. Don’t expect it to let Bovada off the hook.

Photo by Courtesy MGCB
Corey Sharp Avatar
Written by
Corey Sharp

Corey Sharp joined Catena Media in 2022 and is the go-to expert for Michigan gambling. Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, he previously worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer and NBC Sports Philadelphia as a sports journalist and content producer. In Corey’s role as Lead Writer for PlayMichigan, he works alongside a talented team of expert journalists and analysts to bring you the most comprehensive and accurate coverage of gambling news in Michigan. Corey’s contacts around the industry makes him a trusted source. Corey produces daily stories and features about the gambling space. Corey graduated from Holy Family University in Philadelphia with a bachelor’s degree in sports management.

View all posts by Corey Sharp
Privacy Policy