A raid conducted in coordination by the Bridgeport Township Police Department, Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, Department of the Attorney General, and the Liquor Control Commission last week resulted in the apprehension of six illegal slot-style machines and scores of cash gift cards.
The venue, called the PlayStation Bar and Grill, is located at 6154 Dixie Highway in Bridgeport Township.
Specifically, authorities responded to a tip from an anonymous local. After an investigation, two search warrants were issued on Oct. 18 — one at that location, the other in Goodrich at Universal Video, Inc.
Bottom line, six slot-style machines, several computers, more than $6,000 in cash from suspected gambling activity, and $182,430 in gift cards were seized in the raid. No arrests were made during the raids.
It is just the latest in the Michigan Gaming Control Board’s crackdown on illegal gambling.
Gift cards typically used for prizes
Notably, criminal gaming establishments frequently use cash/gift cards as prizes for gameplay.
Further, on-licensed gaming facilities are illegal, and pose a threat to consumers, whose money is not protected from fraud. Gaming machines in these alleged illegal facilities are also not inspected by state authorities for legitimacy.
“Business owners who house illegal, unregulated gaming machines in their establishments are breaking the law, creating opportunities for increased crime in communities, and allowing unnecessary consumer risk to those who use the machines,” said MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams in a statement.
Illegal Nudgemaster machines led to anonymous tip
Specifically, the raid was spurred by a tip from someone in Bridgeport who noticed Nudgemaster casino-style gaming machines in the PlayStation Bar and Grill. Unlicensed Nudgemaster series machines are often associated with illegal gaming activity, based on prior seizures.
And, illegal gaming is often associated with other criminal activity, and it cheats the state out of revenue.
“Illegal gambling diverts revenues from our state and schools, and these operations can pose a danger to their neighborhoods as they typically attract other types of criminal activity,” said Dana Nessel, Michigan Attorney General.
Citizens encouraged to contact authorities
Michigan citizens who see or suspect illegal gambling in their community should contact authorities. Anyone with concerns can call a 24-hour tip line at 1-888-314-2682 OR send an email message to [email protected].
“The public is encouraged to contact us if they see a casino-type gaming machine in a restaurant, gas station, or convenience store,” Williams said. “We investigate every tip and work hard to protect Michigan citizens from such crime in their neighborhoods.”