Michigan investigators conduct further raids on illegal gambling locations

Image: Hanson L/Shutterstock

Investigators in Michigan have seized yet more gambling devices and cash in a further series of raids after receiving “several anonymous tips” regarding the alleged storefront casinos.

The examinations on Thursday 18 August saw 11 video slot machines and 56 computers, that were reportedly used for illegal gambling, confiscated, as well as $10,141 in suspected proceeds and gift cards on a pair of locations in the city of Flint.

One location, The Cellular Vault, contained 39 computers used to play slot-style games, and Cellular Bank housed 11 standalone slot machines similar to those seen in a commercial casino and 13 computers used to play slot-style games. 

A second, Cellular Bank, also provided patrons a card with a PIN, allowing them to wager online from offsite locations such as their residences.

The machines, cash, associated equipment and business records were removed as part of joint investigations of the two freestanding businesses by the Michigan Department of Attorney General and the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

“The MGCB received several anonymous tips regarding both Flint locations, and we thank the public for their help in rooting out possible illegal gambling activities,” said Henry Williams, MGCB executive director. 

“Patrons at alleged storefront casinos do not have access to the consumer protections required for legal, regulated gambling. The operations also can draw other types of crime to the surrounding neighbourhoods.”

This becomes the third such raid conducted thus far in 2022, with April seeing investigators seize 100 gambling devices, $29,204 in suspected profits and 62 gift cards of varying denominations from two further alleged Flint area storefront casinos.

Earlier still, another joint investigation carried out by the aforementioned pair, and the Lansing Police Department, saw search warrants executed for two alleged storefront casinos in the Michigan capital, the first of which was carried out on February 28 in the Logan Square Shopping Center before a second warrant on March 4 at 777 Games of Skill.

At the former, there were 28 full-size slot machines, one virtual blackjack table and other casino-style games, with the machines, which came in at 62 in total, subsequently removed from the location.

At 777 Games of Skill there were reportedly 13 full-size slot machines and seven other gambling games. In total, 82 machines were removed along with $91,532 in suspected gambling proceeds as part of the two investigations.