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Michigan investigators seize 50 gambling devices, cash from alleged Flint storefront casino

24 August 2023

(PRESS RELEASE) -- On Wednesday evening, 23 August, following a joint investigation by the Michigan Department of Attorney General and Michigan Gaming Control Board, state investigators — assisted by the Michigan State Police, Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, and Flint Police Department — executed a search warrant at The Flint Arcade, located at 3301 Corunna Road in Flint.

Authorities confiscated 48 computers used to play slot-style games and two gaming machines allegedly used for illegal gambling, plus $13,260 in suspected gambling proceeds from the location.

“Storefront casinos and illegal gambling pose significant risks to communities, both socially and economically,” MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams said. “Since they can often attract criminal activity and draw customers away from legitimate businesses that positively contribute to the local economy, it is essential that these types of operations get shut down to prevent customers from falling prey to fraudulent schemes and protect them from potential harm.”

This same site was previously served with a search warrant by the Michigan Attorney General’s office on Aug. 18, 2022, when the MGCB investigated suspected illegal gaming at The Cellular Vault, a business that was there at the time. That raid netted 43 computers used for gambling and $2,572.48 in winnings and gambling proceeds, and “The Vault”, as it was locally known, was shut down.

However, since then the MGCB has received anonymous tips from concerned Michigan citizens that a storefront casino had reopened at the same location under a new business name of The Flint Arcade, where customers were offered opportunities to play on slot-style gaming machines. The Michigan Penal Code broadly prohibits any kind of gambling except for what is authorized by law, with potential consequences for Michigan businesses operating illegal gaming machines including criminal charges and/or monetary fines.

“The MGCB is committed to working with the proper authorities to create a safer and more transparent gaming environment for Michigan citizens,” Williams added. “The agency is dedicated to helping communities statewide remove gaming machines used for gambling from storefront operations, gas stations, and convenience stores, and we encourage residents to call us with tips.”

The agency publishes fact sheets about Michigan law and unregulated machines on its website and gives businesses who violate the law opportunities to comply before authorities become involved and have to confiscate equipment and money collected from the illegal operation.

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