Illegal Flint Casino’s Request Denied by Judge
Attorney General Bill Schuette and Michigan State Police Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue announced that an alleged gambling operation will remain closed after a judge sided with law enforcement's actions. On July 11, 2012, Judge Judith Fullerton of Genesee's 7th Circuit Court denied a request by the Flint Business Center (FBC) to enjoin the Attorney General from taking law enforcement action against its illegal casino-style sweepstakes gambling operations.
"Sweepstakes cafes that operate as illegal casinos will be shut down to protect the public," said Schuette. "Illegal gaming operations will not be tolerated in Michigan."
"The investigators of the Michigan State Police Gaming Section are committed to the enforcement of the state's gaming laws, working in conjunction with the Michigan Attorney General's Office and the Michigan Gaming Control Board," said Etue. "Businesses operating outside the law will be shutdown."
On April 9th and June 8th, 2012, the Attorney General's Alcohol & Gambling Enforcement Division sent cease and desist letters to a total of twelve sweepstakes cafes across the state, demanding the halt of illegal casino-style sweepstakes gaming. Rather than eliminating the sweepstakes portion of its business, the Flint Business Center closed its doors and went to court to seek an injunction against the Attorney General's action.
In response, the Attorney General argued that the sweepstakes casino-style gaming violated several portions of the Michigan Penal Code and Gaming Control & Revenue Act. Judge Fullerton, ruling from the bench, agreed with the Attorney General and effectively denied the center's request to remain open. Schuette will follow with a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
Eight of the sweepstakes businesses contacted by Schuette's office have since halted the alleged illegal gaming operations. The most recent nine businesses served with cease and desist letters still have some time to respond before more enforcement action may be taken. The joint investigation of similar illegal sweepstakes gaming operations conducted by the Michigan State Police and the Gaming Control Board remains ongoing.
Michigan citizens are encouraged to report any suspicious or illegal gambling to the Michigan Gaming Control Board by calling their 24-hour anonymous tip line, 888-314-2682.