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Schuette Closes Internet Sweepstakes Cafes, Includes Flint Location

Bill Gibson, II, Flickr

Attorney General Bill Schuette announced the Attorney General’s Alcohol & Gambling Enforcement Division has reached an agreement with Innovative Entertainment of Michigan that will halt operations at eight Internet sweepstakes cafes indefinitely. The agreement comes as the result of an ongoing investigation by the Michigan State Police, the Michigan gaming Control Board and the Attorney General’s office.

“Internet sweepstakes cafes that permit illegal gambling are nothing more than unregulated pop-up casinos and consumers should steer clear,” said Schuette. “We will continue to work with the Michigan State Police and the Michigan Gaming Control Board to shut down these and any other illegal gambling operations.”

Innovative Entertainment of Michigan licenses and supplies the casino-style gaming software for the eight Internet sweepstakes cafe in the state. Pursuant to an agreement with the Attorney General’s Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division, Innovative has remotely shut down the gaming software at all eight locations, including one located in the Flint Business Center on Fenton Road.

The voluntary closure follows a series of cease and desist letters issued on April 9, 2012. The letters warned of possible legal action against three cafes, including the Flint Business Center location, if they refused to to halt ongoing gambling operations in violation of state laws. Should any of the eight locations reopen, Schuette said he will take immediate action to shut them down through the criminal or civil court system.

Internet sweepstakes cafes are businesses that sell Internet access and the chance to play computer-based casino-style games where customers can win cash prizes.

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