Michigan's Attorney General and the Michigan Gaming Control Board has sent out cease and desist letters to fourteen different companies that were found to be offering illegal gambling within the state.
An investigation found that the companies were selling casino style slot machines while claiming that the machines were redemption games, which are perfectly legal in the Wolverine State. After these machines were discovered, the office of Attorney General Dana Nessel sent out the cease and desist letters, warning the businesses that those responsible could face up to 10 years in prison as well as large monetary fines.
All of the companies involved have since closed their doors, although four have re-opened under a different structure, which could bring liability back on them.
Nessel issued a statement on the machines where she said, "Gambling regulations are in place for a reason, and when bad actors choose to ignore the law, they must be held accountable. We're grateful for the opportunity to work with our partners at the Michigan Gaming Control Board in putting a stop to these illegal operations."
Michigan Gaming Control Board Executive Director Richard Kalm also issued a statement, which read: "Illegal gambling can lead to money laundering and other crimes that impact the safety and security of Michigan communities. Legal gambling is taxed and regulated, and taxes go back into the community as funding for K-12 education. An illegal gambling operation doesn't support the community but instead siphons funds away from it."
Michigan recently legalized sportsbetting and online casino gambling, and this move coincides with the upcoming launch of the services. Without a doubt, we're likely to see further clampdowns on illegal operations moving forward.