The Michigan Gaming Control Board, together with the Michigan Department of Attorney, have seized 36 machines and more than $23,000 in related cash from an alleged illegal gaming operation in Delta Township.

What machines were seized?

The release states that 36 machines were seized including:

  • Computers used as slot-style gaming machines
  • Freestanding slot-style gaming machines
  • Table-mounted gaming machines
  • A coin pusher machine

The venue raided was labeled ‘Cozy Barcade’ and situated on 3280 S. Waverly Rd, Suite C-2, Delta Township, Michigan. The investigation began after the MGCB received several anonymous tips about the alleged illegal gambling location.

It comes less than a month after former professional poker player, Joshua T. Thatcher was sentenced for running an illegal gambling operation in Marquette by the same law enforcement agencies.

“Illegal gaming locations prey on vulnerable people and don’t offer the patron protections required for legal, regulated gaming,” said Henry Williams, Michigan Gaming Control Board executive director. “The MGCB will continue to work hard to protect Michigan communities from crime by eliminating illegal gambling. We appreciate the public’s help in identifying possible illegal gambling locations.”

“Illegal gambling diverts taxes and revenue from our communities which is otherwise used to support our state and schools,” said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. “I am grateful for the work of the Michigan Gaming Control Board in putting a stop to these unlawful actions.”

“We have received several complaints from residents in the area about this place,” said Captain Rob Block, Eaton County Office of the Sheriff. “These establishments breed other types of crimes such as robberies, assaults and drug activity.”

Michigan is a one of the most liberal states in the US for gambling, with online gaming and MI sports betting legal as well as the retail counterparts. Illegal, underground operations, as suggested by Captain Rob Block, are often tied to underground black market activity.

What’s the gambling state-of-play in Michigan?

Michigan’s internet gaming and sports betting operators recorded $187.3 million in January 2023 gross receipts. This was down 7.1 percent from December 2022’s results of $201.6 million. The receipts from internet gaming stayed fairly constant. January 2023 set a new record high, with $153.7 million, up 0.6 percent from December 2022 which was the previous monthly record at $152.8 million.

Gross sports betting receipts were lower, however, with just $33.6 million being recorded in January compared with $48.8 million in December, thus representing a 31.1% decrease overall.

A total of $26.1 million were paid in taxes to the State of Michigan in January 2021, including $24.9 million from Michigan iGaming, and $1.2 million from online sports betting.

The tax receipts, and revenue totals are significantly higher from internet gaming, and therefore it’s surprising to many analysts that legalization of iGaming across the United States has been so slow. New York online gaming is on the cards but faces vehement opposition, while Indiana online casino was left to die in the committee. New Hampshire online casino has squeezed past the first round of the Senate, but there’s little hope of FL online casino, CA online casino or TX online casino – the three biggest states by population.