Former Police Chief Pleads No Contest to Recent Illegal Gambling Charges

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Earlier this month, we received an update concerning a recent illegal gambling-related operation and court trial. William Bradford Barksdale, the former Flint Police Department chief pled no contest to charges related to an illegal gambling operation he allegedly operated with two other individuals in the Flint area. 

The press release was delivered on February 9th on the Michigan Gaming Control Board website. According to the announcement, Barksdale pleaded no contest to both of the following charges:

  • One count of gambling violations, which was a five-year felony, and
  • One count of reckless use of a firearm, a 90-day misdemeanor

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) is the regulatory organization in Michigan dedicated to ensuring gambling operators are following state laws. The MGCB was led to believe that West Point Arcade was operating illegal gambling machines and was paying customers with generic gift cards. The West Point Arcade, operated by Barksdale and his two partners, Alvin Crossnoe and Adam Crossnoe, was opened in 2017. It wasn’t long before the MGCB visited the location and discovered the business to be operating illegal gambling machines.

About West Point Arcade

The West Point Arcade was opened by Barksdale and the Crossnoes where they allegedly operated illegal computer casino games and machines. Barksdale was the chief of police for Flint, Michigan, retiring from the department in 2004. Barksdale, now 70, was also in the public spotlight back in 2009 when he heroically defended over 40 people at a local poker room from an attacker armed with a shotgun. 

Barksdale’s most recent media spotlight has been for less virtuous reasons, unfortunately. 

About the Investigation

Between the dates of April 2017 and December 2017, the West Point Arcade was subject to anonymous surveillance by the MGCB. Officers that work with the MGCB visited the location and played some of the slot-type games on computer terminals and even was taught how to play the games by the arcade owners themselves. 

When the search warrant was granted, officials also discovered more than 80 firearms at the arcade. To make matters worse, eight of the weapons discovered were sawed-off shotguns. The three owners of the business were first charged in October 2018. 

“The Michigan Gaming Control Board believes it’s important to eliminate illegal gaming operations because they don’t offer the protections legal, regulated gambling provides Michigan citizens,” said Henry Williams, MGCB executive director. “Illegal gaming operations do not belong in our neighborhoods, where they bring unwanted crime and prey on senior citizens and other vulnerable people. We are pleased with the outcome of this investigation.”

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel also commented on the recent news, stating, “My office remains committed to upholding gaming rules and regulations,” Nessel said. “We will continue to coordinate with the Michigan Gaming Control Board on this case and others to ensure our state’s gambling laws are strictly enforced.”

Barksdale is scheduled for sentencing on April 14th in the Genesee County Circuit Court.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board wants Michigan residents to know that they can report suspicious activity anonymously by calling the state suspicious gambling activity hotline. The number is 888-314-2682 and is answered during normal business hours and also accepts after-hours and weekend messages via voicemail. To leave a tip via email or their electronic form, follow this link (any tips sent through email will not be anonymous). 

Mac Daniel is a writer for PlayOnlineCasino and PlayOnlineSportsBetting. He has experience writing about a wide variety of topics, including healthcare, tourism, non-profit organizations, and most recently casino and sportsbetting news. To check out more of his work, visit: