According to a press release posted on the www.michigan.gov website, Attorney General Dana Nessel has effectively shut down operations for Golden Hearts Games, Inc.
The online casino-style website didn’t have a license in the state of Michigan, and the style of games and award systems mimicked other legitimate casino providers in the state. These facts led Attorney General Dana Nessel and the office of Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division (AGED) to begin an investigation back in 2021.
According to the press release by the Michigan Department of Attorney General, gaming regulators decided that Golden Hearts’ activity constituted illegal gaming since the company did not have a license. Then in 2022, the Department of Attorney General issued a cease-and-desist letter to Golden Hearts. However, the company continued to operate in the Great Lake State.
The Attorney General’s office continued to take action by sending a “notice under the Michigan Consumer Protection Act of its intent to file an action in state court.” This persuaded Golden Hearts to make the decision to halt activity in Michigan by signing an Assurance of Discontinuance in the Ingham County Circuit Court on September 1st, 2023. The document essentially says that Golden Hearts Games will cease its operations in Michigan and will not offer its games in the future.
“Unlicensed gaming robs our schools and our government of essential funding and leaves consumers unprotected,” said Nessel. “When companies like Golden Hearts attempt to circumvent Michigan’s gaming laws, they create the false impression that their games are legal and safe for consumers. My office is committed to ensuring that our gaming laws are strictly enforced and those who violate those laws are held accountable.”
Who is Golden Hearts Games?
According to its website, Golden Hearts Games is a “real-money promotional games platform that supports charity and where winners receive Redeemable Sweeps Coins which may be exchanged for real cash payouts or digital gift cards.” After filling out some information, visitors to the site are then asked which charity they want to support. Once players make a donation, they’re then credited the website’s virtual currency, Sweeps Coins, which are used to play games. According to the website, Golden Hearts was founded in September 2019 and launched its games publicly in August 2020.
The company, based in Boston, MA, is one of the first “charity casinos” of its kind, but fans of online casino gaming should stay away from illegal operators such as Golden Hearts. With no regulations in place for Golden Hearts and other similar illegal online casinos, nothing is stopping the website from stealing money and user information. With no legal responsibility, these companies often sell off user information and have even been known to steal money or credits from your account.
The Michigan Attorney General’s office concluded the press release with the following statement,
“Golden Hearts’ decision to sign an Assurance of Discontinuance is the culmination of the Department of Attorney General’s collaboration with MGCB to hold accountable individuals who try to take advantage of Michigan consumers by offering unregulated and unlicensed gaming. Michigan’s Lawful Internet Gaming Act imposes stringent standards on those who are both eligible and suitable for licensure. The highly regulated industry ensures that Michigan residents are offered fair and honest gaming.”
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: playonlinemichigan.com