MGCB Takes Further Action Against Illegal Gambling Operation

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The MGCB is cracking down on illegal gambling operators in Michigan. According to a recent press release by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, the state has ordered three online gaming companies to cease operations in the state. 

On January 18th, the MGCB accused PredictionStrike, Stake.us, and VGW of siphoning players from the legal, regulated gaming market. The scale of unregulated activity these illegal operations run amounts to millions in lost tax revenue for the state annually. 

The recent action taken by the MGCB is no surprise for those following the sports betting and online casino gaming space. States across the country, from New York and Ohio to West Virginia and a handful of other states are cracking down on illegal gambling websites. The lost tax revenue is just part of the concern. Players on these illegal sites also have virtually no protection when it comes to fraud or malicious actions taken by the online casino or sportsbook. 

“Gambling regulations are in place for a reason, and illegal gambling operations are not welcome in Michigan,” said MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams. “We do not want businesses who skirt the law having access to Michigan citizens and leaving them vulnerable because they are playing in unregulated sites that leave them with no recourse, and that siphon funds away from communities because they are not paying taxes like a regulated, legal gambling establishment would.”

The MGCB sent the following letters to the companies below:

– MGCB sent Stake.us (yes, Drake’s favorite online casino) a cease and desist letter on November 2nd, 2023, for illegal online lottery and a raffle for customers who buy products on their site.

– MGCB sent Australian-owned Virtual Gaming Worlds (VGW) a cease and desist letter on December 5th, 2023, for operating a site with illegal internet games where something is wagers of monetary value to win something on monetary value.

– MGCB also sent New York-based startup Prediction Strike a cease and desist letter on October 19, 2023.

Governor Whitmer Increased Funding for Problem Gambling Prevention in Budget

Michigan’s Governor recently proposed her 2025 fiscal year budget. Included was increased funding for problem gambling prevention in the state. The MGCB is responsible for much of its distribution. MGCB Executive Director Williams expressed his full support for Governor Whitmer’s budget recommendations. 

“I fully support the governor’s proposed budget recommendations,” said Williams, “which allocate increased funds for compulsive gambling prevention initiatives and the expansion of iGaming regulatory capacity to county illegal activities.”

The proposed budget increases will give more money to combat illegal gambling operations in the state, as well as Michigan’s ‘Don’t Regret The Bet’ program. The MGCB created www.dontregretthebet.org/ to be an intuitive, engaging website that is packed with problem gambling resources, online responsible gaming tools, and more. On the website, the MGCB also talks about the Disassociated Persons List and the Internet Gaming and Sports Betting Self-Exclusiong List. The former allows you to ban yourself from casinos in the state for a period, while the latter stops you from being able to sign up for an online wagering account for a period.  

Michigan also has trained and experienced counselors available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 1-800-270-7117. Counselors can provide immediate help to address issues you have related to a gambling disorder, including screening services or referrals to treatment or support groups. 

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