MGCB Continues to Stop Illegal Gambling

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The state of Michigan continues to take action against illegal gambling operations that continue to steal money from residents and the legal gaming market. The Michigan Gaming Control Board with the help of the Attorney General’s Department shut down another illicit operation in Flint, Michigan. The state of Michigan reminds residents and players that sweepstakes casinos, online daily fantasy sites, sports books, and in-person computer-based businesses gaming are operating illegally if the business or website is not licensed with the MGCB.

One way that in-person illegal gambling businesses try to avoid the law is by offering free items or free store credit instead of offering players cash when they win on an in-person gambling device. Whether it’s through a computer at the store, a coin pusher, a slot machine, or any other gambling device, if they do not have a license with the Michigan Gaming Control Board, they are operating illegally. Any patrons who participate in those games are putting themselves at risk.

Two individuals are facing eight charges for their alleged involvement in a storefront casino operation in Flint. 52-year-old Linos Antonio Kas-Mikha from Grand Blanc and 55-year-old Robert Jamerson of Saginaw are facing charges in the 67th District Court, located at 630 S. Saginaw St. in Flint, Michigan, for their alleged roles in the operation. The two individuals are each facing four felony charges.

Michigan Gaming Control Board detailed the raid on its website. According to the information they shared, the cellular bank location was a front for an illegal gambling operation that housed 11 standalone slot machines and 13 computers used for illegal gambling online.

According to the MGCB, this isn’t the first time that Kas-Mikha’s name has been linked to illegal gambling operations. One business, L.D. Lam Properties, LLC is owned by Kas-Mikha and a business partner, Abdulmunem Ghrer out of Toledo, Ohio. Three separate raids have been conducted over the past two years at locations deemed associated with Mikha, two raids at 3301 Corunna Road, and one at 4622 N. Saginaw Street.

“Holding those who choose to break the law and run alleged illegal gambling operations accountable for their actions is paramount to ensuring the safety and integrity of our neighborhoods,” said MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams. “By enforcing strict regulations and prosecuting offenders, we strive to maintain a gaming environment that is not only enjoyable, but also as heard to the principles of fairness, legality, and community safety.”

Problem Gambling Concerns Grow

After several college and sportsbook partnerships turned sour last year, many data analytic companies have been speculating that problem gambling is only growing among college students. A 2023 survey completed by Gambling Research and Policy Initiative was centered around this problem. Students from the University of Michigan were surveyed. According to the data gathered, 99% of the respondents believed problems with gambling existed on campus. According to the same survey, 22% of college students were at risk of problem gambling, which included 42% of males. Yet 96% of students who filled out the survey said they had never received any kind of gambling education. Just 5% of respondents knew that there were campus policies to help aid in gambling issues.

The Director of Gambling Research and Policy Initiative, Dr. Michelle Malkin commented on the issue, stating, “Legal and regulated is always better than illegal and unregulated. But, regulation comes with responsibility, and that responsibility in the legislature is to put money towards education, outreach, treatment, and research. Only a small fraction of our states are doing that, but no state has enough money for all four.”

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