Michigan police authorities conducted a raid on an arcade venue in Genesee County on suspicions of operating illegal gambling machines. The raid was carried out jointly with the Michigan Gaming Control Board, the body responsible for overseeing regulated gambling activities in the Great Lake State. This is the second raid launched against the venue in the last two years.
On Wednesday evening, the gambling watchdog served a search warrant for the Flint-based arcade hall Flint Arcade located at Corunna Road and carried out the raid with the assistance of the Sheriff’s Office in Genesee County, the Michigan State Police, and Flint’s Police Department.
The officials confiscated 50 devices in total during the raid, including two unregulated gaming machines. The remaining 48 devices were computers the authorities claim were used to provide illegal slot-style gambling. In addition to the illegal equipment, the local police force took hold of $13,260 in cash that the venue allegedly generated from unlawful gambling operations.
According to Henry Williams, the Executive Director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board, such unregulated gambling operations pose a social and economic danger to the local communities. Williams elaborated further, explaining that illegal storefront casinos often drive customers away from regulated gambling businesses with a valuable contribution to the state economy. Additionally, such unauthorized operations tend to attract criminal activities that further endanger the local communities.
Given the social and economic risks illegal gambling is associated with, it is of utmost importance for state authority to work toward eradicating such operations, Williams insisted. Shutting them down is the surest way to protect Michiganders and prevent them from falling victims to fraudsters.
43 Illegal Gaming Devices Were Seized during the First Raid in August 2022
This is the second instance of a venue at this location being investigated for alleged unlawful gambling over the course of the past two years. State Attorney General Dana Nessel served a search warrant to the venue in mid-August 2022 on suspicions of unregulated gaming. The venue was located at the same address, 3301 Corunna Road, but went under a different name at the time, the Cellular Vault.
The first raid saw the seizure of 43 devices used for the provision of unlawful gambling. The authorities additionally confiscated illegal proceeds amounting to approximately $2,572. The venue ceased operations and closed its doors shortly after. And now, one year later, the same site was subjected to another raid on the same grounds after concerned locals raised the alarm.
Flint residents sent anonymous tips to the Michigan Gaming Control Board, informing the watchdog that a new storefront casino had commenced illegal operations on the same site but under a new name. Michigan’s criminal code expressly prohibits the provision of unauthorized gambling and businesses found guilty of this violation risk suffering serious consequences like fines, criminal charges, or both.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board actively works to eradicate illegal gambling machines from corner shops, storefronts, and gas stations, encouraging locals to report any suspicious gaming-related operations. The watchdog publishes detailed information about unlawful gaming on its official website and gives violating businesses the opportunity to voluntarily remove their illegal equipment before further action is taken by the authorities.