LANSING, Mich. — The Lansing Police Department, the Michigan Gaming Control Board, and the Attorney’s General Office are investigating two allegedly illegal storefront casinos on Lansing’s south side.
Lansing police say after a tip and community complaints, they issued search warrants for 777 Game of Skill at 5031 South Cedar Street on March 4, and for Bourbon Street at the Logan Square Shopping Center on 3222 South Martin Luther King Blvd on February 28.
“Notably, both of these locations had full sized slot machines, which are akin to the type of slot machines you would actually see on the casino floor. There was 82 machines that were seized in connection with these two search warrants,” said Kurt Steinkamp, the deputy director of the Licensing and Investigation Division of the Michigan Gaming Control Board. “In addition, there was also excess of $91,000 of proceeds, suspected gambling proceeds, that were seized in connection with these two search warrants.”
According to Steinkamp, safety is a concern at illegal gambling operations. “Clearly, these are not licensed locations to provide gambling in the state of Michigan,” Steinkamp said. “So, this means there's no regulatory framework in place to protect the players involved. There's no measures in place to protect individuals who may have problems with gambling. Safety is another concern. These types of locations that do have or are suspected of having illegal gambling going on are also known to have other types of illegal activity that occur.”
Steinkamp said those involved with the operations could be prosecuted. "It wouldn't be uncommon for locations of this type to see charges brought up against them in relation to running an illegal gambling operation.”
Lansing Mayor Andy Schor said in a statement that “unregulated, illegal gambling operations in Lansing invite crime into our neighborhoods and business corridors. We are doing all we can to identify these illegal establishments and shut them down permanently. I am thankful for the efforts of the Michigan Gaming Control Board, the Attorney General, and other state agencies in working with the Lansing Police Department to shut down these illegal operations and keep our residents safe.”
According to a press release from the Michigan Gaming Control Board, there were 28 full-size slot machines, one virtual blackjack table and other casino-style games at Bourbon Street. The machines, 62 in total, were removed from the location. There were 13 full-size slot machines and seven other gambling games at 777 Game of Skill.
The case is still under investigation.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board is encouraging residents to report suspicious or illegal gambling activities by contacting their anonymous 24-hour tip line at 888-314-2682.
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