HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveUncategorisedGaming Authorities Focus on Illegal Gambling Across Midwest

On August 5, 2015, the Ohio Casino Control Commission (“OCCC”), coordinating with other law enforcement agencies, conducted searches in multiple counties related to allegations of illegal gambling activity. The searches the most recent in a number of enforcement actions taken by gaming and law enforcement authorities across Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois.  These actions coincide with a national push by the gaming industry to combat illegal gambling.

Although no arrests were made, it was reported cash and several gaming machines were seized during the searches, which occurred in central and south-central Ohio.  In April, the OCCC seized cash, documents and 143 gaming machines during the execution of a warrant in two locations.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (“MGCB”) also announced on August 4, 2015 that the state attorney general had filed several charges against a charitable gaming licensee for fraud and embezzlement related to funds allegedly diverted from millionaire party events. In a press release on the matter, MGCB Executive Director Richard Kalm stated that “The MGCB audits charities to ensure they properly account for and lawfully spend funds raised through millionaire parties. We will continue to see embezzlement and other crimes unless we address weaknesses in the current Bingo Act that authorizes charity gaming. Civil and criminal penalties for operators are necessary.”

The Illinois Gaming Board also recently revoked the video gaming operations license of an owner that was found to have a previously undisclosed felony conviction.

In June, the American Gaming Association (“AGA”) announced the formation of the Illegal Gambling Advisory Board, a body of law enforcement and policy experts designed to assist in the development of strategies to combat illegal gambling across the country. “As the gaming industry seeks to grow, its imperative that we crack down on the illegal operations that siphon critical revenues and tarnish the legal, highly regulated products and experiences we provide,” stated AGA President and CEO Geoff Freeman. The group is focused on providing support for efforts to combat illegal sports betting, black market machines, internet sweepstakes cafes, and illegal online gambling.



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