Michigan Gaming Control Board executive director Henry Williams met with Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley and State Rep. Cynthia Neeley at the end of August to discuss strategies to tackle the illegal market.
The officials talked about the impact of illegal gaming on residents and how the black market affects the regulated gaming industry.
Williams said: “As a regulator, it’s important to me to have face-to-face conversations with area leaders so that we can share our knowledge and gain a more comprehensive understanding of illegal gaming issues, especially from their local perspective.
“I look forward to working with Mayor Neeley on the city’s efforts to prevent individuals from reopening a place of business under a new name in a location that was previously cited for illegal gaming operation concerns, minimise risks to his community from such establishments, and help protect Flint residents from harm.”
Between January 2015 and July 2023, the Michigan Gaming Control Board said it had seized 1,195 illegal machines to the tune of US$470,401.98.
Since November 2022, it added that 48 locations have received cease-and-desist letters involving 105 illegal machines.
Mayor Neeley said: “It is important to protect the Flint community from predatory illegal gaming operations, and I thank Director Williams for his continued partnership in this effort.
“These unwelcome operations threaten public safety by creating environments where other criminal activity can thrive.”