Michigan regulator destroys illegal gaming machines

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Numerous unlicensed illegal gaming machines which had been seized in the US state of Michigan were destroyed at the City Recycling junkyard in Detroit.

The Attorney General seized the machines during a number of investigations by the Michigan Gaming Control Board into alleged illegal gambling. The machines were crushed to ensure they could not be reused, sold or salvaged for parts.

“Illegal gaming continues to pose a threat to Michigan citizens and their communities, as it often leads to an increase in organised criminal activity, financial exploitation, and other related social issues,” said Henry Williams, MGCB executive director.

“Unregulated gaming machines also result in a loss of state revenue. Operators running illegal gaming establishments are not reporting earnings or paying taxes — they are essentially robbing Michigan citizens of taxes and revenue used to support our schools through the School Aid Fund and our communities and local governments with essential state funding dollars.”

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According to a report from the American Gaming Association, ‘Sizing the Illegal and Unregulated Gaming Markets in the US’, there are an estimated 580,651 unregulated machines, including so-called “skill machines,” in the US. With 870,000 regulated machines in casinos across the country, that means 40 per cent of all gaming machines are unlicensed.

“The machines destroyed by the MGCB are the tools of criminals, cheating their neighbours of their hard-earned money as well as the state out of gaming revenues that support our schools,” said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

“Illegal gaming operations are a danger to their communities, typically becoming local hotspots for other crimes and violence. We will continue to coordinate with the Michigan Gaming Control Board to ensure our state’s gambling laws are strictly enforced.”

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