The MGCB Halts Illegal Gaming Operations in Michigan
The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) issued three cease-and-desist letters to two U.S.-based online gambling entities and one international operator. The regulatory agency announced on its official website that its investigations showed these entities are offering online gaming services to residents of Michigan without proper licenses, which is illegal in the Wolverine Stake.
The identified companies are PredictionStrike Inc. and VGW LuckyLand Inc., based in the United States, while the third - Sweepstakes Limited is registered in Cyprus. Volutions cited by the MGCB in the cease-and-desist letters include:
- Providing internet gaming without being licensed.
- Promoting an unlicensed online lottery.
- Offering gambling via casino-style games in which a player bets something with a monetary value attached to it, and by doing so, creates an opportunity to win something of monetary value easily.
Fostering a safe and legal online gambling environment in the Great Lakes State is a priority for the MGCB. The agency relentlessly promotes licensed operators, such as the 15 legal in the Wolverine State. However, other gambling companies are trying to circumnavigate the legal landscape by functioning as social or sweepstake casinos, a format allowed in most U.S. states but not Michigan.
MGCB’s official announcement did not mention any fines for the named companies. The regulator pointed out that it is working on preventing residents from Michigan from accessing said platforms.
Michigan Offers Regulated Online Gaming Market
The online gaming scene in Michigan ranks second in the nation according to revenue numbers. Michigan entered 2024 on a high note after the market experienced 21% growth in 2023 compared to 2022. Most of last year's success rested on the shoulders of nationally established operators such as DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel, BetRivers, and Caesars Palace. Each of these brands holds a license issued by the MGCB and legally caters to players in the Great Lakes State.
Incursion by offshore platforms negatively affects legal brands, undermining their measures to enhance the market. Collectively, the 15 licensed online casinos offer over 10,000 slot titles and numerous types of , boosting players' gaming experiences. Every licensed operator pays taxes that go into state and local municipalities' budgets, something unregulated operators are not contributing.
MGCB Actively Targets Unlicenced Online Casinos
The latest series of cease-and-desist letters is nothing new for the MGCB. This agency has been monitoring and reprimanding illegal platforms for quite a while. Sweepstake casinos are popular in multiple U.S. jurisdictions where online casino games are not legal, and over 40 states allow social or sweepstake casinos to operate, considering that federal law makes them legal.
Michigan’s policies differ from the rest of the U.S. and exclude sweepstake casinos from the market. According to the Executive Director of MGCB, the agency does not want companies to ignore the law and expose Michigan citizens to risks by allowing them to play on unregulated casino sites. Plus, the agency wants to prevent these companies from taking away funds from communities, as they are not paying taxes like legal online casinos.