How Illegal Gambling Busts Happen in Lansing

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) — After two suspected illegal casinos in Lansing were closed, police explained Thursday how they operated to the city’s committee of safety.

Read: Lansing Police Update Security Committee on Gambling Crackdown

Police said both casinos were operating without a license for their machines. They also said the games were falsely advertised as “skill games”, meaning they win prizes based on skill level.

The Lansing City Safety Committee interviewed Cpt. Robert Backus on the recent raid on illegal gambling operations. On March 8, officers from the Lansing Police Department and the Michigan Gaming Control Board raided two suspected illegal casinos. They confiscated 82 machines and over $91,000.

Context: ‘Illegal and Unregulated Gambling Operations’ – Alleged Casinos Raided by Lansing Police

Backus said criminals who operate casinos tend to move around, which makes them difficult to catch.

“The way they’re set up – in our experience – is that they’re gaming tables. When they want to move around, they can just load them up and take them to another location,” Backus said.

He told the committee that access to these sites is extremely difficult.

“It’s not a place where I can walk. A lot of times there are locked doors,” Backus said. “If I don’t know anyone, I can’t just get into this.”

That being the case, Backus said they are counting on community members to reach out.

“Usually we get information about the existence of these kinds of gambling venues from our citizens,” Backus said. “They show up in their communities and get attention and that’s when they call us to report them.”

Backus said it’s a problem across Michigan, and many sites have affiliates elsewhere, some out of state.

Police are urging the public to report any casinos they believe are illegal. Backus said a red flag to look for is if the casino pays customers in cash upfront, instead of on a card first. You can report an anonymous report through the Michigan Gaming Control Board’s Anonymous Reporting Line at 1-888-314-2682.

Continued: Crime News

Copyright 2022 WILX. All rights reserved.

Subscribe to our News newsletter 10 and get the latest local news and weather straight to your email every morning.