Michigan Cracks Down on Unlicensed Online Gaming Operators

The companies under scrutiny include PredictionStrike Inc. from Bay Shore, New York; Sweepstakes Limited based in Limassol, Cyprus; and VGW LuckyLand, Inc. in San Francisco, California

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The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has issued cease-and-desist letters to three entities engaged in unlicensed online gaming operations. 

MGCB Uncovers Illegal Online Gaming, Ensures Rapid Regulatory Response

Following thorough investigations, the MGCB discovered that these companies were offering online gaming services to Michigan residents without the required licenses. The regulatory action comes as part of the board’s ongoing efforts to enforce gaming laws and ensure the protection of Michigan citizens.

PredictionStrike Inc., identified as one of the US-based companies, was found to have breached regulations by providing internet gaming and sports betting services in Michigan without obtaining the necessary licenses. 

Meanwhile, Sweepstakes Limited was accused of promoting an unlicensed online lottery and raffle through its Stake.us platform, accessible to Michigan customers. 

VGW LuckyLand, Inc., an overseas entity, faced allegations of conducting illegal gambling by offering an internet game that involved monetary wagers for the chance to win valuable prizes.

MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams emphasized the importance of stringent gambling regulations, stating: “Gambling regulations are in place for a reason, and illegal gambling operations are not welcome in Michigan.” 

Williams further underscored the potential risks to citizens posed by unregulated sites, leaving them vulnerable without proper recourse and diverting funds away from taxed, legal establishments that contribute to community welfare.

The MGCB’s actions are rooted in the violation of key Michigan gaming laws, including the Lawful Internet Gaming Act and the Lawful Sports Betting Act, which mandate that online gaming and sports betting can only be offered by licensed operators. 

Additionally, the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act criminalizes gambling operations conducted without the MGCB’s approval, with penalties of imprisonment or fines.

In response to the cease-and-desist letters, the implicated companies have taken measures to restrict access to their platforms for Michigan residents. 

However, the MGCB encourages citizens with information on illegal gambling websites to report tips, fostering community engagement in maintaining regulatory integrity.

Additionally, various resources, including self-exclusion programs and responsible gaming databases, are available on the MGCB website and DontRegretTheBet.org to promote responsible gambling habits.

In other news, last week Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reappointed Joni M. Thrower Davis and Andrew T. Palms to MGCB, extending their terms until December 31, 2027. With Palms serving his 12th year and Davis entering her second four-year term, MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams commended their dedication and expertise, expressing confidence in the stability and effective decision-making of the board under their continued leadership.

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