Three People Sentenced for Roles in Flint Township Illegal Gambling Site Spin City After State Investigation
The Michigan Gaming Control Board (“MGCB”) issued a press release stating that three people were sentenced in Ingham County Court on June 1 in connection with their roles in Spin City, a now-shuttered illegal gambling operation in Flint Township. Following an MGCB investigation into the suspected illegal gambling operation, the Michigan Department of Attorney General filed charges in mid-2019.
The Executive Director of the MGCB, Henry Williams, said, “The Michigan Gaming Control Board appreciates the support from the Attorney General’s office and police agencies across Michigan in helping to eliminate illegal gambling locations, which target low-income neighborhoods, lack player protections and can lead to other more serious crimes.” Mr. Williams added: “These types of illegal gambling locations also deprive K-12 schools of tax funding, which the state charges on legal, regulated gambling.”
All three defendants were sentenced to a day in jail and received credit for one day served. They were all also sentenced to differing probationary periods.
Anthony Sutton, 53, of Wilmington, N.C., was sentenced to a year of probation, 100 hours of community service, and $1,058 in fees and costs after pleading guilty to a gambling operations felony charge. Sutton also forfeited almost $12,500 in cash, seized by the Flint Township Police Department, and 67 computers and games, seized by the State of Michigan.
Kara Schilling, 38, of Flint, was sentenced to a year of probation, 50 hours of community service, and $1,058 in fees and costs after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor of maintaining a gambling house for gain.
Marjorie Brown, 53, of Flint, was sentenced to six months of probation, 100 hours of community service, and $985 in fees and costs after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor of attempting to maintain a gambling house for gain.
The NCPG and CCGNJ Enter Into Agreement to Improve Access to Problem Gambling Support
In a press release, The National Council on Problem Gambling (“NCPG”) announced that it has entered into a license agreement with the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey (“CCGNJ”). This six-year agreement licenses the 1-800-GAMBLER, a federally registered service mark in all U.S. states outside of New Jersey, as well as all U.S. Territories and the District of Columbia, to the NCPG
Felicia Grondin, CCGNJ Executive Director, said, “CCGNJ has always been at the forefront of providing support for people in communities affected by a gambling problem. 1-800-GAMBLER® serves as an essential tool for accessing this support.” Further, he said, “We look forward to working with NCPG to ensure that people from across the country can easily access problem gambling support and resources using this simple, memorable number.”
“Our goal is simple, to continue to make sure 1-800-GAMBLER® provides aid to anyone who needs it as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said Fred W. Hogan, CCGNJ Board President. “We look forward to sharing our strength and experience.”
This announcement is a continuation of the NCPG multi-year project to modernize the National Problem Gambling Helpline. The NCPG project is supported by the National Football League Foundation (“NFLF”), which in 2021 issued them a grant. This grant will improve call center technology, reporting, and data collection. It will additionally support efforts to upgrade criteria and offer standardize training and certification for call centers across the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network.
“Since its inception in 1995, the National Problem Gambling Helpline has seen exponential growth in calls, texts, and chat messages for help from individuals across the country as gambling has continued to expand,” said Keith Whyte, NCPG Executive Director. “The Modernization Project will allow us to make significant improvements to the operations, technology, and infrastructure of the network to keep up with the ever-growing need for problem gambling resources.”
Maureen Greeley, NCPG Board President, said, “This agreement is a vital step forward as we work to increase awareness and access to high-quality services for individuals, families, and communities impacted by problem gambling.” Additionally, he said, “With collaboration as one of our core values, we are grateful for this partnership with our NCPG Affiliate, CCGNJ, that will significantly advance our shared priorities of improving health and wellness by offering the most effective programs and services possible.”
The current National Problem Gambling Helpline Network number (1-800-522-4700) and 1-800-GAMBLER® and the current routing of helpline calls will continue to operate uninterrupted. The NCPG and the CCGNJ will work closely in the coming months to ensure a smooth transition and prevent any service gaps as adjustments are made to the National Helpline Network and Number.
Detroit Casinos Report $108.7 Million in May Aggregate Revenue
According to the May revenues released by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (“MGCB”), the three Detroit casinos reported $108.7 million in monthly aggregate revenue in May. Table games and slots generated $106.3 million in revenue, and retail sports betting generated $2.4 million in revenue.
The May market shares were:
- MGM, 46%
- MotorCity, 32%
- Greektown, 22%
Monthly revenue for table games and slots declined 9.1% when compared to April 2022 results and fell 1.5% when compared to May 2021 results. Through May 31, 2022, table games and slot revenue rose 7.8% with the same five-month period last year.
When compared with May 2021, monthly gaming revenue results were:
- MGM, $50 million, up 8.3%
- MotorCity, $34.6 million, down 9.5%
- Hollywood Casino at Greektown, $21.7 million, down 8%
The three Detroit casinos paid $8.6 million in gaming taxes to the State of Michigan, compared to $8.7 million for the same period last year. The casinos also reported submitting $12.6 million in wagering taxes and development agreement payments to the City of Detroit in May.
Retail sports betting qualified adjusted gross receipts (“QAGR”) for May rose 36.6% in May compared with May 2021 results. Monthly QAGR was 27.7% higher than April 2022.
May QAGR by casino was:
- MGM, $220,028
- MotorCity, $575,469
- Hollywood Casino at Greektown, $1,592,834
Total retail sports betting handle was $22,767,276 and $2.4 million in total gross receipts during May. The three Detroit casinos reported submitting taxes on retail sports betting in the amounts of $90,279 to the State of Michigan and $110,341 to the City of Detroit during for May 2022.
Year to date thru May 31, aggregate retail sports betting QAGR results were:
- MGM, $1.5 million
- MotorCity, $2 million
- Hollywood Casino at Greektown, $3.8 million
Fantasy contest operators reported total adjusted revenues of $1.3 million and paid taxes of $110,652 during April 2022.
Fantasy contest operators reported aggregated total adjusted revenues of $5.1 million and paid taxes of $425.665 to the state for the year through April 30.
MotorCity Casino Hotel Promotes Virginia Allen to Vice President of Security
On June 6, MotorCity Casino announced in a press release the promotion of Ms. Virginia Allen, a 20-year MotorCity veteran, to Vice President of Security.
Ms. Allen, a Detroit native and former MotorCity Director of Security, has built a career in security and security management. She has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Madonna University and an associate’s degree in Law Enforcement & Administration from Wayne County Community College.
In her new position, Ms. Allen will be able to focus on further developing the security operations at MotorCity Casino Hotel.
Bruce Dall, President of MotorCity Hotel, said, “We’re happy to be able to promote a long-term associate into a crucial role such as this. Virginia’s experience in security management will ensure that we continue fostering the best environment for our customers and employees alike.”
“Throughout my career with MotorCity Casino Hotel, I’ve taken great pride in being part of the team entrusted with the security of our guests, associates, and the company’s assets,” said Ms. Allen. “I’m thrilled to further my career with the MotorCity team.”
D.C. Circuit denies Sault Tribe Petition for Rehearing in Case to Use Metro Detroit Land for Casino
In the most recant court decision in the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians’ efforts to use a parcel of land southwest of the Detroit Metropolitan Airport to build a casino, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied the Tribe’s request for rehearing en banc in an order dated May 27, 2022. The Tribe’s request for rehearing followed the court’s February 2022 decision in which the court held that the Department of the Interior (DOI) could refuse to take the land purchased by the Sault Tribe into trust.
The Michigan Indian Land Claims Settlement Act empowers the Sault Tribe to promote tribal self-sufficiency by using the interest from its Self-Sufficiency Fund to purchase new land that will “enhance . . . tribal lands.” In its February opinion, however, the court noted that the “mere acquisition [of the land at issue] does not constitute an ‘enhancement of tribal lands.’” The DOI, therefore, was permitted to refuse to take the land into trust.
Circuit Judge Henderson dissented from the court’s February opinion. Judge Henderson criticized the decision to allow the Secretary of the DOI to refuse to take the land purchased by the Sault Tribe into trust as an unjustified expansion of the agency’s authority. Because state law vests the Sault Tribe with the ability to use its fund income and interest “as it sees fit,” Judge Henderson contended that the DOI should be required to take the land into trust.
The Tribe had argued that en banc review was justified because the court’s previous decision contravenes binding precedent that mandates “statutes designed to benefit tribes be construed in the Tribes’ favor.”
Little River Casino Resort Presents Over $650,000 to the Manistee County Local Revenue Sharing Board
Little River Casino Resort (“LRCR”) recently presented a check for $650,460.20 to the Manistee County Local Revenue Sharing Board(“Board”) on behalf of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians (“LRBOI”), it announced in a press release. The LRBOI has provided over $40.7 million to the Board since 1999.
The LRCR made the distribution as part of an agreement with Manistee County. However, it considers the distribution as part of its long-standing commitment to being a good community member and community partner.
The funds have been designated for and supplement public safety organizations, payments in lieu of taxes (PILT), and costs incurred by local government units. These payments have benefited local public schools, West Shore Community College, Council of Aging, Manistee Township, Conservation District, Medical Care, and others.