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Three "Internet Sweepstakes Cafes" Raided

Contact:  Gary Paolella (313) 456-4178
December 21, 2012


Time: 3:00 p.m. 
Location: Cadillac Place, 3062 W. Grand Blvd., L-700 - Detroit.


Three "Internet Sweepstakes Cafés" Raided

 December 19, 2012


DETROIT - Troopers from the Michigan State Police (MSP) Gaming Section, along with Agents from the Michigan Gaming Control Board and Attorney General's office, served search warrants on three "Internet Sweepstakes Cafés" in Monroe and Washtenaw Counties where suspected illegal gambling was taking place.  Two additional search warrants were served on banks in Michigan, freezing monetary assets connected with the locations.


A total of 84 computers and equipment used for illegal gambling were seized from the establishments in Michigan, as well as approximately $9,000.00 in cash.  Additional warrants were served in Ohio resulting in the freezing of $66,000 in additional financial assets. No arrests were made at this time and the investigation is ongoing.


Internet Sweepstakes Cafés sell internet access to customers  entitling them to a certain number of sweepstakes entries.  The sweepstakes entries are then wagered on casino-style video slot machines allowing them a chance to win cash prizes. 


The Michigan Penal Code and the Michigan Gaming Control & Revenue Act strictly prohibit unregulated gambling.  The only gambling authorized under state law includes pari-mutuel horse racing, bingo, the state-sponsored lottery, and certain charity events along with casino gambling licensed under the Michigan Gaming Control & Revenue Act.


Since May 3, 2012, the Attorney General's Alcohol & Gambling Enforcement Division, after investigations conducted by the MSP Gaming Section and the Gaming Board, has successfully closed 32 sweepstakes café locations operating illegal gambling operations in Michigan.      


The MSP Gaming Section was also assisted by Secret Service and the U.S. Attorney's office in Detroit along with deputies from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office and troopers from MSP Brighton Post.

Michigan citizens are encouraged to report any suspicious or illegal gambling to the Michigan Gaming Control Board by calling their 24-hour anonymous tip line at 888-314-2682.   To contact the Attorney General's Alcohol & Gambling Enforcement Division, please call 517-241-7210.