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Burton man sentenced for gaming crime following Genesee Twp. police and Mich. Gaming Control Board investigation

Detroit – A Genesee Township business owner was sentenced in Flint’s 67th District Court Thursday, June 11, to a $1,000 fine and $425 in court costs for a state gaming law violation uncovered through a joint investigation by the Genesee Township Police Department and the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB).

Michael David Smith, 34, of Burton operated Computer Repair & Sales in a Genesee Township shopping plaza at the northwest corner of North Genesee and East Mount Morris roads. Smith was arraigned March 31 in 67th District Court on a charge of operating a gambling operation without an MGCB-issued license and released on $10,000 bond.

He later pled guilty to a misdemeanor, keeping or occupying a common gambling house or place where gaming is permitted. The misdemeanor carries penalties of up to one year in prison or a fine of not more than $1,000, and he received the maximum fine.

“Genesee Township citizens should not have to tolerate an unlicensed, unregulated casino in their community,” said Richard Kalm, MGCB executive director. “Our agency works closely with state and local police agencies and the Attorney General’s office to find and eliminate unlicensed gambling operations and the unwanted crime they bring. We have helped police agencies successfully prosecute businesses using the same type of software found at this Genesee Township location.”

Alerted by Genesee Township police in September 2013, an MGCB investigator found 50 video slot-style machines and an automated teller machine in the back room of a supposed computer repair and sales business.

Police were alerted by a citizen who had inquired about computer repair and became suspicious upon hearing the sounds of slot-like machines in an adjacent room.

The business did not display computer repair information or brochures on computer models or components. However, all of the slot-style machines appeared new and were in very good condition. The only posted sign listed rules for a sweepstakes.

The MGCB assisted the Genesee Township Police, which led to Smith’s arrest and the criminal charge.

“We’ve seen many businesses that claim phone cards or Internet time as their primary trade and allegedly offer gambling as a ‘promotional’ activity when it’s really their main business,” Kalm said. “I encourage citizens to use our anonymous tip line, 888-314-2682, to report any illegal or suspicious activity and help us stop illegal gambling in Michigan.”

"The Michigan Gaming Control Board shall ensure the conduct of fair and honest gaming to protect the interests of the citizens of the State of Michigan."