July 14, 2024
Illegal Online Gambling

Michigan Gaming Control Board Cracks Down on Illegal Online Gambling

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has declared war on illegal online gambling companies in the state. Earlier this year, the MGCB sent cease and desist letters to three gambling companies—Predictions Strike, VGW Lucky Land and Sweepstakes Limited.

The Gambling Control Board accused these betting firms of providing Internet gambling without proper licensing. The first two operators—Predictions Strike and VGW Lucky Land—are US-based. Sweepstakes Limited is located in Cyprus.

According to Henry Williams, the MFCB’s executive director, the recent move was made to protect Michigan citizens from companies that disobey the state’s gambling laws.

“We do not want businesses who skirt the law having access to Michigan citizens and leaving them vulnerable because they are playing on unregulated sites that leave them with no recourse,” Williams said.

Tax Loss a Major Concern

Although Williams cited protecting local citizens as the primary motive for cracking down on illegal betting sites, he also mentioned that failure to pay taxes was a significant concern.

These companies “siphon funds away from communities because they are not paying taxes like a regulated, legal gambling establishment would,” Williams added.

Last year, Michigan generated $2.3 billion from its 12 legal casinos and sportsbooks. This was an 18% increase compared to 2022 when the sector contributed $1.98 billion to the state economy.

Licensed Michigan online casinos contributed $1.9 billion of last year’s revenue, including $369.8 million paid as tax. Sports betting generated $420 million, of which $15.8 million went to the state as tax. 

Michigan charges new iGaming applications an initial fee of $50,000. If accepted, the operators must pay another $100,000 fee. Tax-wise, operators pay 20% to 28% of their annual gross income per year. 

The state believes it could generate higher taxes by cracking down on illegal gambling dens. Indeed, this has worked in every other state that has suppressed black market casinos.

A Bigger Focus on Operators Than Players

You don’t need to worry about the recent crackdown if you live in Michigan and use unlicensed sweepstake casinos occasionally. State officials have been vocal about their primary targets—unlicensed gambling sites.

Unless you run an illegal gambling site, Michigan won’t come after you. That’s true even if you play slots and card games at an offshore casino. Sure, state laws prohibit illegal gambling.

However, officials have always prioritized the big guys when protecting local gambling laws. This isn’t to say you should bet on illegal sites. If anything, always use licensed operators.

Licensed casinos offer security and peace of mind. They feature fair games, transparent policies and reachable contacts. Additionally, licensing allows you to contact the MGCB if you ever encounter unfair treatment, fraud or data loss.

Gambling Legally in Michigan

Although Michigan’s gambling war targets operators, it is in your best interest to gamble legally. Not only does playing at legal casinos make you a good citizen, but it also improves your experience.

As mentioned, licensed casinos protect your data and money. They offer the best games and operate transparently. That said, casinos aren’t created equal. Below is a guide to help you choose the best casino sites in the Great Lake State.

Safety and Trustworthiness

The first rule of choosing a good online casino is to check for safety. A license is an excellent sign that a site is safe. So, look out for a permit from the MGCB. All licensed operators have encrypted websites.

Beyond encryption, look for account protection features like two-factor authentication, a fingerprint lock and a password. Also, read a site’s data protection policies. It needs to comply with regulators like GDPR on matters to do with data protection.

When it comes to trustworthiness, pay attention to a company’s reputation. Check reviews, testimonials and anything else that can help reveal whether you can trust a site.

Games and Software Providers

The beauty of playing at a licensed casino is that you will find high-quality slots and card games. We’re talking about top-tier slots like Megabucks, Mega Moolah, Starburst, Thunderstruck II, and Book of the Dead.

The standard online casino in Michigan has 300+ slots and table games. Choose sites with live casino games. Live casinos offer a video-based gaming platform where you can see and talk with fellow players.

Prioritize payout rates in games. Slots with high return-to-player rates offer you the best chances of winning. Likewise, you can lower the house edge by choosing high-payout table games like blackjack and baccarat.

Most casino sites in Michigan offer games created by excellent software companies. Some, like IGT and Scientific Games, are located in the US. Others like Microgaming, NetEnt, Evolution and Playtech are headquartered in Europe.

Fair Bonuses and Promotions

Most online casinos have welcome bonuses. But there’s a difference between these promotions. Bonuses from safe online casinos have fair terms and conditions.

Fair and transparent bonus policies increase your chances of turning a bonus into money you can withdraw to your bank account. Another benefit is that casinos with appropriate terms usually give you many promotions.

They welcome you with bonuses when you sign up for an account. They give you more bonuses after your first deposit. And if you prove your loyalty, you can receive bonuses weekly.

Choose a casino with lots of fair bonuses. You will always have betting credits to play your favorite games. However, if you select black market casinos, you risk losing money to bonus scams.

Mobile Support and Customer Service

In this age of smartphones, no one likes to play at a casino with no mobile support. So, find a site that can work on your iPhone or Android device. If it comes with a native app, this is a bonus. However, it’s not necessary.

Mobile website technology has improved so much that native apps are losing popularity. This is especially true in the iGaming space. Most people play at multiple casinos. And they want to avoid filling their phones with betting apps.

Choose a mobile casino with a functional customer service department. This way, any issue you experience can be resolved quickly. 

Final Thoughts About Illegal Online Gambling

Ending the cycle of Illegal Online Gambling begins with informed choices. Michigan’s legal framework provides a safe environment for bettors. Prioritize your safety and contribute to the local economy by betting legally.

Avatar Of Michaela Nolte

Michaela Nolte

Michaela is a history buff and loves to export historical markers and old buildings and seeks stories about Michigan and Great Lakes history. When she is not writing, you can find her with a good book sipping wine on the beach.

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