Michigan Officials Confiscate 67 Gambling Devices, $10K During Flint Raids

Posted on: August 23, 2022, 12:07h. 

Last updated on: August 24, 2022, 02:02h.

Raids last week in Michigan netted 67 gaming devices, $10,141 in cash, and gift cards from two storefront businesses in Flint, Mich. The businesses acted as fronts for illegal gambling, news reports said.

Some of the gambling devices seized in raids in Flint, Mich
Some of the gambling devices seized in raids in Flint, Mich., pictured above. The Michigan Gaming Control Board undertook the searches. (Image: MGCB)

Some 11 video slot machines and 56 computers were confiscated in the August searches of The Cellular Vault and Cellular Bank. Business records also were seized by the Michigan Attorney General’s office and the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB).

Inside the Cellular Vault, officials found 39 computers used to play slot-style games. At the Cellular Bank, they located 11 standalone slot machines and 13 computers used to play slot-style games.

Players at Cellular Bank also got a card with a PIN. That let them wager online from offsite locations, the statement said.

The searches took place after the MGCB received several anonymous tips. A judge later approved the searches. The enforcement initiative will likely curb different types of crime, Henry Williams, MGCB executive director, said in a statement.

So far, officials have not made any arrests in connection with the searches.

April Gambling Raids

This month’s raids followed similar actions in Michigan on April 27.

That is when state investigators removed 100 devices and $29,200 in cash, and numerous gift cards, found at alleged storefront gaming venues. The outlets were identified as The State Road Spot in Davison and The Bristol Spot in Burton.

At The Bristol Spot, officials seized 12 standalone gaming machines and 23 gaming computer towers in April. In April, officials confiscated 11 standalone gaming machines and 54 gaming computer towers at The State Road Spot.

The raids started with a tip from the public about the Burton gaming location, officials said. Their investigation led them to discover the operation in Davison, officials add.

Ex-Flint Police Chief

In October, two men arrested for allegedly operating West Point Arcade in Flint, Mich., pleaded guilty to illegal gambling charges. A third man, the city’s former police chief, was heading to trial for his charges.

Ex-Police Chief Bradford Barksdale is charged with gambling activities-felony, using a computer to commit a crime, and possession of a short-barreled shotgun. Barksdale could face up to 25 years in prison if found guilty on each of three Michigan charges, according to a statement from Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

He opted for a trial in local court. During a court appearance, Genesee County Circuit Court Judge David Guinn found probable cause for the criminal case against the former chief to go to trial.

Barksdale frequently played poker at the Palace Poker Room in Burton, according to WJRT, a local TV station. The two other defendants in the Flint case owned this venue.

Barksdale allegedly shot and killed a masked intruder who was trying to rob the gaming facility in 2009, WJRT said. He resigned or retired as Flint’s top cop in 2004, MLive, a regional news site, reported.