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Compliance Updates

MGCB Announces Successful Destruction of Illegal Gaming Machines

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Michigan Gaming Control Board Executive Director Henry Williams has announced that numerous unlicensed illegal gaming machines were recently destroyed at the City Recycling Inc. junkyard located at 1943 Mack Avenue in Detroit.

The machines had been seized by the Attorney General during various MGCB investigations into alleged illegal gambling activity. To ensure that the machines cannot be reused or sold, they were crushed using heavy machinery to prevent any salvageable parts from being used elsewhere.

“Illegal gaming continues to pose a threat to Michigan citizens and their communities, as it often leads to an increase in organized criminal activity, financial exploitation, and other related social issues. Unregulated gaming machines also result in a loss of state revenue. Operators running illegal gaming establishments are not reporting earnings or paying taxes — they are essentially robbing Michigan citizens of taxes and revenue used to support our schools through the School Aid Fund and our communities and local governments with essential state funding dollars,” Williams said.

Illegal gaming refers to any form of gambling or betting activity — which involves the elements of consideration, prize, and chance — that is conducted outside the boundaries of the law. It is a widespread problem across the US and not unique to Michigan. According to the American Gaming Association’s report, Sizing the Illegal and Unregulated Gaming Markets in the US, unregulated gaming machines, including so-called “skill machines,” continue to proliferate, with an estimated 580,651 unregulated machines in the US. With 870,000 regulated machines in casinos across the country, that means 40% of all gaming machines are unlicensed.

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“The machines destroyed by the MGCB are the tools of criminals, cheating their neighbors of their hard-earned money as well as the state out of gaming revenues that support our schools. Illegal gaming operations are a danger to their communities, typically becoming local hotspots for other crimes and violence. We will continue to coordinate with the Michigan Gaming Control Board to ensure our state’s gambling laws are strictly enforced,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said.

“The destruction of these machines sends a clear message that the Michigan Gaming Control Board is not playing games when it comes to upholding the highest standards of gaming regulation and enforcement. The MGCB will continue to ensure that unauthorized machines are not left to chance to be repurposed and used again by those who choose to break the law,” Williams added.

Michigan law prohibits accepting money or anything of value with the understanding that money, or something of value, will be paid to any person contingent upon the outcome of an uncertain event. Unlicensed casinos, unauthorized online gambling platforms, underground sports-betting operations, or any other form of wagering that is not regulated by the MGCB are all considered forms of illegal gaming.

As part of its work to halt illegal gaming, the MGCB and the Liquor Control Commission began a joint effort in 2022 to educate the public and business owners about illegal use of gambling machines. As a result of MGCB investigations from January 2015 through July 2023, a total of 1195 illegal machines and $470,401.98 have been seized. Additionally, since November 2022, 48 locations have received cease-and-desist letters involving 105 illegal machines.

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Compliance Updates

NJ Governor Murphy Establishes Task Force to Support Responsible Gaming

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has signed Executive Order No. 360, establishing a Responsible Gaming Task Force responsible for providing advice and recommendations to the Governor’s Office and to the Attorney General regarding reforms to support responsible gaming and to address problem gambling in New Jersey.

A rise in problem gambling has been observed over the past few years, according to a 2023 report from the Rutgers University Center for Gambling Studies. The Rutgers study estimated that 6% of New Jersey residents are at high risk for problem gambling, which is significantly higher than the national average of 1-2%, with the highest rates affecting Black/African American or Hispanic residents.

“New Jersey is known to be a gaming destination with historic locations like Atlantic City, amusement gaming at the Jersey Shore, notable horse racing venues, and more. This Task Force will see to it that we maintain our global leadership in gaming by ensuring that we have the tools needed to address problem gaming for our residents,” said Governor Murphy.

“I applaud Governor Murphy for his leadership in elevating responsible gaming initiatives through the establishment of a statewide task force. New Jersey has been a national leader in casino and sports wagering for many years, and we owe it to our residents to review and expand our existing efforts on problem gambling. This task force demonstrates that ‘responsible gaming’ is not merely a buzzword in New Jersey, but a critical issue that demands the attention of government entities, industry, and stakeholders. As Chair of the task force, I’m eager to get underway in examining ways to help bring attention to and support the prevention and treatment of gambling disorder,” said Attorney General Platkin.

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The responsibilities of the Responsible Gaming Task Force will be to review several areas of the problem gambling landscape, including the effects on underage and vulnerable communities; develop strategies to achieve responsible gaming; and make recommendations for policy changes to address the issue of problem gambling.

Members of the Task Force will consist of seven government representatives or their designees, including:

The Attorney General, who shall serve as Chair;

The Chair of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission;

The Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs;

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The Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement;

The Director of the Division of State Lottery;

The Executive Director of the New Jersey Racing Commission; and

The Commissioner of the Department of Human Services.

The Task Force may consult with experts, representatives of regulated entities, or other knowledgeable individuals in the public or private sector with respect to any aspect of its mission.

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Compliance Updates

Flows Now Registered in New Jersey

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Technology solutions provider Flows is now officially registered as an active vendor in New Jersey.

James King, CEO of Flows, said: “Receiving approval as a vendor in New Jersey is a next natural step for us at Flows as we accelerate our North American expansion. It highlights the dedication and effort of our entire team and aligns with our mission to deliver cutting-edge innovation platform to the US market. A big thanks to our fantastic client Light & Wonder who supported our registration as well as a big shout out to North America’s finest legal outfit Saiber LLC (Jeremy and his team) for their expert guidance throughout this process.”

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Compliance Updates

Aruze Gaming Announces Rapid Expansion Throughout North America and Asia

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Aruze Gaming Global (AG2) has announced rapid expansion throughout North America and Asia. AG2 has now met the rigorous requirements and has been granted approvals from the following jurisdictions, across North America and Asia. These new gaming licenses dramatically expand AG2’s addressable markets in more than 160 new jurisdictions, including recent approvals in Macau (SAR) China (DICJ), Philippines (PAGCOR), Pennsylvania, Virginia, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and dozens more that are in process. Additionally, AG2 is establishing offices and distributorships in the Netherlands, Malaysia, Philippines, Cambodia, and Vietnam to further extend its international reach. AG2 has now been granted licenses for over 160 gaming jurisdictions world-wide, up from just 76 licenses in August of 2023.

This accomplishment marks a substantial expansion for AG2, solidifying its commitment to providing cutting-edge gaming solutions with the highest standards of regulatory compliance. The recent approvals underscore the company’s dedication to fostering strong relationships with its partners across the globe while ensuring responsible and transparent gaming practices.

Kelcey Allison, Global Chief Operating Officer, said: “The timing could not be better for the new gaming licenses. Coupled with the recent release of several new titles that are performing at 2 to 3 times house average – thus giving us some amazing new content for our existing and newly accessible markets.”

Betty Zhao, SVP of International Operations, said: “Our explosive growth and high-performing new content is fueling a lot of excitement with our new customers.”

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