Four Michigan residents were convicted and sentenced in Macomb County’s 16th Circuit Court for running an illegal sports betting operation in Sterling Heights that was busted by state officials.
Also earlier this month, five individuals were sentenced for operating an illegal sportsbook in Clio. Some of that group were the same as those convicted in Sterling Heights.
This marks the first two major convictions of illegal sportsbooks in Michigan since the state launched legal sports betting in January 2021. The Michigan Gaming Control Board worked with state and local law enforcement to investigate and arrest the
“[We work] closely with police agencies and the Attorney General’s office to find and eliminate illegal gambling operations and the unwanted crime they bring,” Michigan Gaming Control Board executive director Henry Williams said.
State officials point to the existence of such illegal sportsbooks as a primary reason that legal sports betting and casino betting should be regulated — to protect consumers.
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Convictions Cross Over With Two Illegal Sports Betting Sites in Two Michigan Cities
Sam Daoud and Nadia Daoud, both from Sterling Heights, were each convicted of one felony count of Gambling Operations. Both received probationary sentences and were ordered to pay court costs, crime victim costs, and other fines. Sam Daoud received an 18-month probation sentence, and Nadia Daoud got 11 months and was ordered to wear a tracking device during that period.
Kim Green of Roseville was convicted of Maintaining a Gambling House for Gain. Ordered to pay a fine of $978, she received six months of probation. Brian Shufeldt of Taylor received a felony charge of Gambling Operations. He also was ordered to pay restitution but is pending sentencing on another related matter.
Both Daoud and Shufeldt, in addition to three others, entered guilty pleas for operating an illegal gambling business called Motorcity Jackpott’s, located at 2167 W. Vienna Rd., in Clio. Sentencing has yet to be handed down.
As part of the arrests and investigation, $14,212 in cash and gift cards were seized by the State of Michigan, as well as 35 gaming devices, according to the Michigan State Police.
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Legal, Regulated Sports Betting Protects Michigan Residents
Consumers who place wagers at illegal sportsbook and casino gaming operators are breaking the law, and they jeopardize their security and risk being defrauded. Illegal operators are not required to resolve betting disputes, can do what they want with your deposits, and have not been vetted by state officials and law enforcement. The gaming machines they use are also often not updated for security or cannot be verified as legitimately fair for use.
Part of the reason states are legalizing sports betting and online casino gaming is to safeguard citizens from offshore illegal sportsbooks and criminal retail sites like the ones in Sterling Heights and Clio.
Often, other illegal activities are taking place at these illegal sports betting sites. Consumers are strongly urged to avoid such illegal gaming locations.
“We encourage citizens to report any suspicious activity or illegal gambling by calling the MGCB’s 24-hour anonymous tip line (888-314-2682) and help us stop illegal gambling in Michigan,” MGCB executive director Williams said.