Casino Related Offenses in Michigan
There are a number of different crimes in Michigan, under state law, related to gambling, gaming, and casinos. In as much as casinos provide a significant source of revenue to the state and local governments, these crimes are diligently pursued by the Michigan Attorney General's office. Pursuant to MCL 432.218 (1) A person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 10 years or a fine of not more than $100,000.00, or both, and shall be barred from receiving or maintaining a license for doing any of the following: (a) Conducting a gambling operation where wagering is used or to be used without a license issued by the board. (b) Conducting a gambling operation where wagering is permitted other than in the manner specified in section 9. (c) Knowingly making a false statement on an application for any license provided in this act or a written document provided under oath in support of a proposal for a development agreement. (d) Knowingly providing false testimony to the board or its authorized representative while under oath. (e) Willfully failing to report, pay, or truthfully account for any license fee or tax imposed by this act or willfully attempt in any way to evade or defeat the license fee, tax, or payment. A person convicted under this subsection shall also be subject to a penalty of 3 times the amount of the licensee fee or tax not paid. (f) Making a political contribution in violation of section 7b of this act. Pursuant to MCL 432.218 (2) A person commits a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 10 years or a fine of not more than $100,000.00, or both, and, in addition, shall be barred for life from a gambling operation under the jurisdiction of the board if the person does any of the following: (a) Offers, promises, or gives anything of value or benefit to a person who is connected with a licensee or affiliated company, including, but not limited to, an officer or employee of a casino licensee or holder of an occupational license pursuant to an agreement or arrangement or with the intent that the offer, promise, or thing of value or benefit will influence the actions of the person to whom the offer, promise, or gift was made in order to affect or attempt to affect the outcome of a gambling game, or to influence official action of a member of the board. (b) Solicits or knowingly accepts or receives a promise of anything of value or benefit while the person is employed by or connected with a licensee, including, but not limited to, an officer or employee of a casino licensee or holder of an occupational license, pursuant to an understanding or arrangement or with the intent that the promise or thing of value or benefit will influence the actions of the person to affect or attempt to affect the outcome of a gambling game. (c) Offers, promises, or gives anything of value or benefit to a member, employee, or agent of the board or an official of any state or local agency or governmental body with the intent that the offer, promise, or thing of value or benefit will influence the official action of the person to whom the offer, promise, or gift was made pertaining to a city development agreement, or administrating, licensing, regulating, or enforcing this act. (d) Solicits or knowingly accepts or receives a promise of anything of value or benefit while the person is a member, employee, or agent of the board, or an official of any state or local agency or governmental body, pursuant to an understanding or arrangement or with the intent that the promise or thing of value or benefit will influence the official action of the member, employee, or agent of the board or official of the state or local governmental body pertaining to a city development agreement, or enforcing this act. (Basically the above previsions concerning MCL 432.218(2) concern conspiracies or attempted conspiracies to defraud the casino. There have been instances in which a dealer and a player have conspired together to give the player advantages against the house by revealing cards, preferential dealing, turning a blind eye to players swapping cards, etc., etc. This exclusion, however, goes beyond dealers. It extends to anyone employed or working in conjunction with a casino from receiving any type of benefit to influence the outcome of a game. On top of possible incarceration and fines, a conviction for any offense under MCL 432.218(2) leads to a lifetime ban from any casino regulated by the Michigan Gaming Commission. Casinos have an extensive network of cameras, imaging software, profiles of persons, and security that are effective in preventing banned or disassociated persons from entering and remaining in Michigan casinos). (e) Except as otherwise provided by the board, uses or possesses with the intent to use a device to assist in doing any of the following: (i) Projecting the outcome of a gambling game. (ii) Keeping track of the cards played in a gambling game. (iii) Analyzing the probability of the occurrence of an event relating to a gambling game. (iv) Analyzing the strategy for playing or betting to be used in a gambling game. (f) Cheats at a gambling game. (g) Manufactures, sells, or distributes cards, chips, dice, a game, or a device that is intended to be used to violate this act. (h) Alters or misrepresents the outcome of a gambling game on which wagers have been made after the outcome is determined but before it is revealed to the players. (i) Places a bet after acquiring knowledge, not available to all players, of the outcome of the gambling game that is the subject of the bet or to aid a person in acquiring the knowledge for the purpose of placing a bet contingent on that outcome. (j) Claims, collects, takes, or attempts to claim, collect, or take money or anything of value in or from the gambling games, with intent to defraud, without having made a wager contingent on winning a gambling game, or claims, collects, or takes an amount of money or thing of value of greater value than the amount won. (k) Uses counterfeit chips or tokens in a gambling game. (l) Possesses a key or device designed for the purpose of opening, entering, or affecting the operation of a gambling game, drop box, or an electronic or mechanical device connected with the gambling game or for removing coins, tokens, chips, or other contents of a gambling game. This subdivision does not apply to a gambling licensee or employee of a gambling licensee acting in furtherance of the employee's employment. Pursuant to MCL 432.218(3) A person, or an affiliate of a person, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year in a county jail or a $10,000.00 fine, or both, for doing any of the following: (a) Knowingly making a wager if the person is under 21 years of age or permitting a person under 21 years to make a wager. (b) Willfully failing to appear before or provide an item to the board at the time and place specified in a subpoena or summons issued by the board or executive director. (c) Willfully refusing, without just cause, to testify or provide items in answer to a subpoena, subpoena duces tecum or summons issued by the board or executive director. (d) Conducting or permitting a person who is not licensed pursuant to this act to conduct activities required to be licensed under the casino, occupational, and suppliers licensee provisions in this act or in rules promulgated by the board. (e) Knowingly violates or aids or abets in the violation of the provisions of section 7b of this act. (f) Leasing, pledging, borrowing, or loaning money against a casino, supplier, or occupational license. Pursuant to MCL 432.218(4) The possession of more than 1 of the devices described in subsection (2)(e) permits a rebuttable presumption that the possessor intended to use the devices for cheating. Pursuant to MCL 432.218(5) An action to prosecute any crime described in this section may, in the discretion of the attorney general or county prosecuting attorney, be tried in the county in which the crime occurred or in the county of Ingham. A person with a gambling problem and seeking help for that problem can place their name on a list of disassociated persons pursuant to MCL 432.225(1), which creates a lifetime ban from entering a casino in the state. If the person is on this list, he or she can be prosecuted for criminal trespassing and lose any winnings gained if caught on the property of the casino. According to MCL 432.225(13) an individual who has placed his or her name on the list of disassociated persons who enters a casino in the state is guilty of a misdemeanor offense of criminal trespassing. This offense is punishable for up to 1 year in jail, a fine of not more than $1,000, or both. Even with all the security and surveillance employed by casinos, there are many other crimes that can occur in a casino besides the offenses listed above.Some of the more common offenses prosecuted against patrons of casinos include:Larceny in a Building (for example the theft of another player's chips), Larceny from the Person, Armed Robbery, Unarmed Robbery, Conspiracy to Commit a Crime, Aggravated Assault, Assault, Minor in Possession of Alcohol, Public Intoxication, Disorderly person, Malicious Destruction of Property, Trespassing, Uttering and Publishing (trying to pass a counterfeit check), Counterfeit Currency, Nonsufficient Funds Check (bouncing a check), and No Account check (writing a check on a closed account).Some offenses prosecuted against employees of casinos include:Embezzlement, Conspiracy to Commit a Crime, Larceny in a Building, and Larceny from the Person. Defending any criminal allegation from within a casino usually involves video evidence and the testimony of trained security personnel.