Judge keeps sweepstakes cafe closed

Bryan Cohen Jun. 21, 2012, 6:50am


LANSING, Mich. (Legal Newsline) - Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced on Tuesday that an allegedly illegal gambling operation will remain closed after a judge denied a request by the business to enjoin Schuette from taking action against it.

On June 11, Judge Judith Fullerton of Genesee's 7th Circuit Court denied a request by the Flint Business Center to enjoin Schuette from taking an enforcement action against the internet sweepstakes cafe. FBC and 11 other sweepstakes cafes were sent cease and desist letters on April 9 and June 8 by Schuette's Alcohol & Gambling Enforcement Division.

"Sweepstakes cafes that operate as illegal casinos will be shut down to protect the public," Schuette said. "Illegal gaming operations will not be tolerated in Michigan."

The letters demanded that the 12 businesses stop illegal casino-style sweepstakes gambling. The FBC closed its doors upon receiving the letter and sought an injunction against Schuette's enforcement action.

In response to the injunction request, Schuette argued that the casino-style sweepstakes gaming was in violation of multiple portions of the state's Penal Code and Gaming Control & Revenue Act. Fullerton agreed with Schuette and effectively denied FBC's request to remain open. Schuette plans to follow with a motion to have the lawsuit dismissed.

Since Schuette's office sent the cease and desist letters, eight of the sweepstakes businesses have stopped the allegedly illegal gaming operations.

The most recently served businesses served with cease and desist letters have some time to respond before additional enforcement action can be taken.

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