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Charitable iCasino Shut Down In Michigan, While Caesars Launches Online Slot

Sweepstakes casino was operating without a license, says attorney general




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On Tuesday, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced that Golden Hearts Games had agreed to cease operating in the state after a Michigan Gaming Control Board investigation determined that the company was offering its mobile casino — a platform described by SBC Americas as a cross between sweepstakes casinos and charitable gaming — without a license.

According to a press release issued by the AG’s office, the MGCB began investigating Golden Hearts in August 2021. In 2022, Nessel’s office issued a cease-and-desist order, which the operator failed to heed. Shortly thereafter, the attorney general informed Golden Hearts that it would be sued for violating Michigan’s Lawful Internet Gaming Act if it again declined to voluntarily shut down operations in the state. On Sept. 1 of this year, Golden Hearts finally complied, signing an Assurance of Discontinuance.

“Unlicensed gaming robs our schools and our government of essential funding and leaves consumers unprotected,” Nessel said in the release. “When companies like Golden Hearts attempt to circumvent Michigan’s gaming laws, they create the false impression that their games are legal and safe for consumers. My office is committed to ensuring that our gaming laws are strictly enforced and those who violate those laws are held accountable.”

The way Golden Hearts’ sweepstakes casino works is that after a player deposits money (to be distributed to select charities), they receive sweepstakes coins to play online casino games. If they win, they can cash out coins for real money. 

As SBC Americas noted, other sweepstakes casinos, such as Luckyland Casino and Chumba Casino, are legal in Michigan.

On the regulated side of the ledger, Michigan this week became one of two states (along with New Jersey) in which Bragg Gaming Group made its Lady Luck Casino Egyptian Magic online slot exclusively available for play on the recently launched Caesars Palace Online Casino.

According to a press release, the game’s name “combines gameplay and imagery from Bragg’s popular slot title Egyptian Magic with the Lady Luck Casino brand owned by Caesars Entertainment, offering players a custom gaming experience with proven mechanics.”

Set against the pyramids of ancient Egypt, the slot features 50 win lines and two magical features, along with the chance to win credits and jackpots with a unique upgrade feature. Additionally, the game offers players opportunities to earn reward points that can be used toward “memorable experiences at more than 50 Caesars Rewards destinations.”

Photo: Chris duMond/Getty Images