Slot machines in a shopping center
The Michigan Gaming Control Board has announced that a fourth person has been charged with illegal gambling-related crimes related to a gambling operation in Flint Township. David Hoppe, 57, was arraigned on charges on Tuesday. His involvement was uncovered in a joint investigation by the Michigan Department of Attorney General and the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
strip mall store that housed 30 slot-style machines
Hoppe faces six felony charges for allegedly supplying illegal gambling machines to Spin City between May 2017 and February 2019. Spin City was a strip mall store that housed 30 slot-style machines. It did not hide its business at all, with an awning and a banner proudly advertising the facility to passersby. The “S” in “Spin City” on the awning was even a dollar sign, and the banner displayed an image of slot reels.
Hoppe is looking at four ten-year felony counts of aiding and abetting an unlicensed gambling operation, one ten-to-20-year felony count of using a computer to commit a crime, and one 20-year felony count of racketeering by conducting a criminal enterprise.
Three cohorts charged last year
Last June, three other people were charged with operating Spin City: two women from Flint and a man from North Carolina.
50-year-old Marjorie Brown was charged with one count of operating a gambling facility, one high court misdemeanor for maintaining an illegal gambling facility, and two counts of using a computer to commit a crime. Kara Shilling, 35, was charged with the same four counts, plus one count of conducting a criminal enterprise and one count of conspiracy of a criminal enterprise.
50-year-old Anthony Sutton voluntarily returned to Michigan to face the same four counts as Brown, plus one count of conducting a criminal enterprise.
The Attorney General’s Office issued a cease and desist order to the three Spin City operators in early 2019, but they ignored it.
those who seek to fly under the radar with illegal gambling operations will consistently be held accountable”
“Gambling is a highly regulated industry in our state and those who seek to fly under the radar with illegal gambling operations will consistently be held accountable,” said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel at the time.
In Wednesday’s press release, Nessel reminded people that regulated gambling, such as the lottery and Michigan’s licensed casinos, provides tax revenue to schools and government agencies. Illegal gambling takes money away from those who need it.
Hoppe has a history
This is the third time that David Hoppe has been charged with illegal gambling-related crimes and the second time this year.
In February 2020, he and his 31-year-old son Lucas were arrested for operating the 777 Café in Roseville. David was found guilty of similar charges to those that he now faces. His son pleaded guilty to attempting to run an illegal gambling operation, which, while still a felony, is not as serious as his father’s counts. Prosecutors dropped three other charges against Kyle as part of a plea deal.
Back in 2013, Hoppe pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of maintaining a gaming or gambling place. The charge was reduced from a possible ten-year felony because he agreed to not make machines that were not certified by the Control Board as non-gambling machines available to the public.