DETROIT — A 57-yearold St. Clair County man convicted earlier this year in Macomb County Circuit Court for conducting an unlicensed gambling operation faces sentencing Oct. 12 after pleading guilty to charges in a Genesee County illegal gambling case.
Charges were filed in June for the second case against David Hoppe of East China Township following a joint investigation by the Michigan Department of Attorney General and the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) of his alleged relationship with Spin City, a suspected illegal gambling operation in Flint Township.
Hoppe pled guilty Aug. 19 before Genesee County’s 67th District Court Chief Judge Mark C. McCabe to one felony count of conducting illegal gambling activities and one felony count of using a computer to commit a felony at Spin City in Flint Township. Both charges are punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Four other charges were dismissed, including three charges of aiding and abetting an illegal gambling operation and racketeering by conducting a criminal enterprise at multiple locations.
“Gambling is a highly regulated activity in Michigan, and the MGCB and law enforcement agencies are serious about protecting citizens from illegal operators, who often are tied to organized crime,” said Richard S. Kalm, MGCB executive director. “Communities do not benefit from illegal gambling, but legal gambling supports schools and communities through taxes and revenue-sharing payments.”
“Illegal gambling only serves to hurt our communities by diverting the taxes and revenue that would otherwise be derived from legal gambling operations and used to support the functions of our state and schools,” said Nessel. “Gambling regulations are in place for a reason and those who attempt to sidestep those rules will be held accountable. I am grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with our partners at the Michigan Gaming Control Board in putting a stop to these unlawful actions.”
Hoppe was accused of supplying illegal gambling games to Spin City between May 2017 and February 2019. The games were the same type found at the former 777 Café he operated in Roseville.
On Jan. 30, a Macomb County jury found Hoppe guilty of one count of running an illegal gambling operation at the café. He also was convicted on two counts of using computers to commit a crime and a misdemeanor charge of running a gambling house for gain. On March 5, Hoppe was sentenced to a year of probation and 40 hours of community service for the crimes.
In 2013, Hoppe pled guilty in 72nd District Court to a one-year misdemeanor charge of maintaining a gaming or gambling place. As part of a plea arrangement, Hoppe agreed he would not make available to the public any gaming machines not certified as non-gambling devices by either the MGCB or a laboratory the MGCB deemed eligible to test and certify such machines. The agreement led to dismissal of a 10-year felony charge of conducting a gambling operation where wagering was used without a license.
Sentencing is scheduled at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 12 before Judge Mark W. Latchana in Genesee County Circuit Court.
In June 2019, the Department of Attorney General filed charges against three other people for their roles in the Spin City operation. The defendants are scheduled to appear in court in December.
Michigan residents are urged to report illegal or suspicious gambling activity through the MGCB’s anonymous tip line, 888-314-2682. — G.G.