Ralph Bates doesn't know where his next paycheck is coming from.
â??Now, Iâ??m out of a job before Christmas and Thanksgiving,â?? says Bates. The father of six working as a pit boss at The Poker Palace Room in Burton and Lucky's in Genesee Township.
"It hurts, it sucks,â?? says Bates. â??I left when they (The Poker Palace) closed this one down, I went over to work at Lucky's and then Lucky's got closed down,â?? adds Bates.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board suspending charity games at three poker halls in Genesee County in the last five weeks.
â??Weâ??re not going to allow charities where we know there are active illegal gambling operations going on or violations of criminal law. We're not going to expose charities to that,â?? says Rick Kalm, executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
But local business owners feel it's more than that.
â??The state has kind of made it clear what their goal is,â?? says Adam Crossnoe. â??They want to shut us down by the end of the year and reset it,â?? he adds.
Crossnoe opened up The Poker Palace with his dad seven years ago.
State officials say they want more oversight at the poker halls. Local owners like Crossnoe say theyâ??re not opposed to more oversight.
While the illegal gambling investigations continue, workers hope it gets resolved quickly.
â??Get these places back open so these people can get their jobs back,â?? says Bates.
â??We're just kind of waiting for the hope that we can reopen,â?? adds Crossnoe.