Ex-Gun Lake Casino Employee Sentence to Prison, Will Pay $80,000 in Restitution


  • Lewis stole money from jammed cash-out machines
  • Lewis’ actions took place over at least 32 incidents
  • The casino found it was being robbed after conducting an internal audit

A former employee at Gun Lake Casino in Wayland, Michigan was sentenced to four months in prison for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from casino gaming kiosks.

Jordan Lewis Cook, 26, will also have to pay back $84,564 in stolen funds he took from cash-out machines on the casino campus. He will undergo two years of supervised release once he completes his four-month stay in prison.

Cook had no prior criminal history and was said to have had a clean life prior to the theft, which occurred from Sept. 2021 to Nov. 2022.

Employee sentenced for theft 

A federal judge in Grand Rapids decided Cook’s fate on Wednesday, Jan. 3. It was the judge’s decision to include the supervised release time once he is released from prison.

“Mr. Cook’s behavior was very out of character for him and he maintains that it will never happen again,” defense attorney Jessica E. LaFond wrote in the sentencing memorandum. 

Cook, who lives in Hopkins, had a variety of responsibilities at the casino. He was frequently called to clear money out of jammed machines, which is how he was able to retrieve the funds he illegally took.

According to court documents, he used a credit card to pry open the machine and to free up the jammed bills.

Cook’s actions took place over at least 32 different incidents. After he retrieved the money, he “made correspondingly large cash deposits into his Lake Michigan Credit Union bank account.” He also used the money to buy a Chevrolet pickup truck.

It wasn’t until the casino conducted an internal audit and reviewed security footage that they became aware of an issue. From there, the case was handled by the Gun Lake Tribal Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). 

“This case reflects my office’s strong commitment to working in partnership with tribal leadership and law enforcement to prosecute crimes that occur on tribal lands, including theft from tribal businesses,” said U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, Mark Totten, in a news release. “Together, we will hold criminals accountable for their wrongdoing.

Michigan gaming review  

Gun Lake Casino is roughly two and a half hours away from Detroit, the capital of Michigan.

Detroit casinos were forced to endure a strike by a large chunk of their workforce before a labor group representing the dissenting employees agreed to a new batch of contracts with local casinos in Dec. 2023.

The new contracts included an extra $3 per hour of pay for roughly 1,700 employees (an average salary increase of 18%) with the promise of an additional $5/hour by the end of the five-year deal.

According to a member of the labor group, strikes cost the casino $738,000 in tax revenues and $3.4 million in casino revenues per day. 

According to the Michigan Gaming Control Board, Michigan online and retail gambling outfits combined to generate $288.3 million in revenue during November. That included $79.1 million in revenue from Detroit casinos, $3.1 of which came from legal sports betting

15 legal online casinos created another $175.3 million in gross gaming revenue, a monthly record and a 20.5% year-to-year increase.

Retail, mobile, and online sportsbooks handled a total of $584.1 million in wagers during November. That marked the highest monthly total since the state launched its sports betting market in March 2020. 

Although returns for December have not been revealed, the state already generated $13.7 million in taxes through sportsbooks alone.

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself in his up-to-the-minute reporting on the latest events in the industry. A member of Virginia Tech’s 2021 graduating class, he has quickly put together an impressive portfolio since moving to the professional world full-time. Grant’s favorite sports to cover are basketball and both types of football (American and soccer), and he is pushing written, audio, and video content. He has been employed by companies as highly regarded as Forbes and continues on a great trajectory in the industry. When he’s not on the clock, you can find Grant at the gym, looking for adventures, or hanging out with his family.