Georgia Lottery Inspector Arrested For Taking Bribes From Retail Stores

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested a Georgia Lottery compliance inspector for accepting bribes. Michael Jerome Kessler Sr. — a 62-year-old from Rockdale County — reportedly accepted kickbacks in exchange for passing stores during their inspections.

While many in the state utilize the Georgia online lottery, lots of others still rely on retail locations for their lotto games.

According to WSB-TV 2 Atlanta, Kessler got “at least three stores with coin-operated machines regulated by the Lottery Corporation to pay him.”

The three retail locations implicated in the scandal each paid Kessler $2,000 to pass their inspections.

Georgia Lottery emphasizes ‘integrity’ after inspector arrested

State Senator Emanuel Jones serves on the Georgia Lottery Commission. Following Kessler’s arrest, he said:

“Integrity is the bedrock of the Lottery and its mission, by the way. Essentially, people are making bets. They’re gambling when they’re using machines across the state or when they are betting on any other activities that we allow in Georgia, and we don’t want a criminal element to seep into that.”

As soon as the information regarding Kessler’s bribes was confirmed to be credible, he was immediately fired. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation searched his home after the arrest. Kessler was booked in Rockdale County Jail, then transferred to Henry County Jail.

As of now, there are few details about Kessler’s punishment, potential jail time, or other consequences. There’s no word yet on whether the three stores involved in the bribery will be formally chastised by the state lottery commission.

Lottery scandal investigation underway

The Georgia Bureau Of Investigation says this case is ongoing. The GBI also mentions the state lottery is providing support. Anyone with information pertaining to the investigation can submit tips online or via phone — contact information is available on the GBI website.

Following the GBI’s investigation, the organization will hand over all pertinent details to the Henry County District Attorney’s office. Once that happens, more information on the exact next steps — trial and sentencing, if applicable — should become available.

Stay tuned to PlayiLottery for further developments.


Photo by – Yuri A via Shutterstock
Graphic from the Georgia Lottery

About the Author

Cole Rush

Cole Rush

Cole Rush is a contributor for PlayiLottery who spent six years working at Scientific Games, one of the world's leading lottery operators. He writes for a handful of Catena Media sites, covering online lottery, iGaming, sports betting, and more. A prolific writer in the US gaming market, Cole also has bylines at iGaming Business, ICE 365, and IGB North America. You can email him at [email protected].
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