AGA urges DOJ to crack down on illegal online gambling

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The AGA wants the US Department of Justice to take action against illegal online gambling operators. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Significant Threats

The American Gaming Association (AGA) is calling on the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to crack down on illegal offshore gambling platforms. The US gambling industry body sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday calling for help in cracking down on illegal online casinos, sports betting and unregulated skill-based gambling machines.

believes the DOJ is the only law enforcement entity that can properly address the issue

In the letter, the AGA calls on the DOJ to prioritize protecting US consumers by enforcing federal regulations and cracking down on illegal operators. The AGA believes that the DOJ is the only law enforcement entity that can properly address the issue.

AGA President and CEO Bill Miller highlighted the significant threat that illegal gambling poses to state economies, the legal gambling industry and consumers. He believes that illegal gambling online and offline has reached a level that deserves serious attention from federal authorities.

Specific proposals

The AGM highlighted a few specific areas that the DOJ could address to combat illegal gambling. He suggests continuing efforts to properly educate people about legal gambling options, as well as explaining to them the many dangers of using illegal platforms.

The AGA wants investigations and possible indictments on the biggest offshore operations.

The AGA wants investigations and possible indictments on the biggest offshore operations. The letter names major offshore platforms like BetOnline, MyBookie and Bovada, saying these operators are “blatantly violating federal and state laws.”

Another request from the AGA is for the DOJ to clarify that manufacturers of “skill-based” machines must comply with Johnson Act registration requirements, as well as anti-money laundering laws. The AGA wants any companies that do not fully comply with these measures to be subject to action by the DOJ.

Benefits of repression

AGA CEO and President Miller believes that through the letter the illegal operators have been warned and their days are numbered. He said these illegal operators often prey on vulnerable customers, fail to ensure fair play or integrity, provide no economic benefit to nations or tribal states, and fail to provide adequate consumer protection.

The AGA represents tribal and commercial casino operators, gaming equipment manufacturers and suppliers, sports betting operators and other gaming industry stakeholders.

The AGA is always quick to point out the benefits the gambling industry brings to the United States. AGA research shows that casino gaming in the United States has an annual economic impact of $261 billion, generating approximately $41 billion in revenue for the state each year. There are now 44 states with some form of legal casino gambling, with the US gambling industry supporting around 1.8 million jobs. By cracking down on illegal operators, the ripple effect would likely be to bring the customers of these offerings into the realm of legal operations.

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