AGA applauds congressional letter calling for action on illegal sportsbook activity

AGA applauds congressional letter calling for action on illegal sportsbook activity

American Gaming Association president and CEO, Bill Miller, praised a congressional letter demanding actions against offshore illegal sports betting websites.

US.- Bill Miller, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association (AGA), has celebrated a congressional letter requesting a Department of Justice (DOJ) clampdown on illegal, offshore sports betting activities.

On June 29, 28 members of Congress wrote a letter to Merrick Garland, Attorney General of the US Department of Justice, expressing their concern that offshore illegal gambling sites are thriving and are exposing US players to financial and cyber threats.

In the letter, Congress claims that offshore operations do not have the necessary protocols to address money laundering, sports integrity issues or the capabilities to enforce age restrictions.  

Also, the members note a lack of regulations surrounding offshore sportsbooks undermines states’ efforts to capture much-needed tax revenue through legal sports betting channels. 

The congressional letter continued: “We cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that the illegal market is thriving and operating unfettered. These offshore operations, including Bovada, MyBookie and BetOnline, have developed sophisticated platforms that are nearly indistinguishable from those of legal providers.  

“These dangerous operators are not relegated to the dark web, but instead are easily accessed through any computer or smartphone. This creates confusion for many consumers who may not even know they are wagering illegally.”

The congressmen also noted that 40 per cent more US players have been searching for offshore sports betting websites in 2021. Searches for legal sportsbooks are less than that.

“These illegal operations also offer generous promotions and favourable odds to entice US customers, and are frequently cited in reputable sports media channels.”

The letter also that “the Justice Department work with the gaming industry, sports leagues, and other
stakeholders to identify the worst actors, investigate and prosecute them, and educate Americans
on the dangers associated with illegally wagering on sports.”

Miller’s statement regarding the letter said: “Offshore gambling websites are a significant threat to consumer protections and the economic benefits legal gaming provides for communities across the country. Eradicating these websites, and all forms of illegal gambling, is one of AGA’s top priorities.”

The president of AGA remembered the Association’s first approach to the DOJ: “After our initial outreach to the Department of Justice in April, today’s letter to Attorney General Garland demonstrates the broad interest in addressing illegal gaming. We are grateful to Gaming Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Titus and Reschenthaler for their leadership and the Members who joined this call to action.

“Our country’s leaders are clearly and appropriately alarmed by the prevalence of offshore sportsbooks and law enforcement must act to identify the worst actors, investigate and prosecute them.

Miller concluded: “We look forward to continuing to work with allies on the Hill, sports leagues and the Department of Justice to prioritize robust enforcement that will protect Americans from the predatory illegal marketplace.”

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