Bill Miller, President and CEO of the American Gaming Association (AGA), has praised and encouraged the effort by Congress members, who demanded action on the part of the United States Department of Justice in combatting illegal offshore gambling websites.
The Congressional Letter
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. Furthermore, these websites are not regulated in any way and do not have any controls in place when it comes to money laundering, underage or problem gambling. Lastly, these illegal activities take away revenue from the regulated gambling activities, which can benefit state education and health initiatives.
The Members of Congress explicitly exposed the activities of offshore gambling providers Bovada, MyBookie and BetOnline. In their letter, the congressmen highlighted that these websites offer such refined gambling platforms that it is very difficult for players to distinguish them from the legal US sports betting websites. Additionally, these providers are often mentioned by popular news and media outlets and are the ones to offer enticing promotions and very good odds in order to attract US customers.
The congressmen pointed to one of the main problems:
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’s concerns
It is also noted that 40% more US players have been searching for offshore sports betting websites in 2021. Searches for legal sportsbooks are less than that.
The congressmen’s demands from the Department of Justice included identifying, investigating and prosecuting these illegal gambling providers with the help of the gambling industry and other involved parties. They also asked for increased efforts in terms of educating US citizens regarding the dangers of illegal gambling on sports events.
AGA Praises the Members of Congress’ Effort
AGA CEO and President Bill Miller embraced this initiative by the Members of Congress and expressed AGA’s will to cooperate with the Congress and Department of Justice in any possible way in this important endeavor. Miller also stated his gratitude towards the Members of Congress and Gaming Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Titus and Reschenthaler for taking up the initiative, which AGA started in April with a letter to the Department of Justice pointing out the problem and urging the Department to take the necessary actions.