AGA Urges DOJ to Crack Down on Illegal Offshore Gambling Platforms

  • The AGA outlined the threat illegal gambling is to the gaming industry, economies, consumers
  • Proposals include the DOJ investigating and indicting major illegal offshore gambling operators
  • The letter also calls for continuing education about the dangers of using illegal platforms
  • AGA CEO Bill Miller believes the days of these major offshore operators are numbered
Closeup of man shuffling a deck of cards
The AGA wants the US Department of Justice to take action against illegal online gambling operators. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Posing 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 on Wednesday to Attorney General Merrick Garland calling for help to battle against illegal online casinos, sportsbooks, and unregulated skill-based game machines.

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

In the letter, the AGA calls for the DOJ to prioritize protecting American 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 outlined the significant threat that illegal gambling poses to state economies, the legal gaming industry, and consumers. He believes that illegal gambling both online and offline has reached a level that merits serious attention from federal authorities.

Specific proposals

The AGA has highlighted a few specific areas that the DOJ could address to combat illegal gambling. It proposes continuing with efforts to properly educate people about legal gambling options, as well as explaining to them the many dangers involved with using illegal platforms.

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

The AGA wants investigations and possible indictments of the biggest offshore operations. The letter names prominent offshore platforms like BetOnline, MyBookie, and Bovada, claiming that these operators “openly violate federal and state laws.”

Another request from the AGA is for the DOJ to clarify that “skill-based” machine manufacturers have to comply with the Johnson Act requirements for registration, as well as anti-money laundering laws. The AGA wants any companies not completely complying with these measures to face action from the DOJ.

Benefits of cracking down

AGA CEO and president Miller believes that through the letter, illegal operators have been put on notice and that their days are numbered. He stated that these illegal operators often prey on vulnerable customers, don’t ensure fair play or integrity, offer no economic benefits to tribal nations or states, and do not offer proper consumer protections.

The AGA represents tribal and commercial casino operators, gaming equipment manufacturers and suppliers, sportsbook operators, and other stakeholders in the gaming industry.

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