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AGA Calls for Federal Authorities to Crack Down on Illegal and Unregulated Online Casino and Sportsbook Operators

The online gambling and sports betting industry in the US has been growing rapidly over the past few years but it seems that the main trade organization in the sector is not satisfied with what is being done to address the customers’ access to online casinos and sportsbooks that have been offering their services on the unregulated “black” market.

The leading trade body in the US gambling industry – the American Gaming Association (AGA) – believes that the US Department of Justice may invest more efforts to tackle the reach of unlicensed gambling operators that are still targeting local customers. The organization has named some gambling businesses, such as BetOnline, Bovada, and MyBookie, as some of the companies that could come under the scrutiny of the country’s Department of Justice.

Now, the national trade association of the US gambling industry is urging the federal government to crack down on gambling and betting sites available online in order to better protect consumers. Several days ago, the AGA sent a letter to Merrick Garland, the US Attorney General, asking for the Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute some of the largest online gambling businesses.

The president of the American Gaming Association, Bill Miller, noted that the bold and well-coordinated manner in which illegal gambling services are currently being offered has made the problem worse, bringing it to a level that needs to be addressed by federal authorities.

This is exactly why the AGA is now calling for the federal authorities to initiate a concentrated crackdown on the largest online sports betting platforms that violate federal and state gambling legislation. The trade body has also urged the US Department of Justice to take action against skill-based machine manufacturers.

Illegal Online Gambling Sector Remains Strong in the US Despite Rapid Legalization of Sports Betting

As CasinoGamesPro reported, sports betting was made officially legal in the US in 2018, following the ruling of the US Supreme Court to lift the long-time federal ban on this form of gambling and allow every state individually decide whether to allow its residents to place wagers on sports events or not. Currently, sports betting is legal in 33 US states, and in Washington D.C., with over 157 million American adults either already having or will be given access to legal sportsbook services. However, it turns out that the legalization of sports betting has not canceled out the illegal gambling market in the country.

At the time when sports betting was legalized, the American Gaming Association warned that the size of the offshore sports betting market in the country was worth about $150 billion. Since then, the figure has been significantly reduced, but the trade body did not specify by how much. Now, it is calling the federal authorities for broader action against illegal online casinos and sports betting operations, as well as against so-called “skill game machines”.

As explained by Mr. Miller, illegal gambling companies can offer various promotions or better odds than operators are legally allowed to offer their services to local residents, because offshore gambling businesses do not comply with government regulations and do not pay taxes. He further noted that such companies had been also known for simply disappearing from certain markets, walking away with their customers’ money.

The president of the AGA further noted that, according to some research done by the Association, most US customers are willing to use legal and regulated gambling services but are not always able to recognize the legal sites. Mr. Miller also said that customers’ Internet searches for illegal bookmakers rose by 38% in 2021, which is way faster than the rate of searches for legal and regulated online gambling platforms.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.