AGA letter in Wall Street Journal calls out offshore gambling

AGA Anti Offshore Gambling Push
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The American Gaming Association’s (AGA) push for the government to take action against illegal offshore gambling operators and unregulated skill machines continued this week with a Wall Street Journal Letter to the Editor from AGA President Bill Miller.

Miller responding to editorial equating online gambling and money laundering

In the brief note, Miller responded to the suggestion a previous WSJ story made that online betting is at risk for money laundering. The letter, in part, noted:

“AML commitments have grown along with the industry, and include programs to monitor for financial anomalies, rigorous background investigations to obtain and retain a gaming license, highly trained compliance professionals, and millions of dollars spent on technology that enhances Know Your Customer efforts.”

“The same can’t be said for illegal, offshore operators that openly violate US laws. They’re an open door for criminals, and there is no place for a predatory, unregulated gambling market in the US. Legal gaming aggressively combats financial crime and helps law enforcement prosecute offenders. Every year, gaming operators aid investigations by filing tens of thousands of “suspicious activity reports” with the Treasury Department.”

AGA launches Stop Illegal Gambling toolkit

In addition to the op-ed, the AGA released its new Stop Illegal Gambling toolkit. Within it, there are fact sheets about both unregulated machines and offshore gambling sites. There are also some alarming statistics about just how much misinformation is out there about the market.

For example, three out of every four bettors surveyed said it was important to wager with a legal, regulated sportsbook. However, 55% of those surveyed who did bet illegally offshore believed they were doing so with a legal operator.

Many offshore operators and affiliates make false claims about legality. With few to no regulatory oversight, no one is there to fact-check these claims and prevent what could be argued is false advertising.

The AGA has increasingly called upon the federal government to do something about these offshore sites and encouraged local governments to consider the impact of gray gambling machines in their states. The effort to push this new toolkit coincides with Responsible Gambling Education Month, which is not just about gambling within means but gambling at regulated sites with customer oversights and consumer protections.