State regulators band together to ask for offshore gambling crackdown

Money shaped island in the ocean
Image: Shutterstock

Last week the Michigan Gaming Control Board announced several state regulators penned a letter to US Attorney General Merrick Garland asking the Department of Justice to do more to curb offshore gambling in the United States. Seven other state regulatory bodies signed the letter. The list of those states is as follows:

New Jersey

Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman Kirk D Hendrick sent the letter with the regulators concerns on to the DOJ.

“In Michigan, strict laws and rules govern internet gaming and sports betting and provide consumer protections, promote confidence, and ensure fair and honest gaming,” said MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams said. “We are willing to help the U.S. Department of Justice in any way we can as it pursues enforcement of U.S. laws against offshore illegal gaming enterprises that take advantage of our citizens.”

It has been 12 years since Black Friday, the last major crackdown by the DOJ on illegal offshore operators where the websites and assets of three major online poker sites were seized. Since the repeal of PASPA, the regulated online gambling industry has consistently called out the dangers associated with offshore gambling sites and encouraged the federal government to take action.

“State regulators like the MGCB ensure operators offer products that pass technical standards and testing, and we also require operators to comply with reporting requirements. Offshore operators flaunt state regulations and offer products that do not protect the public, which greatly concerns me and my fellow state regulators,” Williams added.

The state regulators join the American Gaming Association in this increasingly vocal campaign. The AGA has been calling for action and wrote a similar letter to the DOJ and Garland in April 2022. In June of that year, more than 25 Congress members, led by Nevada Rep. Dina Titus, penned a similar letter asking for action.