DOJ responds to gaming regulators regarding offshore gambling concerns

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The Department of Justice has responded to a letter sent by regulators from Nevada and six other states earlier this year.

The initial letter inquired what the DOJ is doing to prioritize cracking down on illegal offshore gambling. In the response, penned by DOJ Intergovernmental Liaison Megan A. Bennett, offered the following response:

“We appreciate your views on this matter. The Department has undertaken, and continues to pursue, investigations into illegal gaming. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the investigative arm of the Department tasked with vetting allegations of violations of federal gaming laws. When the violations have been sustained, the FBI will forward the allegations to the appropriate federal prosecuting authority to pursue charges, likely a US Attorney’s Office in the jurisdiction where the crimes have occurred.”

“The Department takes seriously the issue of illegal gambling, including illegal online gambling, and continues to successfully investigate and prosecute illegal Internet gambling. The FBI works hard to establish and maintain strong partnerships with both public and private entities to combat illegal gaming. The Department appreciates the adverse impact illegal gambling has on individuals and communities and will continue to use all available tools to detect, investigate, and prosecute such illegal activity.”

The letter was posted on Twitter by the Nevada Gaming Control Board just days after the DOJ arrested Antigua man Richard Sullivan on charges from 13 years ago regarding an illegal gambling ring connected to the offshore site Sports Offshore.

In 2011 the DOJ sent out indictments related to “Black Friday”, where three offshore online poker sites were seized by the government. Since then, however, there has not been such a high-profile case related to offshore gambling. That is not to say there haven’t been any though. In January of this year, 11 people were indicted on charges related to the illegal sports betting operation Red44.

The regulators are far from the only people voicing concerns about offshore gambling either. Other groups have written letters to the DOJ about their concerns including one penned by members of Congress and backed by the American Gaming Association.