This article was published at 02:10 p.m., 12/12/2022.
Updated December 12, 2022 at 02:46 h.
American Gaming Association is the lobbying arm for the commercial casino industry. Last year, the AGA generated record-breaking $53B in gaming revenues. But AGA President and Chief Executive Bill Miller says the legal, regulated commercial industry would be substantially richer if it weren’t for illegal, unregulated offshore operators.
The opening speech of the National Conference of Legislators from Gaming States is delivered by Bill Miller (president and CEO of American Gaming Association) on December 9, 2022. This year’s annual conference was held at Resorts World on the Las Vegas Strip. (Image: Twitter)
Last month, AGA detailed the scale and extent of unregulated online gambling industry that operates out of iGaming havens like Malta and the Isle of Man.
An estimated $511 billion worth of illegal gaming is conducted each year through the unregulated web. The AGA claims that states have been robbed by around $13 billion in related tax income each year.
Miller shared his hopes that the Federal Law Enforcement Agency will soon take on these rogue off-shore gaming facilitators at last week’s National Conference of Legislators from Gaming States.
There has been more than 10 years since last crackdown
It’s been more than 11 years since federal law enforcement agencies last seized unregulated gaming websites targeting US households.
It was on April 15, 2011, that online poker’s three largest operators at the time — PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet (Cereus Poker Network) — were raided by the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). On that day, which became dubbed poker’s “Black Friday,” federal law enforcement seized the online assets of the internet networks that operated from foreign jurisdictions.
Miller says it’s past due that the FBI take further action against the many iGaming and online sportsbooks that continue to take bets from US customers. The AGA chief is requesting that the FBI seize such rogue offshore operators’ US-facing operations and that the Justice Department follow up with indictments against such companies.
Miller’s wish for offshore gaming operators to face criminal charges in the US is a twofold ambition. Miller is concerned that such indictments could lead to the closure of many unregulated sites in America. An indictment of an offshore gaming company owner or operator would significantly make it more difficult for them to join regulated, legal industries in the future.
A criminal indictment could make it extremely difficult for anyone who lives on the gray market, to get licensed. [in a regulated market],” Miller told the NCLGS audience.
State gaming regulators considered former bad actors ineligible for key licensing to allow them to work within legal and regulated areas.
The DOJ hasn’t commented or responded to Miller’s plea, despite the federal agency being in receipt of his request for more than eight months. Miller addressed Attorney General Merrick Galrland in April regarding the continuing issue of offshore iGaming sites and betting websites that are targeting US players online.
“The AGA urges the Department to make it a priority to act on the illegal online sportsbooks and casinos to protect US consumers, crack down on illegal operators, and enforce federal regulations,” Miller said.
Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, (UIGEA), generally bans a gambling company from placing real-money wagers on the internet. However, exceptions were made in the states that allow iGaming, online sports betting and have state licenses.
Licensed iGaming sites are available in New Jersey and Connecticut. Online sports betting has been legalized and is regulated in 22 of the United States, with many more to come.