Seven State Regulators Urge Federal Government to Combat Illegal Gambling
Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) and six other state regulators referred on April 28 to the federal government with the appeal to terminate illegal offshore and online gambling activities. The initiative of NGCB and its chairman Kirk Hendrick is supported by regulators of the states of Michigan, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, and New Jersey, as the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.
Urging Measures Against Illegal Gambling:
The regulatory bodies of the seven states signed the NGCB chairman’s letter sent last week to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland urging more significant measures against illegal gambling. Hendrick’s letter reportedly stated: “As the primary regulators of the legal gaming industry in our seven states, we write today to urge the Department of Justice to prioritize combating illegal, offshore sportsbooks and online casinos.”
Hendrick reportedly added: “The dangers posed by these unlawful operations are well known, including a lack of investment in responsible gaming programs, loss of state tax revenue that funds important initiatives, no age verification requirements to protect minors, no controls to prevent money laundering, an absence of guarantees that customers will receive fair payouts and much more.”
$13.3 Billion Tax Revenue Lost to Illegal Gambling:
Las Vegas Review-Journal refers to the report issued by the American Gaming Association (AGA) in November that assessed that the value of both illegal and unregulated gambling markets amount to $510.9 billion a year. According to the source, these illegal operations deprive regulated markets in the United States of an estimated $44.2 billion of revenue and consequently deprive the states of around $13.3 billion of tax revenue.
AGA President Bill Miller reportedly said on the occasion: “This is a fight we’re in for the long haul to protect consumers, support communities and defend the law-abiding members of our industry.”
Seven State Regulators Signed the Letter:
The disputable online casinos are legal only in New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and West Virginia, whereas Nevada allows online poker as the only authorized online game. As the source reports, the fact that sports betting through mobile devices is authorized in Nevada and several other states may be confusing for the customers but the seven state regulators asked the federal government in the April 28 letter to make a clear distinction in this regard and crack down the illegal, offshore, and online casinos.
David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement; Henry Williams, executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board; Marcus Fruchter, administrator of the Illinois Gaming Board; Dan Hartman, director of the Colorado Division of Gaming; Ronnie Johns, chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board; and Jay McDaniel, executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission signed the letter written by Nevada Gaming Control Board Chairman Kirk Hendrick.
Concerns of Significant Threats Expressed:
In the letter sent to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, the regulators expressed their concerns that the revenue generated by illegal gambling facilities may be used for financing other illegal activities and trades.
“We understand and appreciate the fact that the Department of Justice’s jurisdictional responsibilities are broad and, consequently, priorities vary over time. However, the many significant threats posed by offshore illegal gambling cannot be addressed by states alone and, therefore, require heightened federal attention and engagement,” Hendrick’s letter reportedly stated and added:
”We strongly encourage the Department of Justice to prioritize the investigation and prosecution of these offshore sites, and stand ready to provide any assistance that we can as state gaming regulators.”
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