USA: 28 Congress members write to DOJ to initiate action against illegal offshore gambling websites

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American Gaming Association (AGA) President and CEO Bill Miller issued a statement applauding the Congressional letter to the Department of Justice calling for an illegal market investigation and enforcement action against the offshore betting websites.

“The illegal operators are not interested in helping bettors wager responsibly by providing checks like time limits, budgets, or self-exclusion. They do not adhere to federal or state financial regulations, so consumers can never be sure if their information is secure or if they will receive their winnings,” the letter dated June 29 signed by 28 congress members said.

“After our initial outreach to the Department of Justice in April, today’s letter to Attorney General Garland demonstrates the broad interest in addressing illegal gaming. We are grateful to Gaming Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Titus and Reschenthaler for their leadership and the Members who joined this call to action,” AOJ President Miller said.  “We look forward to continuing to work with allies on the Hill, sports leagues and the Department of Justice to prioritize robust enforcement that will protect Americans from the predatory illegal marketplace.”

The Congressional letter said the offshore operators, including Bovada, MyBookie and BetOnline, have developed sophisticated platforms that are nearly indistinguishable from those of legal providers.

Similar to the problem faced in India, offshore websites in the USA offer generous promotions and favourable odds to entice USA customers and are frequently cited in reputable sports media channels as legal operators.

All India Gaming Federation (AIGF), a counterpart of AGA in April has written to PM Modi calling for action against the illegal offshore gaming websites. AIGF has requested the authorities to raise the issue at diplomatic levels to bring the culprit companies, their promoters and directors to Indian legal clutches.

According to the American Gaming Association, Americans wagered more than $57 billion on sports in 2021, a record, as casinos and other gambling outlets rebounded with their highest-grossing year ever in 2021 after a pandemic slump. In a bid to gain market share, betting platforms offered promotions, including oversized payoffs, risk-free bets, and thousands of dollars in free betting credits deposited in players’ accounts.