The American Gaming Association (AGA) recently released a report titled Skilled at Deception: How Unregulated Gaming Machines Endanger Consumers and Dilute Investments in Local Economies. The report details how illegal gambling machines are connected to criminal activity. The AGA connected such games to drug trafficking, money laundering, and violent crime.
Details of the Report
In the report, the AGA was able to show how illegal gambling machines end up being used in the criminal world. The games are not tested by regulators or third-party companies, nor are they taxes, require licensing, or meet regulatory standards.
With the release of the report, the AGA discussed how maintaining the integrity of the gaming industry is important and how it benefits the community should be a top priority. As of right now in the United States, a total of 44 individual states have a regulated and legal gambling industry.
As much as $261 billion is generated within the local economies on the whole and over 1.8 million jobs are supported. As much as $41 billion in direct tax revenues are provided from the industry as well.
Illegal gambling machines have been found in several states and bypass the laws and regulations that the legalized industry must follow. This harms consumers as well as local communities, according to the AGA.
How the Games Affect the Consumer
In the report, many details were provided to show how illegal games affect the consumer. First, the games do not have any responsible gaming components, and operators are not trained in responsible gaming tactics. This means that players are more at risk of developing a gambling problem from the illegal gambling machines.
The games are also a risk of unfair play. The operators are not monitored to ensure the games follow protocols and offer fair gaming. This can lead to players missing out on paydays due to shortcuts or unfair machines.
The report found that unlicensed operators may lure children to play gambling games. This is an entirely new problem in itself and something that parents should be aware of. Illegal gambling machine operations are setting up in neighborhoods, which would make it easy for kids to be enticed to play the games.
Recommendations of the Report
The AGA didn’t just provide all the information regarding the findings of its report and then decide to duck out. The organization also provided recommendations on what should happen to stop the illegal machines.
The AGA recommends that law enforcement, as well as policymakers, work to enforce action against illegal operators. Efforts must be prioritized, and everyone works together to ensure that any illegal operations are shut down.
States and local communities must not allow these machines to operate. It puts existing gaming companies at risk as well as increases the risk to the consumer. Lack of enforcement takes away from the existing regulations and should not be tolerated.
It will be interesting to see if the recommendations of the AGA are followed in states where illegal gaming machines are an issue. Only time will tell if the proper authorities will step up their game so that consumers are protected from any criminal activity as well as illegal machine operations.