Seven state gaming regulators including the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) appealed to the U.S. federal government to prohibit iGaming and illegal offshore operations. Kirk Hendrick, the NGCB chair's initiative, got support from the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports, New Jersey, Mississippi, Louisiana, Illinois, Colorado, and Michigan regulators.
Which Punishment Should Illegal Gambling Operators Get?
The states' regulatory bodies signed Hendrick's letter and sent it to the U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland last week seeking extra measures to curb illegal gambling operators. The letter stated that they are the key regulators in the seven state's gaming industries and they want the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to focus on banning online casinos, and offshore bookies.
Hendrick said that these illegal activities pose many dangers. They discourage investors from creating responsible gaming programs, reduce state tax revenue which finances various initiatives, expose minors to fraud due to lack of age verification requirements, encourage money laundering, and prevent players from getting timely payouts.
How Much Tax Revenue Does the Country Lose Due to Illegal Gambling Activities?
The American Gaming Association (AGA) published a report in November 2022 indicating that uncontrolled and illegal gaming markets have an annual value of $510.9 billion. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that such operations deny the country's legal markers up to $44.2 billion in revenue.
Various states lose $13.3 billion in tax revenue. Bill Miller, AGA President said that they have been battling the issue to defend the industry's licensed operators, help local communities, and protect players.
More Details About the Appeal Letter
West Virginia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey are the only states with disputable online gaming sites. Nevada only permits online poker as an online game. Yet, some people claim that Nevada and other states allow mobile gambling.
This confuses some players hence prompting the state regulators to ask the federal government to clarify this issue, to close offshore, online, and unlicensed casinos. The officials who signed Hendrick's letter were David Rebuck (New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement's Director), Marcus Fruchter (Illinois Gaming Board's Administrator), Henry Williams (Michigan Gaming Control Board's Executive Director), Dan Hartman (Colorado Division of Gaming's Director), Jay McDaniel (Mississippi Gaming Commission's Executive Director) and Ronnie Johns (Louisiana Gaming Control Board's Chairman).
Do the States Have Other Concerns?
The seven state regulators stated in the letter that illegal gambling firms might use their revenue to finance illegal activities that might threaten the country's security. They acknowledged the Department of Justice's wide jurisdictional responsibilities and varying priorities.
Even so, the regulators believe that illegal offshore gambling's threats overwhelm the affected states. So, the federal government needs to address the issue urgently.
They want the DOJ to investigate offshore operators and prosecute those it finds guilty of operating without valid licenses. Also, it should help them whenever necessary.