Congress Calls on Justice Division to Go After Unlawful Sportsbooks

The Congressional Gaming Caucus — with the support of the American Gaming Association and several major professional sports leagues — on Wednesday called on the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to take a harder stance against illegal sportsbooks that take wagers from American bettors. More than two dozen members of Congress signed a letter that […]

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The Congressional Gaming Caucus — with the help of the American Gaming Affiliation and a number of other main skilled sports activities leagues — on Wednesday referred to as on the US Division of Justice (DOJ) to take a tougher stance in opposition to unlawful sportsbooks that take wagers from American bettors.

Nevada US Rep Dina Titus offers a digital speech on June 25 on the Nevada Democratic Social gathering State Conference. Titus, together with Pennsylvania US Rep. Man Reschenthaler and different members of the Congressional Gaming Caucus, has referred to as on the Justice Division to step up efforts and prosecute unlawful sports activities betting operators who goal US bettors. (Picture: US Rep. Dina Titus/Twitter)
Greater than two dozen members of Congress signed a letter that went to Lawyer Normal Merrick Garland. They requested that the DOJ “make a concerted effort” in opposition to offshore operators. Amongst these listed within the letter despatched by Gaming Caucus cochairs Dina Titus (D-Nevada) and Man Reschenthaler (R-Pennsylvania) are Bovada, MyBookie, and BetOnline, which the lawmakers stated have “practically indistinguishable” platforms from legally licensed suppliers.

These predatory operations expose our constituents to monetary and cyber vulnerabilities; don’t have protocols to deal with cash laundering, sports activities integrity, or age restrictions; and undermine states’ efforts to seize a lot wanted tax income by way of authorized sports activities betting channels,” the lawmakers wrote.

The letter additionally states that as authorized sports activities betting has grown quickly throughout the nation, on-line searches for offshore books are rising quicker. In 2021, searches for offshore sports activities betting operators elevated by practically 40%, with most of these searches tied to Bovada.
“These harmful operators will not be relegated to the darkish net, however as a substitute are simply accessed by way of any pc or smartphone,” the letter acknowledged. “This creates confusion for a lot of customers, who might not even know they’re wagering illegally.”
AGA, Sports activities Leagues Additionally Again Motion
Moreover unlicensed offshore books, unlawful sports activities betting may embody native bookmakers, and the federal government has labored to get a number of of these instances earlier than grand juries and courts.
The letter urges Garland and the DOJ to work with key stakeholders “to establish the worst actors” and take motion in opposition to them. In addition they need federal officers to assist “educate” American bettors concerning the “risks” tied to unlawful betting.
That decision comes as legalized sports activities betting is now accessible in additional than half of the USA.

At present, 30 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico permit both retail sportsbooks, on-line wagering, or each. 5 different states have legalized the exercise, and two extra states – California and Massachusetts – might be a part of them later this 12 months.

Moreover the AGA, the caucus’ letter additionally has help from the NFL, NHL, MLB, and PGA Tour.
“We recognize Congress’ continued engagement and take part urging the Division of Justice to deal with issues posed by unlawful offshore playing operators, a problem that impacts all who care concerning the integrity of sports activities,” NFL Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer Sabrina Perel stated in an announcement.
The lawmakers need Justice officers to reply by Sept. 6 and supply what help they want from Congress to allow them to take motion and prosecute offshore operators.
Concerning the Gaming Caucus
Moreover Titus and Reschenthaler, different lawmakers who signed the letter embody: US Reps. Anthony G. Brown (D-Maryland), André Carson (D-Indiana), Thomas R. Suozzi (D-New York), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pennsylvania), C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Maryland), Mark E. Amodei (R-Nevada), David J. Trone (D-Maryland), John Joyce (R- Pennsylvania), Jefferson Van Drew (R-New Jersey), Susie Lee (D- Nevada), Josh Gottheimer (D-New Jersey), Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio), Colin Z. Allred (D-Texas), Haley M. Stevens (D-Michigan), Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa), Doug LaMalfa (R-California), Mary Homosexual Scanlon (D- Pennsylvania), Steven Horsford (D-Nevada), Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), Mike Kelly (R- Pennsylvania), Fred Keller (R- Pennsylvania), David P. Joyce (R-Ohio), Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), Grace Meng (D-New York), Ben Cline (R-Virginia), and Pete Aguilar (D-California).
Offshore sports activities betting shouldn’t be the one challenge on the Gaming Caucus’ agenda. Lawmakers have additionally referred to as on the federal authorities to boost the tax threshold on slot machine jackpots and get rid of the .25% excise tax on authorized sports activities bets.
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