Gaming Lobbyist Urges DOJ Crackdown on Offshore Sportsbooks

Gaming Lobbyist Urges DOJ Crackdown on Offshore Sportsbooks article feature image

Kyle Grantham/The News Journal via USA TODAY NETWORK. Pictured: The Capitol Building

A lead gaming lobby group is urging the federal government to crackdown on offshore sportsbooks on other forms of illegal gambling.

In a letter made public Thursday, the American Gaming Association asked the U.S. Department of Justice and Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate and indict popular offshore operators Bovada, MyBookie and BetOnline.

“While the challenge of illegal gambling is not new, the brazen and coordinated manner in which it occurs — both online and in communities — has elevated this problem to a level that requires significant federal attention,” AGA President and CEO Bill Miller wrote.

  • More than half of U.S. betters use offshore bookmakers, with 63% unaware they are illegal, according to the letter. Those books don't pay state or federal taxes or the costly license and regulation fees charged on legal operators.
  •  Black market sportsbooks have slithered around federal restrictions for years by locating their servers outside the U.S.  However, a federal court recently held where a wager is placed,  not where its is processed, determines location.
  • Fearing state-level prosecution many offshore operators have withdrawn from  states as they legalize sports betting, but continue to operate in the rest of the U.S.

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