Seven US states with significant gaming revenue have come together to address the growing issue of offshore gambling. The coalition, comprised of New Jersey, Illinois, Nevada, Michigan, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Colorado, have penned a letter urging the Department of Justice (DoJ) to take action against the spread of unlicensed gambling. They argue that such activities pose substantial threats that cannot be tackled by state regulators alone.
Henry Williams, Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) executive director, and Kirk D. Hendrick, Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) chairman, were among the signatories. The letter was addressed to Attorney General Merrick B. Garland as reported by CNBC.
Dangers of Offshore Gambling
The regulators pointed out the numerous risks associated with offshore gambling, including a lack of investment in responsible gaming programs, no age verification requirements, and the potential for money laundering.
They emphasized that the unlicensed sector does not ensure fair play and does not contribute to state taxes. Additionally, offshore operations do not have to meet licensing requirements like their legal counterparts, and do not stand for responsible gaming in a climate of growing gambling addiction in the US.
Henry Williams stated, “In Michigan, strict laws and rules govern internet gaming and sports betting and provide consumer protections, promote confidence and ensure fair and honest gaming. We are willing to help the US Department of Justice in any way we can as it pursues enforcement of US laws against offshore illegal gaming enterprises that take advantage of our citizens.”
State Regulators’ Role in Combating Illegal Gambling
State regulators such as the MGCB play a crucial role in combating illegal gambling. They ensure that operators comply with technical standards, testing, and reporting requirements. Williams added, “Offshore operators flaunt state regulations and offer products that do not protect the public, which greatly concerns me and my fellow state regulators.”
Implications for the iGaming industry
The call for action against offshore gambling has several significant implications for the iGaming industry:
- Increased scrutiny: The industry may experience heightened regulatory scrutiny, leading to stricter compliance requirements for operators.
- Consumer protection: With action against offshore operators, the iGaming industry could become safer for consumers, encouraging further growth in the legal market.
- Collaboration: State regulators working together with the DoJ might foster stronger collaboration between industry stakeholders and regulatory bodies, promoting best practices and improved standards across the board.