HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveNewslettersVolume 21Issue 37AGA Announces Illegal Gambling Initiatives

Yesterday, the American Gaming Association (“AGA”) announced that its Board of Directors issued a set of recommendations regarding the gaming industry’s approach to sports betting. Sports betting is currently illegal in all but four states (Nevada, Oregon, Delaware, and Montana).

According to the AGA, it will build a coalition that will seek to determine whether a rational alternative to current sports betting law is possible. The AGA states that the 2016 effort will include robust research, aggressive communications and partnerships with a variety of voices with interest in sports betting. Those voices will include, but not be limited to, gaming leaders, law enforcement officials, regulators, legislators and professional sports leagues.

AGA estimates that Americans will spend $138.9 billion on illegal sports betting this year alone. On the topic of daily fantasy sports, the AGA Board of Directors also made clear that the industry seeks legal clarity and adequate consumer protections. Further, if daily fantasy sports is a legal activity, the casino gaming industry should have the opportunity to participate and partner with daily fantasy sports providers.

“The culmination of a thorough process within our industry positions us to work with a wide variety of stakeholders who agree that rampant, unregulated and illegal sports betting is a threat to consumers and the sports we enjoy,” said Jim Murren, AGA chairman and MGM Resorts International chairman and CEO. “As the head of the largest private sector employer in Nevada, I’m confident that the entertainment experience we provide in Las Vegas – which is unmatched anywhere else in the world – can continue to excel even as our country takes a fresh look at our approach to sports betting.”

In addition, this week, the AGA announced that as part of its “Stop Illegal Gambling – Play it Safe” initiative, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) and the AGA are promoting efforts to combat illegal gambling in the United States.  The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) online tool is a vehicle for the public to report tips and complaints pertaining to online crimes.

“Our effort with the FBI will help us make significant headway in the fight against illegal gambling,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the AGA. “In particular, the Internet Crime Complaint Center will be an invaluable tool for people in every state to report tips about the multi-billion dollar illegal gambling sector that preys on consumers, steals jobs and deprives state and local governments of revenues generated by the legal, regulated casino gaming industry.”

“Establishing and maintaining strong partnerships with public and private industry counterparts is essential in combating illegal gambling,” said J. Chris Warrener, Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. “This joint initiative leverages the Internet Crime Complaint Center network to address transnational organized crime groups that use illegal gambling, most notably internet sports gambling, as a means to finance other forms of violent and illicit activities.”

The IC3 is the FBI’s national platform for receiving information on any cyber-affiliated crime. The IC3 accepts cyber-facilitated crime complaints from either the actual victim or from a third party to the complainant. The tool allows detailed information to be easily submitted. Those wishing to report an illegal gambling tip may do so here: http://www.ic3.gov/.

Earlier this year, AGA formed its Illegal Gambling Advisory Board as part of its “Stop Illegal Gambling – Play it Safe” initiative. The Board is composed of: Tim Murphy, former deputy director of the FBI (chair); Ed Davis, former Boston police commissioner; Bill Young, former Clark County Sheriff and head of Las Vegas Metro Police Department, current senior vice president of compliance and security at Station Casinos; James Dinkins, former executive associate director at Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations; and J.B. Van Hollen, former Wisconsin State attorney general, U.S. attorney, and district attorney.

The AGA’s illegal gambling initiative focuses on four key areas of illegal gambling: illegal sports betting; black market machines; Internet sweepstakes cafes; and illegal online betting.


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