28 U.S representatives issued a joint statement to Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice (DOJ), urging them to intensify their investigation and enforcement of illegal offshore sportsbooks that are expanding their presence throughout the U.S. Bovada, MyBookie, and BetOnline are among the operators mentioned. Check out the best bookmakers for betting legally on Sports.
Despite the growth of authorized sports betting, the bipartisan group is concerned that offshore betting will continue to thrive. It states that online searches nationwide for offshore sportsbooks surged by about 40 percent in 2021, outpacing searches for legal ones.
The members demanded that the DOJ identify, investigate, and prosecute these “unlawful” gaming providers with the assistance of the stakeholders involved in the gambling industry. Moreover, they also requested enhanced efforts to educate U.S. citizens about the consequences of using illegal sports betting platforms.
The letter singled out Bovada Sportsbook as the most frequent offshore business sought, while MyBookie and BetOnline were also mentioned as having “sophisticated” interfaces that are virtually “indistinguishable” from that of licensed providers.
“The illegal operators are not interested in helping bettors wager responsibly by providing checks like time limits, budgets, or self-exclusion,” the letter said.
“They do not adhere to federal or state financial regulations, so consumers can never be sure if their information is secure or if they will receive their winnings. These operators are not bound by age restrictions, meaning children and young adults can be exploited by these websites.”
The American Gaming Association (AGA), which made a similar request to Garland in April, supported the congressional proposal.
“Offshore gambling websites are a significant threat to consumer protections and the economic benefits legal gaming provides for communities across the country,” AGA President and CEO Bill Miller said in a statement.
“After our initial outreach to the Department of Justice in April, today’s letter to Attorney General Garland demonstrates the broad interest in addressing illegal gaming,” he continued.
The DOJ is expected to respond and take action by September 6, the Monday before the start of the 2022 NFL season.
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