US Congress calls for a federal crackdown on the illegal offshore gambling market – Capital FM Kenya

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NAIROBI, Kenya August 9 – In recent years, many states across the US have legalized gambling. Prior to introducing regulatory frameworks for online gambling, Americans were still gambling, but under illegal circumstances.
It has been estimated that illegal gambling in the United States is a $150 billion industry. As a result, states were missing out on tax revenues and job opportunities. To combat the situation, states started introducing legalized gambling by focusing on the difficulties and extent of illegal gambling. These difficulties also included the harmful social impact illegal gambling had on society and the lack of control states had to safeguard private individuals.
An excellent example of a state that has embraced legalized online gambling is the state of New Jersey. Already in 2013, New Jersey legalized online gambling in the form of casinos, poker, and lotteries. Since then, the state has legalized daily fantasy sports, sports betting, horse racing and just about any gambling vertical available. As a result, the state of New Jersey has generated economic benefits, created thousands of jobs, and made it safer for private individuals to gamble.
However, the battle against illegal gambling is still ongoing. While it is more difficult for land-based operations to offer illegal gambling, for example, illegal bookmakers – the war wages on over the internet. So much so that the US congress recently wrote a letter to Attorney General, Merrick Garland from the DOJ (Department of Justice), urging them to take action against illegal gambling over the internet.
The situation of illegal online gambling is not exclusive to the United States. Almost every country in the world is struggling to combat illegal gambling sites that are operating offshore. And it is not a matter of illegal gambling on the dark web; any person can go on Google and search for ‘offshore online casino’ and find hundreds of offshore operators. Today it is practically impossible to prohibit US citizens from accessing these websites and applications. At the same time, these offshore operators are able to market and position their services for US players.
The letter to the DOJ comes as internet searches for queries related to offshore gambling had increased by almost 40 per cent last year when compared to 2020. Offshore gambling is so big of a problem that it has higher search volumes than legal gambling. The US Congress thinks a crackdown is needed to stop the momentum of offshore gambling. They argue that the offshore operators do not offer the same responsible gambling tools nor the same player protection when it comes to securing privacy and sensitive information. It is also a matter of loss of job opportunities and a considerable negative impact on the economy since money is siphoned out of the United States.
Legalized online gambling in the United States is still in its infancy, and it is crucial that illegal online gambling is actively combated. In their later, the US Congress urge the Justice Department to cooperate with the gaming industry to identify the worst actors on the market and then proceed to investigate and prosecute them. They also highlight the importance of nationwide education on these issues to educate American players about the dangers related to illegal gambling. A response from the DOJ is expected in early September.
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