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    Attorney General Lynch Invited to Join New Initiative to Crack Down on Illegal Gambling Operations

    Press Release
    April 23, 2015

    Washington, DC –Now that the United States Senate has confirmed Loretta Lynch as the next U.S. attorney general, the American Gaming Associations (AGA) is inviting her to join state attorneys general and other top law enforcement officials in partnership with the gaming industry through its recently launched initiative to crack down on illegal gambling operations.

    In a keynote address before attorneys general from across the country last week, AGA President and CEO Geoff Freeman announced the “Stop Illegal Gambling – Play it Safe” initiative to combat illegal gambling operations across the country that harm consumers, steal jobs and deprive state and local governments of revenues that pay for vital public services.

    “The legal, highly regulated, $240 billion casino gaming industry invites Attorney General Lynch to join us in exposing illegal gambling through our new initiative that is bringing together law enforcement officials to strengthen communities in every state,” said AGA President and CEO Geoff Freeman. “AG Lynch has demonstrated a strong track record on this issue and a keen understanding of the serious problem illegal gambling has become across the country, and we hope to work with her to combat shady operators who don’t protect consumers, don’t create jobs and don’t contribute a dime in taxes in support of their communities.”

    A partnership with AG Lynch could include prioritizing illegal gambling, dedicating more resources for enforcement, training, and awareness efforts, and ensuring all relevant components of the Department in Washington and throughout the country are plugged into the AGA initiative.

    During the confirmation process, Lynch said she “would welcome the opportunity to work with Congress to address this issue” of illegal gambling. She also highlighted her efforts to crack down on illegal gambling as US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, where her office brought prosecutions for such activities. Lynch pointed to a 2011 case that her office led, which she described as “the largest ever nationally coordinated organized crime takedown against organized crime in the United States.”

    According to Lynch, “Twelve indictments were unsealed in Brooklyn against eighty-five individual defendants, including charges against members of all five New York-based La CosaNostra families. Those charges included charges for illegal gambling, including illegal sports betting and operation of illegal card games and illegal gambling devices.”

    In January, as the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee began nomination hearings for Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch, AGA sent a letter to Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman, and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), ranking member, to ensure the next attorney general would focus on illegal gambling activities that are prevalent across the United States. 

    The “Stop Illegal Gambling – Play it Safe” initiative seeks to distinguish the highly regulated, $240 billion legal gaming industry—which supports 1.7 million jobs and generates $38 billion in taxes across 40 states—from the criminal networks that rely on illegal gambling to fund violent crimes and drug and human trafficking. The initiative focuses on four key areas of illegal gambling: illegal sports betting; black market machines; Internet sweepstakes cafes; and illegal online betting.

    About AGA: The American Gaming Association is the premier national trade group representing the $240 billion U.S. casino industry, which supports 1.7 million jobs in 40 states.  AGAmembers include commercial and tribal casino operators, suppliers and other entities affiliated with the gaming industry.  It is the mission of the AGA to be the single most effective champion of the industry, relentlessly protecting against harmful and often misinformed public policies, and paving a pathway for growth, innovation and reinvestment.



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