Washington, DC– As President Obama releases his 2016 budget today, the American Gaming Association (AGA) is advocating for a congressional budget that provides crucial Department of Justice funding to fight illegal gambling operations. In contrast to the illegal gambling market, legal gaming is a highly regulated, $240 billion U.S. industry that supports 1.7 million jobs in 40 states and works closely with law enforcement to identify illegal activity.
“Illegal gambling operations attract illicit activities, such as money laundering and other serious crimes, while siphoning critical tax revenues from state and local governments across the country,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the AGA. “We look forward to working with Congress and the Administration on a final 2016 budget that includes much-needed funding to enforce laws against illegal gambling operations across the country.”
Last week, the day before Loretta Lynch’s attorney general nomination hearings began, the AGA sent a letter to Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), ranking member, urging them to ensure the next attorney general will crack down on illegal gambling activities that are prevalent across the United States.
Last month at a speech before mayors from across the country, the AGA estimated that Americans would make $3.8 billion worth of illegal bets on this year’s Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks. That figure stands in stark contrast to the approximately $100 million bet legally on the Super Bowl.
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. AGA members 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.