Washington, DC– The American Gaming Association (AGA) today urged Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), ranking member, to ensure the next attorney general will crack down on illegal gambling activities that are prevalent across the United States. The AGA’s letter calling attention to this important issue comes a day before the Committee holds a hearing to consider Loretta Lynch’s nomination for U.S. attorney general.
“We urge you to ensure that the next attorney general takes seriously the problem of illegal gambling across the country,” wrote Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the AGA, in the letter. “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.
Earlier this month, in response to new guidance on sports books from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the AGA urged further scrutiny of illegal sports betting.
“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 – in some cases leading to criminal convictions,” wrote Freeman in the letter. “In stark contrast, no such oversight exists for the illegal sports betting market, where the risk of money laundering is far greater due to its inherent underground market.
“Further, as millions of fans plan to watch the Super Bowl this Sunday, many will place wagers on everything from the result of the coin toss to which team prevails. In fact, bettors will place $3.8 billion worth of illegal wagers on the Super Bowl – 38 times the amount bet legally. Where the risk of money laundering exists, the gaming industry wants to strengthen existing partnerships with regulators, law enforcement and others to prevent it.”
Read the entire letter here.
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.