Illegal Gambling

AGA is committed to stopping illegal gambling by partnering with law enforcement to develop national, state and local opportunities for action and engagement. The AGA will commission authoritative research on all forms of illegal gambling and strengthen partnerships with elected officials, law enforcement and regulators to combat this national problem that’s siphoning tax revenues from state and localities, and tarnishing our highly regulated industry’s reputation.

Illegal Gambling Machines Endanger Consumers, Funnel Tax Revenue Away from State Economies


The robust licensing and operational standards for all gaming companies are essential to the casino gaming industry’s success. These standards promote confidence among consumers, ensuring that when they visit our properties they will be treated fairly. Unfortunately, unregulated and illegal gaming machines continue to proliferate across the country and threaten the economic benefits and consumer protections provided by the regulated industry. These illegal machines do not undergo any meaningful testing, the companies that create and operate them are not subject to licensing or other regulatory standards, and they do not provide states with essential tax revenue. These machines also fail to ensure that game integrity and responsible gaming are upheld, putting consumers at risk. Further, these machines are often tied to criminal activity, including money laundering, drug trafficking, violent crime, and more.

A new AGA report provides an overview of the regulatory environment for the casino gaming industry, specifically gaming machines found on the casino floor, and analyzes how those standards ensure consumer safety while generating significant tax revenue for states. Specifically, AGA recommends:

  • Law enforcement and policymakers must prioritize robust enforcement of laws to root out illegal and unregulated gaming machines. This includes enforcing laws already in force but also clarifying the law to make the illegality of these machines clear where any ambiguity exists.

  • States and communities must resist the temptation to simply authorize these machines. While many jurisdictions are looking for novel revenue sources, especially in response to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing these machines to continue will only reward bad behavior, erode investment made by regulated entities, and expose consumers to unnecessary risks.

  • Other industries need to ensure they understand their responsibility to eliminate illegal gaming machines at their businesses. Businesses cannot rely on illegal and unregulated games that put their customers at risk and should actively work to remove them from their communities.

AGA Law Enforcement Summit Breaks New Ground


More than 30 law enforcement leaders from across the country gathered in June 2016 at AGA’s office in Washington for the organization’s first-ever Law Enforcement Summit to better understand the massive illegal sports betting market in the U.S and what steps can be taken to address it.

In a robust town hall discussion, law enforcement spoke of the illegal sports betting market as a significant problem and of regulation as a potential solution. Based on input from the Summit, the AGA’s Illegal Gambling Advisory Board authored an after-action report that serves as a guide for stakeholders – including policymakers, regulators and sports leagues – to develop potential solutions.

AGA Enters Second Year of “Stop Illegal Gambling” Initiative


As it marks the one-year anniversary of its fight against illegal gambling, AGA announced that it will host a major law enforcement summit in June to further strengthen the partnership between the gaming industry and all elements of the law enforcement community.

The effort is a component of AGA’s “Stop Illegal Gambling – Play it Safe” initiative which is uniting gaming and law enforcement to expose the massive illegal gambling market that preys on consumers, siphons tax revenues and funds violent crime. AGA also launched a new website – – to serve as an information hub.

Top Law Enforcement Officials Lead New Advisory Board


The AGA announced the formation of its Illegal Gambling Advisory Board as part of its “Stop Illegal Gambling – Play it Safe” initiative.

Members of the Board will provide advice regarding industry efforts to develop actionable tools for law enforcement and to reduce the demand through public awareness; guide partnerships with law enforcement at the local, state, federal and international level; and provide strategies and perspective on necessary steps to plug existing holes in enforcement efforts.

Internet Sweepstakes Cafes: Unregulated Storefront Gambling in the Neighborhood


This paper addresses the proliferation of Internet sweepstakes cafes, including a thorough history of the venues and a look at where and how they operate

It outlines legislation and legal activity that already has taken place related to the issue in various states across the country. Finally, it addresses the legal arguments against sweepstakes cafes and offers expansive definitions for the prohibition of the machines through state law.

Internet Sweepstakes Cafes
View the report on unregulated storefront gambling in the neighborhood.
View report