Wednesday September 30,2015 : A.G.A. SEEKS TO DISTANCE ITSELF FROM ILLEGAL U.S. GAMING
Cites organised crime involvement and releases research findings to back up claim.
Addressing an enforcement conference in the United States this week, American Gaming Association CEO Geoff Freeman sought to distance the legal and licensed American gaming industry in 40 states from the illegal activity in gambling across the nation, which he claimed was often associated with organised crime.
Freeman revealed that distinguishing itself from illicit activity has become a priority for the Association, because illegal online gambling damages the industry's credibility and (perhaps more importantly) steals customers.
The Association has embarked on a program of educating lawmakers on the highly regulated nature of the licensed industry, and has at the same time criticised the 1992 federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act that restricts sports gambling to just four states.
Illegal sports betting generates a conservatively estimated $150 billion in wagers annually, and needs to be addressed, Freeman observed.
To illustrate its point, the Association has released a study from Jay S. Albanese of Virginia Commonwealth University which examined federal convictions nationwide in a single year, 2014, involving 40 illegal gambling operations that included online and offshore sports betting, unregulated casino parlours and wagers on animal fights.
The study looked at 10 cases of online sports betting and unregulated casino parlours that linked to larger crime syndicates including the New York and Philadelphia Cosa Nostra families, a motorcycle gang and Texas drug traffickers that led to up to $68 million being seized in at least one case, or an average of $3 million each.