Illegal Gambling Sites Still An Issue Despite Legal Options In Michigan
The American Gaming Association wants the Justice Department to crack down on illegal gaming operations. AGA cites offshore sites such as MyBookie, BetOnline and Bovada as well as warnings about “skill-based” machine makers.
AGA has 80 members from across the gaming industry. AGA meets throughout the year to decide which efforts to focus on to best represent the industry's interests. The association's commitment to transition into fully legal marketplaces is not the reason behind the Justice Department's letter.
The letter was intended to target some of the top brass at DOJ.
Bovada is one of the companies highlighted in the AGA communication. BovADA runs its own Twitter account displaying bonus offers and sports jokes like any other regulated platform.
Bovada has been licensed by the Government of Curaçao since 1996. Cylke says it's difficult to enforce the law because the site operates outside of the country's law.
They are not licensed to operate in any state in the country.
There are legal options in Michigan to legalize gambling websites. Cylke wrote to the DOJ asking for some form of official action to educate the general public.
PlayMichigan talked to an individual who has been involved in both legal and illegal gambling operations. They will refer to them as Paul to protect their identity.
There are legal gambling sites in Michigan. People choose to gamble on offshore sites because they can't be traced. They also choose them because of the fact that they are less expensive.
Credit and debit cards are used at legal sportsbooks. A significant other can access how much money is being wagered.
AGA's stance is about protecting American consumers and keeping the U.S. gaming industry regulated and fair. AGA is concerned about unregulated skill machines. Cylke describes 7-11 gas stations in Virginia where he sees machines like that all over.
Cylke suspects people are buying illegal cigarettes out of the back of a truck.
It's a stark contrast to the highly-regulated environment where people are trained to recognize problem gambling and intervene.
The state of Michigan has made it a priority to crack down on unregulated gambling machines.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board helped with the raids at two alleged storefront casinos in the city of Lansing. The raids resulted in seizure of more than $91,000 and 80-plus machines. Three raids have occurred since internet gaming and sports betting was authorized by the state in January of 2021.
The Michigan Gaming Commission works with the Michigan Department of Attorney General on investigations.
Illegal gambling is still an issue despite legal options in Michigan.
Michigan legalized online gambling in January 2021. Online casinos have generated more than $360 million in tax dollars for state and local governments. Sports betting has generated $19 million. The tax revenue is meant to fund a variety of public services, including education and economic development.
Regulated markets provide safeguards for bettors and well-researched safety measures for people who may have addiction issues. Regulated operators also work to protect the integrity of games. Michigan legalized online gambling in 2010. Calvin Ridley placed a wager on a legal app in Florida and the operator flagged the wagers.
Illegal channels are a threat to the economy and consumer protection.