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AGA report shows Americans place $511bn in illegal bets per year

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The figures have motivated a nationwide push for regulated markets.

The American Gaming Association (AGA) has published a report regarding illegal gambling activity around the US. According to its findings, Americans wagered an estimated total of $511bn per year with unregulated and illegal skill games, sportsbooks and iGaming websites.

In a breakdown by category, the report showed that Americans placed nearly $63.8bn in bets with illegal bookies and offshore sites, and $337.9bn with illegal iGaming websites. The AGA’s findings noted that illegal betting activity in the US adds up to an estimated $13.3bn in annual tax revenue that would be paid to the government in a regulated market.

AGA President and CEO Bill Miller pointed out the losses to the local community because of unregulated gambling activity.

He commented: “Illegal and unregulated gambling is a scourge on our society, taking advantage of vulnerable consumers, skirting regulatory obligations and robbing communities of critical tax revenue for infrastructure, education and more.

“We have always known that the illegal and unregulated market is expansive, but this report illuminates just how pervasive it is.”

According to the AGA’s findings, 49% of sports bettors during the past year have wagered with an illegal operator. Previous reports reflected that nearly half of Americans did not know they were placing bets with an illegal operator when placing their wagers.  

The AGA noted that the amount of illegal activity demonstrates a push for states throughout the nation to push for regulated markets.

The AGA said in its report: “While the numbers are significant, they also demonstrate Americans’ movement to the regulated market with legal sports betting’s expansion to 36 states and the District of Columbia.”

The organization remains committed to encouraging players to gamble responsibly. During September’s inaugural Responsible Gaming Education Month (RGEM 2022), the AGA recently partnered with MGM Resorts International and BetMGM.

Throughout September, MGM Resorts has worked with the AGA to offer players tips and educational resources regarding responsible gambling via its social media platforms.

At G2E Las Vegas, Bill Miller spoke exclusively to the GA Huddle, also answering a question on illegal US gambling.

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