Massachusetts gaming regulator joins in call for DOJ to police illegal operators

May 31, 2023
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Members of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission joined gaming regulators in calling on the US Department of Justice to crack down on illegal operators.

Members of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission have agreed to send a letter to US Attorney General Merrick Garland, similar to a letter sent by regulators from Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey and Illinois at the end of April.

Those states asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to protect Americans from illegal offshore sportsbooks and online casinos. The regulators complained that these operators don’t offer “responsible gaming” programs, don’t verify users’ ages, contribute to the loss of state tax revenue and lack controls to prevent money laundering.

Regulators from the seven states wrote, “The many significant threats posed by offshore illegal gambling cannot be addressed by states alone and, therefore, require heightened federal attention and engagement. We strongly encourage the Department of Justice to prioritize investigation and prosecution of these offshore sites, and stand ready to provide any assistance that we can as state gaming regulators.”

On Tuesday, members of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission met to edit their letter to Garland. During the meeting, Commission Chair Cathy Judd-Stein said the illegal market was not only competing with the legal market in Massachusetts, it was working to put the legal market “out of business.”

Commissioner Nakisha Skinner asked the commission whether it knew about the Federal Government’s efforts to combat illegal gaming. Judd-Stein said the commission is not aware of what the DOJ is doing.

Judd-Skein said, “I think that we might not know. I imagine there are efforts underway. But they might not be able to reveal them to us.”


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