offshore sportsbooks, offshore betting, igaming

US DoJ is looking into shutting down offshore sportsbooks

Bovada, MyBookie, and BetOnline might be under threat from the United States Department of Justice as a total of 28 US representatives have signed a letter calling for the crackdown on offshore sportsbooks.

The effort, led by Dina Titus and Guy Reschenthaler, co-chairs of the Congressional Gaming Caucus, was signed by 26 other representatives and sent in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland. It describes the “predatory operations” that “expose our constituents to financial and cyber vulnerabilities; do not have protocols to address money laundering, sports integrity, or age restrictions; and undermine states’ efforts to capture much needed tax revenue through legal sports betting channels”.

The letter mentions three well-known and popular offshore sportsbooks by name. Bovada, MyBookie, and BetOnline have been called out as having “developed sophisticated platforms that are nearly indistinguishable from those of legal providers”, according to the letter.

The letter argues that the unregulated offshore sportsbooks do not have the player protections that exist for US regulated sites, leaving the US players exposed.

The letter continues, “The illegal operators are not interested in helping bettors wager responsibly by providing checks like time limits, budgets, or self-exclusion. They do not adhere to federal or state financial regulations, so consumers can never be sure if their information is secure or if they will receive their winnings. These operators are not bound by age restrictions, meaning children and young adults can be exploited by these websites.

“Finally, these illegal operators do not help promote the integrity of sporting contests by sharing with sports leagues information related to unusual betting patterns or insider betting, as many regulated sports books do.”

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