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A new US online gambling ban push

14 July 2022

This week's gambling news comes from the U.S. Congress, where several members are urging the Department of Justice to take action against offshore online gambling operators. Additionally, the American Gaming Association wants search engines like Google to block these offshore operators from search results. What are the motivations behind these moves?

U.S. online gambling is becoming accepted in more and more states, largely thanks to the expansion of sports betting. After all, the regulation on mobile sports bets is the regulation of online bets. But as the business of web based betting grows, there are increasing calls for a new online gambling ban. Last last month, 28 Representatives from the U.S. Congress sent a letter to the Department of Justice, and specifically Attorney General Merrick Garland.

In that letter they urged that the Department begin targeting offshore gambling operators accepting players from the American market. The letter sent to the DOJ claims that these offshore online gambling sites are “predatory operations” and expose players in America to financial and cyber vulnerabilities. Translated into more correct English, what they are saying is that these operators lie beyond the reach of US tax officials, and they are gleaning money from state run gambling companies.

Even the American Gaming Association is getting into this fight, which should not be a surprise. After all, the AGA is a lobbying group which works with the regulated gaming industry in America. It’s only natural that their interests would lie in what’s best for those who help support them. Now, however, the AGA is taking things a step further by trying to pursued Google and other internet search engines to stop displaying results for these “illegal” online gambling sites. In essence, a de facto online gambling ban.