MA Sports Betting Regulator Joins Call For Federal Offshore Help

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MA sports betting

The MA sports betting regulator on Tuesday approved a letter that will be sent to the Department of Justice, seeking a crackdown on the illegal offshore sportsbook industry. 

The Massachusetts sports betting regulator passed the letter by a 5-0 vote

Previously, seven other US jurisdictions submitted a joint letter to the DOJ on the same matter. Yet regulators in the Bay State wanted to further drive the point across to federal authorities.

Contents of MA sports betting letter

US Attorney General Merrick Garland is the addressee of the letter by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

It reads:

As a regulator, we are committed to the integrity of gaming, and prioritize responsible gaming and consumer protections, offering innovations in these areas so that eligible wagerers can make informed, healthy choices tailored to their individual needs. 

We hold our licensees to the highest standards to meet those priorities. Illegal, offshore gambling operators are not held to these same standards by a regulatory authority, and often take advantage of the legalized landscape in jurisdictions such as Massachusetts to attract customers to their products. 

We join with the jurisdictions that were signatories to the attached letter in asking that the Department of Justice and your colleagues in the federal government prioritize investigation of these offshore sites. We echo the offer to be of assistance as you consider the impact of these bad actors.

Breaking down the illegal market

The American Gaming Association released research on the illegal market in November 2022.

According to the AGA, Americans bet $63.8 billion a year on sports with illegal bookies and offshore sites

As a result, the cost is $3.8 billion in gaming revenue, and $700 million in tax revenue. 

“All stakeholders — policymakers, law enforcement, regulators, legal businesses — must work together to root out the illegal and unregulated gambling market. This is a fight we’re in for the long haul to protect consumers, support communities and defend the law-abiding members of our industry,” AGA president and CEO Bill Miller said in a statement.