AGA: US illegal gambling worth almost half a trillion dollars every year
Trade body reports US states are losing as much as $13.3m in tax revenue annually to illegal market
The AGA’s report, published as part of the trade body’s ongoing war with the illegal market, claims illegal operators generate as much as $44.2bn in gross gambling revenue (GGR) annually, with state authorities losing $13.3bn every year to the illegal market in lost tax revenue.
Drilling down into these figures, illegal sports betting handle amounted to $63.8bn, with the illegal market generating $3.8bn in GGR and costing US governments $700m in lost tax revenue.
Handle from illegal online slots and table games operators amounted to $337.9bn, with illegal market operators generating an estimated $13.5bn in GGR and costing $3.9bn in lost state tax revenue.
The report also found that 49% of past-year sports bettors have placed a bet with an illegal operator without knowing that the operator was unlicensed.
AGA president and CEO Bill Miller pulled no punches in his assessment of the illegal gambling industry in the US.
“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,” he said.
“We have always known that the illegal and unregulated market is expansive, but this report illuminates just how pervasive it is,” he added.
The AGA-commissioned study was conducted by The Innovation Group and was based on a survey of 5,284 US adults.
It examined past-year gambling behavior of survey participants in respect of both illegal and legal operators, additionally asking for observations on unregulated gaming machines.
A constant detractor of the illegal gambling market in its position as a trade body for the regulated sector, the AGA wrote to the US Department of Justice in April decrying the sector and calling on Attorney General Merrick Garland for a crackdown.