MGCB: Consumers Using Unregulated Operators Face Risks

In a statement on Monday, the gambling regulator in Michigan warned residents of the state that placing bets or gambling via unregulated, black market operators hides unexpected dangers.

Using Unregulated Operators May Result in Identity Theft

Michigan Gaming Control Board’s (MGCB) executive director, Henry Williams, said in a statement earlier this week that residents who place wagers via unregulated gambling websites may be surprised unpleasantly. He outlined that using unregulated gaming websites poses a threat for the users who may become a victim of deposit theft. Moreover, Williams revealed that such gambling websites may leak the personal details of their users to third parties, resulting in identity theft.

If you share personal information with an unregulated gambling site, there are no guarantees your information won’t be sold to or used by criminals.

Henry Williams, executive director at the MGCB

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), thieves can use personal information for medical services. What is more worrying is that identity thieves can use the victim’s details to apply for credit or even file taxes. Those actions can be incredibly damaging for residents’ credit status.

Williams added that if a user shares his personal information with an unregulated gambling website, there’s no guarantee that the information won’t be sold to or used by criminals. He explained that identity theft is among the top complaints received by the Federal Trade Commission. Citing data, Williams said that 1.3 million identity thefts were reported in the US last year. Of that total, 24,000 cases were related to Michigan residents.

The MGCB pointed out that it has received complaints from patrons saying that they haven’t received payouts from unregulated gambling websites. Additionally, residents have complained about not receiving their deposits back. Sadly, in this case, the Control Board said that it cannot help, considering that the bets/deposits were placed with unregulated operators.

Unlike regulated gambling, there is no mechanism for the MGCB to handle a patron dispute with an unregulated, offshore gambling site.

Henry Williams, executive director at the MGCB

On that topic, Williams added that there is currently no mechanism that the regulator can enforce when it comes to unregulated or offshore gambling operators. He explained that the agency doesn’t have the authority to go after disputes related to such operators. However, the same does not apply to regulated gambling operators. This is why the MGCB released a complete list of the approved operators in the state.

With that in mind, unregulated gambling operators may link to other crimes as well. The MGCB said that the FBI has identified unregulated gambling operators that link to organized crime by doing money laundering. On the other hand, each licensed and regulated operator must follow established anti-money laundering (AML) as well as know your customer (KYC) rules.

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