Offshore sportsbooks continue to be mentioned in mainstream media, says AGA chief executive, cautioning mainstream publications to not help blur the lines between legitimate operators and offshore establishments.
AGA Chief Executive Calls for Media to Not Legitimize Offshore Bookies
The President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Gaming Association (AGA), Bill Miller, made a publication on the occasion of the second anniversary of defeating PASPA last week. The commemorative date marks the day when the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of plaintiffs who had sought from SCOTUS permission to allow states to make laws and decisions about sports betting on their own terms without having to comply with any federal regulations.
With PASPA struck down and sports betting seeing an unprecedented uptick in activity, multiple states have legalized the industry. However, Mr. Miller is still not happy with how mainstream media continue to legitimize what he describes as an illegal offshore market, worth some $150 billion owing to the activity in the market.
He specifically addressed the main challenge of helping legal sportsbook achieve better recognition at a time when media continued to make mentions of offshore operators. Mr. Miller said that mainstream publications have been legitimizing the illegal betting market and blurring the lines between the two.
According to him, mentions of popular offshore sportsbooks have been made in a number of publications, including Reuters, Yahoo! Sports, and The Wall Street Journal. He stressed the issue by arguing that while regulated markets helped contribute to society, the uncollected tax dollar from the offshore industry was used for the purposes of “money laundering, drug trade, and human trafficking.”
The Offshore Industry is “Predatory,” Says Miller
Mr. Miller’s solution is simple – stop referencing the offshore industry in mainstream media. He further insisted that such establishments, if mentioned at all, should be recognized as illegitimate and predatory whenever commented on.
However, the strength of such offshore betting markets is their flexibility when it comes to pure variety. For example, esports and political betting is mostly part of the offshore segment, but this doesn’t exhaust the options when it comes to traditional sports, too.
Even though Mr. Miller is right to cite lack of regulation for such markets, i.e. political betting, there is a good chance that mainstream sportsbook will expand their offer to better cover that of offshore operations.
However, Mr. Miller is right about the tax dollar being siphoned off offshore. Not all states have been indifferent to what is said in the press though, at least when it concerns sports betting. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) cautioned media publications to not promote offshore sports betting messages last year, for example.
It’s not too difficult to imagine that more control can be exerted over gambling messages, similar to what is happening in other regulated markets. The only issue is that would be a matter of trying to control free speech, not just the nature of advertisement. In fact, most mentions of offshore brands in the media are not intended as advertisement in the first place.
Meanwhile, BetOnline decided to pull out of all regulated markets in the United States so that it doesn’t butt heads with regulators. Analysts have said this could be an attempt to see the operator obtain a U.S. license, but it could be years before BetOnline is allowed anywhere near the regulated market.