The President of the American Gaming Association (AGA), Geoff Freeman, recently penned an open letter to Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch aimed at combating the illegal betting industry in the US.
Addressed to the Senate Judiciary Committee ahead of Lynch’s confirmation which was set to take place on Wednesday, Freeman called for all forms of gambling to be added to the list of topics to be discussed by Barrack Obama’s pick for the Attorney General’s position.
“We urge you to make sure the next attorney general takes seriously the problem of illegal gambling across the country,” wrote Freeman.
Within his letter, Freeman highlighted two key points for consideration: the current prosperity of the regulated gaming industry in the US and the lost revenue caused by ignoring illegal betting operations.
To sway Lynch towards supporting greater regulation of the gambling industry in the US, Freeman pointed out the 1.7 million people are currently employed by gambling operators.
Additionally, the industry turns over around $240 billion each year; an amount that’s directly taxable by the IRS.
As well as pointing out the positive associated with regulated gambling, Freeman contrasted those points with an examination of the illegal betting sub culture that’s responsible for billions in lost tax dollars every year.
Working in conjunction with the Depart of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a report which suggested that money laundering and criminal activity were much more likely due to illegal betting practices.
Moreover, FinCEN believes that $3.8 billion will be illegally wagered on the Super Bowl the coming weeks; a figure which is approximately 38 times more than the amount fans will bet legally.
Although Freeman’s letter places more emphasis on sports betting than any other faction of the gambling world, the poker industry will naturally benefit from any positive stance shown by Lynch.
Although the future Attorney General hasn’t yet given her views on the issue of gambling in the US, Freeman certainly makes a strong case for federal legislation across the country.
The allure of increased tax revenue and the attractiveness of stamping out crime are two things Lynch is likely to support in her new role.
Contrast this potential stance with that of another Attorney General candidate, Preet Bharara and the AGA’s moves become even more significant.
Although Bharara is no longer poised to take the hot seat, his promotion to the Attorney General’s position could have been another blow for the online industry.
Back in 2012 the Attorney for the Southern District of New York was instrumental in the Black Friday shutdowns that sent shockwaves through the community.
If he’d have been named Attorney General, it’s likely Bharara would have take a hard line stance against the industry.
Fortunately, Lynch doesn’t have such a background with regards to the online poker world, which means we could have ally in the fight for regulation.
Although the likes of Sheldon Adelson will still have a certain sway on Washington’s lawmakers, the backing of the Attorney General could prove immensely helpful in the coming months.