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US – AGA launches joint initiative with FBI

By - 23 November 2015

The AGA’s plan to crack down on illegal gambling has received support from the FBI, the nation’s top law enforcement and national security agency, who is explaining how its Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) can be put to good use.

The IC3 is the FBI’s national platform for receiving information on any cyber-affiliated crime. It’s an invaluable tool for people in every state to report tips about the multi-billion dollar illegal gambling sector that preys on consumers, steals jobs and deprives state and local governments of revenues generated by the legal, regulated casino gaming industry.

J. Chris Warrener, Deputy Assistant Director of FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, said: “This joint initiative leverages the Internet Crime Complaint Center network to address transnational organised crime groups that use illegal gambling, most notably internet sports gambling, as a means to finance other forms of violent and illicit activities. Establishing and maintaining strong partnerships with public and private industry counterparts is essential in combating illegal gambling.”

The more people who know about this tool, the more effective the gaming industry and law enforcement can be in stopping illegal gambling operations across the country.

As the Las Vegas Sun reported, illegal gambling is a major emphasis for AGA and the industry. The “Stop Illegal Gambling – Play it Safe” initiative was launched in April to achieve three goals. Firstly it helps distinguish between the legal, highly regulated industry and the illegal operations that often fund criminal activities. Secondly it protects businesses, which lose customers to illegal operations. Thirdly it provides an opportunity to partner with law enforcement.

The AGA has made significant progress in revealing the true consequences of illegal gambling through authoritative research and credible law enforcement voices. Its Illegal Gambling Advisory Board, formed this summer, has shed light on how law enforcement is approaching gaming issues. Additionally, the National Association of Attorneys General Gaming Committee offers another platform for law enforcement to develop solutions for illegal gambling and other emerging gaming issues.

Working together has exposed the misconception that illegal gambling is a victimless crime, and this effort with the FBI will help the gaming industry make significant headway in this fight.

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