The widespread prevalence of illegal and unregulated gambling in the United States has been undeniably underscored by the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) new report, which centers on its harm to citizens.
The hundreds of thousands of machines located across the country, including a particularly large amount in Pennsylvania’s “gray market” skill games industry, serve as a primary example of this issue that plagues many states.
This comprehensive report brings attention to the lack of oversight and supervision in these cases—nearly 67,000 machines remain unregulated within Pennsylvania alone—calling for national legislation to prevent further harm to individuals.
The illegal gambling machines played in person generate revenue significantly higher than their online and sports betting counterparts, according to a study recently compiled by The Innovation Group for the American Gaming Association. The report estimates the total revenue from these illegally played machines comes out to an astounding $27 billion each year nationwide.
It also estimates that Americans’ non-sanctioned play of online slots, poker and table games have a lower annual revenue of $13.6 billion, while illegal online sportsbook falls even lower at $3.8 billion. Clearly, gambling enthusiasts in America are opting for gaming on the go rather than via other means or at sanctioned events.
The report on unregulated gaming machines in Pennsylvania has set alarm bells ringing, as it has emerged that this particular state is among the highest in terms of having a large concentration of these devices.
In comparison to other states like Kentucky and Virginia, where these games are commonplace but lack legal approval, Pennsylvania seems to have numbers far higher than those locations; with an estimated total of 12,269 in Kentucky and 8,184 in Virginia respectively. This is indicative of the vast scale at which unregulated gambling is going unchecked across the state.
In a statement, AGA President Bill Miller said, “Illegal gambling is arguably the greatest threat to our industry. The unfortunate reality is about a third of the U.S. gaming market is being captured by illegal or unregulated gambling. We will use this research to strengthen our case to federal and state policymakers and law enforcement agencies for the need to act now.”