Since its launch in April 2015, the initiative is helping law enforcement, elected officials and the public at large better understand the scope of illegal gambling and its impact on our communities across the U.S.

The initiative focuses on the following five key areas:

Illegal Sports Betting


Illegal sports betting is at least a $150 billion enterprise -- with some estimates as high as half-a-trillion dollars. Illegal operators avoid taxes and often fund nefarious activities. The illegal market thrives in the shadows. A record $132.5 million was bet legally on Super Bowl 50 at Nevada sports book. This number pales in comparison to the amount wagered illegally on the Big Game - $4.1 billion.

For more information about sports betting, visit

Black Market Machines


Slots, video poker and blackjack appear commonly in bars and taverns, usually managed by the bartender and presented with the disclaimer: “For amusement only.” In a recent article, The New York Times estimated that up to 150,000 of these illegal machines proliferate across an underground $1.9 billion industry in Texas alone.

Internet Sweepstakes Cafes


Found in storefronts, gas stations and convenience retailers in more than a dozen states, these modest operations together represent a criminal enterprise the size of a Fortune 500 company. It’s reported that as many as 5,000 storefronts rake in an estimated $10 billion a year. These illegal operators take advantage of state sweepstakes laws by purporting to sell unwanted products – Internet time or long distance telephone minutes; however, the customer receives a supposed bonus of “entries” in the sweepstakes to be redeemed in online games indistinguishable from gambling.

Illegal Online Betting


These websites, which usually operate out of Central America or the Caribbean, are easy to mistake for a legitimate, legal operation because of their sleek, corporate presentation. Raking in an estimated $4 billion a year, these online betting sites have zero consumer protection. If a customer finds his or her online account cleaned out, there is no avenue to report the crime or recover the theft.

Illegal Animal Betting


Illegal animal betting, often associated with cockfighting and dogfighting, heightens and hardens criminal activity within a community. These organized and professional criminal networks trade narcotics, weapons and conduct other violent crimes. In some cases, entry fees range as high as $20 to $100 for spectators and $1,000 for four roosters, for example. Often times children are also put at risk and exposed to these horrific and cruel events.

Take action
The public and private sector both play an important role in thwarting illegal gambling.

Contact the Federal Bureau Investigation


Contact your State Attorney General

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Raise Awareness in Your Community

Share now #StopIllegalGambling
To Learn More

Contact Brian Cohen, director of strategic alliances with the American Gaming Association, at [email protected] or 202-552-2675

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