Fire-Breathing U.S. Casino Leaders Urge Destruction Of Illegal Industry

September 23, 2022
Back
In unusually harsh rhetoric, the mild-mannered CEO and president of the American Gaming Association on Thursday called for the annihilation of the unlawful gambling industry and the head of Penn National described illegal operators as “cockroaches.”

Body

In unusually harsh rhetoric, the mild-mannered CEO and president of the American Gaming Association (AGA) on Thursday (September 22) called for the annihilation of the unlawful gambling industry and the head of Penn National described illegal operators as “cockroaches.”

“The thing that is going to make this industry work or not is whether or not we have a real, sustained focus on destroying the illegal offshore market,” AGA CEO Bill Miller said on the first day of the 25th annual East Coast Gaming Congress in Atlantic City.

“This is the greatest threat that we face today,” Miller said.

Miller was not alone in his pungent remarks about illegal gambling operations and the toll it is taking on legitimate gambling businesses.

David Cordish, the long-time chairman of The Cordish Companies, accused crooked illegal gambling machine operators of using their political influence to defeat sports betting in Missouri.

Thirteen casinos in Missouri have joined the Kansas City Chiefs and St Louis Cardinals in supporting sports betting in the Show Me State, but the legislature still has not passed a bill.

“You would think that’s a no-brainer,” Cordish said. “They can’t get it. Why? Because the grey market; the unregulated [operators] say they’ve got enough clout in the legislature each year [to demand], ‘We want you to legitimize us. … Otherwise, we’re blocking sports betting.’”

Cordish, who used a major portion of his address to attack the grey market, said he discussed the problem during his breakfast on Thursday with Jay Snowden, CEO of Penn Entertainment.

“As Jay said to me, ‘They’re like cockroaches. They just keep growing,’” Cordish said.

Snowden later confirmed his comment to VIXIO GamblingCompliance.

When he addressed the conference of gambling executives on Thursday, Snowden compared unregulated gambling to Whack-A-Mole, a Japanese arcade game in which cartoonish moles keep popping up no matter how many times a player knocks them down into holes with a soft mallet.

Snowden spent all of his eight-minute speech on Thursday attacking the grey market, saying it is giving legitimate gambling operators “a black eye.”

Presenting slides during his speech, Snowden said: “You’ll see children playing with parents and children playing with children.”

One of the slides showed a man violently swinging an ax in an attempt to open an illegal slot machine in a convenience store in Pennsylvania.

“We’re asking for something very simple, which is people follow the letter of the law,” Snowden said.

On April 13, Miller of the AGA sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland asking the U.S. Department of Justice to crack down on illegal gambling.

“Quite honestly, you probably would have been somewhat cautious before you send a letter to the attorney general of the United States and say, ‘Hey, you’re not doing your job well enough. You need to go focus on these things.’ But I did it,” Miller said.

Miller said he received a pro forma response, “but underneath the actual response was, ‘Thank you. We need to prioritize these things.’”

After sending the letter, Miller said he has had “multiple conversations with the FBI.”

“Prioritizing this at the FBI was key,” he said.

Our premium content is available to users of our services.

To view articles, please Log-in to your account, or sign up today for full access:

Opt in to hear about webinars, events, industry and product news

To find out more about Vixio, contact us today
No items found.