In Michigan, the government agency that provides oversight of the state’s gaming industry recently warned residents who use unregulated gaming sites to place wagers may risk losing their deposit and fall victim to identity theft.
According to Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), based on complaints received, individuals who have done business with unregulated gambling portals report they are not being paid or are unable to obtain a deposited refund.
To make matters worse, those patrons who use unregulated sites are left without a means to seek recovery of monies deposited through regulatory agencies or the courts, according to the MGCB.
Commenting on the scenario, Henry Williams, Executive Director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board, said when an individual shares personal information with an unregulated gambling site, there are “no guarantees” that the information they supply won’t be used by or sold to criminals. And that…
“Identity theft is the most common complaint received by the Federal Trade Commission. In 2020, 1.3 million identity theft reports were made in the US, including more than 24,000 cases of identity theft reported in Michigan.”
What’s more, the federal Internal Revenue Service reportedly says that your personal information is used by thieves to apply for credit, obtain medical services or file taxes, with unauthorized activity possibly leading to damage to your credit status, not to mention the cost in time and money it takes to recover.
Other crimes associated with unregulated gambling sites have also reportedly been identified by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, including supporting organized crime through money laundering. Whereas, regulated casinos and online gaming sites must follow anti-money laundering and know your customer (KYC) requirements.
“Unlike regulated gambling, there is no mechanism for the MGCB to handle a patron dispute with an unregulated, offshore gambling site,” Williams explained. “Our agency does not have the authority to pursue a dispute with an unregulated site.”
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Meanwhile, last month it was reported that Michigan online casinos and poker rooms achieved a record high through the month of October, having secured $109.7 million in gross gaming revenue, a 7.1 percent increase from the $102.4 million generated the month prior. The swell resulting in $20.3 million in state taxes $7.8 million in local taxes. Since its launch on January 22, 2021, online gaming has reportedly generated $220.8 million in state and local taxes.