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AGA Says Americans Dropped $511 Billion on Black Market Sportsbooks

Despite ready access to regulated sports betting in most parts of the country, Americans are still flocking to black market websites. According to a recent report from the American Gaming Association (AGA), unlicensed operators take in $511 billion from Americans every year and robbing badly needed tax revenue from state governments.

The AGA pulled its numbers from a survey of 5,284 American adults that was recently conducted by The Innovation Group. Respondents were asked about their illicit gambling habits, including online and machine play, and the results were somewhat astounding.

Researchers found that all that illicit gambling adds up to around $511 billion a year. That has the ripple effect of taking about $13.3 billion in tax revenue away from state governments. By way of comparison, the entire regulated gambling business generated around $11.7 billion in tax revenues last year.

Regulated operators are also impacted by the black market gambling business losing $44 billion in revenue to them. The regulated gambling business in America generated $92 billion for the whole year, all while carrying the burden of following the law as written.

All told, Americans dropped around $63.8 billion on illicit sports betting and another $337.9 billion on illicit igaming sites. These two categories respectively cost state governments $3.8 billion and $3.5 billion in lost tax revenue.

AGA President and CEO Bill Miller commented on the situation saying, “Illegal and unregulated gambling is a scourge on our society, taking advantage of vulnerable consumers, skirting regulatory obligations and robbing communities of critical tax revenue for infrastructure, education and more. We have always known that the illegal and unregulated market is expansive, but this report illuminates just how pervasive it is.”

Miller went on to say that the AGA will continue to work against black market gambling while supporting regulated operators.