The American Gaming Association has asked the federal government to initiate a crackdown against illegal online casino and sportsbook operators, especially those with unregulated “skill game” machines. 

In a press release earlier this month, the organization indicated that it sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, imploring him to take immediate action in protecting American consumers from illegal gambling operators by enforcing federal regulations. 

American Gaming Association President and CEO Bill Miller noted that illicit gambling activities are not new, but they have become more rampant in the recent years that they now require “significant federal attention.”

The organization urged law enforcement bodies to investigate some of the biggest offshore iGaming brands that “openly violate federal and state laws.” Brands reported in its letter included BetOnline, MyBookie, and Bovada, as per

However, offshore brands may have a way to go around possible legalities since they accept cryptocurrencies. As bitcoin and other cryptos have become ubiquitous, operators have made it easy for anyone to quickly start gambling on their platforms using digital currency. 

“This segment has exploded in a very short amount of time, and as a decentralized system, it makes it even more difficult to figure out how to go after them,” American Gaming Association Vice President of Government Relations Alex Costello told NBC News.

On top of established offshore brands, crypto casinos are also thriving. These websites accept standard payment methods aside from cryptocurrencies to give users more payment options. However, this makes it all the more difficult for the U.S. government to control and regulate them.