The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has warned state residents of the dangers associated with betting on unlicensed gambling platforms.
Michigan residents who place wagers on unregulated gaming sites may gamble on more than they expected and become identity theft or deposit theft victims, said Michigan Gaming Control Board Executive Director Henry Williams.
“If you share personal information with an unregulated gambling site, there are no guarantees your information won’t be sold to or used by criminals. 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,” Williams said.
The federal Internal Revenue Service says thieves use your personal information to apply for credit, file taxes, or obtain medical services. This unauthorized activity can damage your credit status and cost you time and money to recover.
Based on complaints to the MGCB, unregulated gambling site patrons say winnings are not being paid or they can’t obtain a deposited refund. Unfortunately, patrons using unregulated sites don’t have recourse to seek recovery of their money through regulatory agencies or the courts.
“Unlike regulated gambling, there is no mechanism for the MGCB to handle a patron dispute with an unregulated, offshore gambling site. Our agency does not have the authority to pursue a dispute with an unregulated site,” Williams said.
Other crimes are associated with unregulated gambling sites. The Federal Bureau of Investigations has identified unregulated online gambling as supporting organized crime through money laundering. By contrast, regulated casinos and online gaming sites must follow know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering requirements.