The Campaign for Fairer Gambling aims to advance a politically bipartisan and scientifically evidenced agenda of gambling reform with three main objectives. First, we aim to pursue a bipartisan agenda focused on advancing consumer protection. Second, we aim to reduce gambling-related harm. Third, we seek to raise industry and regulatory standards on a state-by-state basis while advocating for federal oversight when needed.
Fairer gambling means a fairer market, better consumer protection, and even-handed regulation across the United States. Currently, this is not the case. The World Health Organization's declaration of disordered gambling as a behavioral addiction is widely ignored in Washington, DC. Among legislators, there is insufficient understanding of how smartphones, the primary delivery mechanism of online gambling, are addictive irrespective of their content. Too often, the scientific evidence base is undermined by the gambling sector. CFG opposes the expansion of iGambling in its current form.
At the same time, we oppose the illegal offshore black market targeting the US. In addition to the harms arising from at-risk and disordered gambling, there is financial harm to the financially vulnerable, and the socioeconomic impact of online sports betting and casino gaming (iGambling) brings real costs. Most importantly, we know that illegal iGambling harms the US economy as a whole, diverting disposable income from other activities, diminishing employment, and tax bases.
Legal iGambling has many of the same negative attributes as illegal iGambling. Legal iGambling offers only minimal funding for harm amelioration, some employment minimally offsetting the employment loss, and new state taxes. However, the US tax base as a whole is not improved as the economic negatives of iGambling reduce the federal tax base. We do not acknowledge that the presence of illegal iGambling justifies legal iGambling expansion, as it is unproven that legal iGambling has been effective in capturing market share from illegal operators.
A reduction in illegal iGambling, irrespective of the availability of legalized iGambling, requires enforcement from the federal government. We will oppose the race to the bottom in tax and regulation advocated by the legal sector, who have no constructive proposals to eradicate the black market.
As an evidence-based campaign, we will be very critical of all false representations by financially motivated proponents of legal iGambling. We will seek to raise standards on a state-by-state basis and advocate for federal oversight of some aspects of iGambling policy, and federal involvement in tackling illegal iGambling. This dual strategy will ensure that states are motivated to do better, minimizing federal oversight, with the more forward-thinking states incentivized to encourage other states to raise standards.