LANSING, Mich. — Michigan residents who place wagers on unregulated gaming sites may gamble on more than they expected and become victims of identity theft or deposit theft.
Henry Williams, executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board, warned residents of these sites in a news release Monday.
“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,” Williams said. “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 U.S., including more than 24,000 cases of identity theft reported in Michigan.”
The federal Internal Revenue Service says thieves use your personal information to apply for credit, file taxes or obtain medical services. This can damage someone’s credit status and cost time and money to recover.
Based on complaints to the Michigan Gaming Control Board, unregulated gambling site patrons say winnings aren’t being paid or they can’t obtain a deposited refund.
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,” Williams said. “Our agency does not have the authority to pursue a dispute with an unregulated site.”
Other crimes, such as money laundering, are also associated with unregulated gambling sites.
See a list of approved and regulated online gaming and sports betting sites here.