By Owain Flanders
Newgioco CEO Michele Ciavarella has said the best way to combat illegal gambling in the US is for regulators to blanket the country with licensed operators, rather than monopolising the market.
Speaking exclusively with Gambling Insider about the District of Columbia's sports betting deal with Intralot, Ciavarella explained how monopolising state lottery distribution and sports venues with one favoured operator is counterproductive to combating illegal gambling.
He said: "The situation with Intralot in DC is quite absurd in my opinion. A free and open market is best for the consumer.
"The Wire Act and the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act were made to stop unlawful operators, not to block or stop a legal industry like sports betting from existing."
Ciavarella went on to explain how this could lead to wagers with offshore bookmakers and street-side bookies.
"It’s like allowing licensed retailers to sell white sneakers only," he explained. "All the knock-off retailers will have a field day on the street corners.
"To combat illegal gambling, regulators and banks need to blanket the US with licensed operators; not make it impossible for them to do business."
The full interview will appear in Gambling Insider’s January/February magazine. Click here to read the article when published.