Increase In Black Market Gambling In The UK BGC Warns

The Betting and Gaming Council have announced evidence of an increase in black market gambling by UK players and warned ‘dangers of complacency’ regarding black-market betting.

Increase Usage of Black Market Sites

Reports have found a significant increase in usage of unlicensed online gambling sites from 2.2% in 2019 to 4.5% during 2020. The number of gamblers frequently using black market sites rose to 460,000 from 210,000 during the previous year. Spend figures rose from £1.4bn to £2.8bn.However, evidence has shown a decrease in Google searches for unlicensed betting sites from 12% to 5%. Casino and bingo games were the biggest categories where spend was high, but reports show slot play was not included in these figures.BGC Chief executive Michael Dugher said, “This new report by the PWC is an impressive and comprehensive piece of work which demonstrates how unsafe, unregulated black market is a growing threat to British punters.“These illicit sites have none of the regulated sector’s consumer protections in place, such as strict ID age verification checks, safer gambling messages, and the ability to set deposit limits.”The report found countries with less restrictive measures have more black market sites in comparison to the UK as here we have more stringent regulations in place to protect players.

Fewer Safety Measures

“While it’s impossible to isolate the impact of individual regulatory characteristics, the above assessment suggests that jurisdictions with tighter unlicensed market share tend to exhibit one or more restrictive regulatory or licensing characteristics,” said Mr. Dugher.As new regulatory restrictions are imposed on UK license holders it’s important to remember black market, unlicensed sites can be dangerous as players are not covered with any safety measures to protect them and their personal information shared with unregulated sites.

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