The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) have voiced their concerns on the dangers of illegal, online black markets after 27 million UK players visited unregulated sites in a year.
Between 2018 and 2019, over 200,000 people visited unlicensed sites and gambled almost 1.4 billion pounds. 2.5% of visits were made to unregulated sites making up for 27 million, with 1 in 10 search results were specifically black market sites.The UK government is in the process of reviewing the current 2005 gambling act and the BGC has warned that stricter regulations could push people onto black market operators which have no regulation or safeguards to protect players. Unregulated sites do not carry out strict ID verifications and don’t provide safer gambling tools such as deposit limits, time outs, and intervention if a customer is spending too much money or gambling for longer periods of time.Black market operators who are not regulated could encourage underage gambling, who cannot gamble at regulated sites.
Illegal Online Black Market
Michael Dugher Chief executive at the BGC said, “As the standards body for the regulated industry, we strongly welcome the Gambling Review, which we think is a great opportunity to drive further change on safer gambling. However, these figures demonstrate the danger of unintentionally driving punters into the arms of the illegal, online black market – which offers none of the protections of the regulated sector.”The regulated industry contributes around £3.2bn in tax per year to the UK Treasury so the new legislation around gambling needs to be fair and not put that at risk. The UK public, in general, enjoys an occasional bet on the races, lottery, sports, and bingo but it is important that new stricter regulation in the UK does not drive customers from a safe environment to unregulated markets which would pose a huge risk.