Alexander Stevendahl, CEO of Videoslots, has voiced his concerns over the rapid growth in black market gambling in the UK and other European countries. He attributes this growth to stringent regulations that are inadvertently driving players to seek less restrictive alternatives offshore.
Regulation Fuels Black Market Growth
Stevendahl participated in a discussion on regulation at the iGaming NEXT Valletta 23 event. He expressed his belief that the regulatory approach in some countries seems more focused on halting gambling rather than ensuring its safety for consumers. This stringent enforcement, he argues, leaves players with no choice but to explore offshore options.
Crypto Casinos on the Rise
Crypto casinos, particularly those regulated by jurisdictions such as Curaçao, are the biggest beneficiaries of this situation, according to Stevendahl. He noted a significant increase in discussions on online casino user forums about accessing crypto casinos, even in markets like the UK, where channelisation rates are typically high.Stevendahl highlighted the use of VPNs and the creation of fake profiles using other people’s documents as methods employed by players to evade KYC rules and play outside of the regulated market. He expressed concern over this trend, stating, “Right now, we are on a really bad path.”The situation is not unique to the UK. Stevendahl also pointed to Germany, where the German Sports Betting Association (DSWV) has already raised concerns about the black market. A market study conducted by the DSWV in February revealed a 65% increase in active illegal gambling and sports betting offers compared to the previous year.When asked about the role of regulators in the current situation, Stevendahl suggested that “everyone involved” was contributing to the problem. He believes that the demands placed on regulated operators are excessive, which incentivises the industry to operate in grey areas.
Marketing Activity of Crypto Casinos
Stevendahl also expressed concern over the marketing activities of the world’s biggest crypto casinos. He believes their sponsorships give them an appearance of legitimacy and foster trust, regardless of whether they are locally regulated. He cited the example of BC.GAME, which sponsors the Argentina national team and features Messi on its homepage, and Stake.com, which sponsors several major teams.The rise of black market gambling in the UK and other European countries is a growing concern. The stringent regulations and the growing popularity of crypto casinos are contributing to this trend, raising questions about the future of the regulated market.