MAJOR SPIKE IN BLACK MARKET GAMBLING DURING WORLD CUP, NEW STUDY SHOWS
number of UK punters visiting unregulated online black market gambling sites
tripled during the World Cup, new research reveals.
December alone 250,000 people visisted unregulated, black market sites compared
to around 80,000 during the same month the previous year, with a similar jump
research team Yield Sec conducted the new analysis for the Betting and Gaming
Council to assess the scale of black market gambling last year, including
during the Qatar World Cup.
also found online traffic to sites advertising services to problem gamblers who
had self-excluded from UK operators, rose almost 83 per cent.
regulated betting operators in the UK are signed up to GamStop – a
self-exclusion system that automatically blocks access across all regulated
the landmark report by Yield Sec, stated: “Non-GamStop sites have generated
82.68 per cent more visits from 26.88 per cent more unique customers during
Nov-Dec 2022 compared to the previous two month period, spending on average 78
per cent more time on site.”
that two month period alone over 64,500 vulnerable players searched for black
market sites offering betting which circumvents GamStop.
research also discovered peaks in traffic to black market sites in March during
Cheltenham and June during Ascot, indicating horse racing is being heavily
targeted by illegal gambling outfits.
experts established it takes less than 30 seconds to sign up to a black market
site before placing your first bet, compared to an average of 12 minutes with a
regulated UK operator.
is because UK operators must conduct strict identity and age verification
checks to prevent problem gambling and fraud.
Michael Dugher, CEO at the Betting and Gaming Council, said: “This research exposes the dire threat the growing unsafe, unregulated black market poses to punters.
the regulated industry was going to great lengths to protect young people
during the World Cup and adhering to strict regulations and promoting safer
gambling, black market operators were preying on the vulnerable.
unlicensed sites offer none of the safer gambling tools promoted by our
members, they pay no tax and employ no one, they do not contribute a penny to
sport or services tackling gambling harm, and they do nothing to protect
data shows the World Cup drove a range of worrying gambling trends in the UK -
not in the regulated sector as predicted by anti-gambling prohibitionists - but
in the unsafe unregulated black market online.
has been too much complacency about the threat of the black market. Rather than
dismissing the problem, the regulator and the Government need to tread
extremely carefully and resist blanket, intrusive affordability checks at low
levels that push even more punters to these dangerous sites.”
the number of visits to black market websites from the UK increased by 46 per
cent in 2022, with around 148,000 customers accessing illicit sites each month.
research by PwC found the number of customers using unlicensed betting websites
more than doubled, from 210,000 in 2019 to 460,000 in 2020 and the money staked
in the billions.
Vali, Founder and CEO at Yield Sec, said: “This trend of increased illegal
gambling activity during prominent sporting events reflects the ever-present
threat that illegal operators pose to players and the audience.”
the number of TV betting adverts shown on TV during the World Cup group stages
fell by 34 per cent compared to the World Cup in 2018, figures have revealed.
the voluntary Whistle-to-Whistle ban by BGC members, TV betting commercials for
regulated operators cannot be shown from five minutes before a match kicks off
until five minutes after it ends, before the 9pm watershed.
report last year found that the ban had led to a 97 per cent reduction in the
number of such ads being seen by children at that time.
BGC will hold its fourth AGM this Thursday, Jan 26. The keynote address will be
delivered by DCMS minister responsible for gambling, Paul Scully MP, and the
event is hosted by Times Radio presenter John Pienaar.
year’s AGM will once again bring together business leaders from the UK’s
regulated betting and gaming industry, a sector which generates £7.1bn for the
economy, plus £4.2bn in taxes while supporting 110,000 jobs.