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UK: 27 million visits on black market gambling sites

The UK sees 27 million visits to unregulated gambling sites in a year, the UK Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) report

black marketUnregulated operators were responsible for 2.5% of betting site traffic, reaching 27 million visits in total.

The BGC have drawn their conclusions from a report issued by PwC; revealing that 200,000 customers had used black market, unlicensed sites between 2018 and 2019, reaching £1.4billion.

The statistics highlight that unregulated sites are still a problem the UK government needs to tackles given that nearly 1 in 10, roughly 9%, of gambling searches were for black market sites. 

Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the BGC, commented on the situation:

Michael-DugherAs 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 betting and gaming industry employs 100,000 men and women and pays £3.2bn a year in tax to the Treasury, so the Government needs to be wary of doing anything that puts that at risk.

Dugher adds:

Millions of people in the UK enjoy an occasional flutter, whether that is on sports, at the bingo, on the Lottery or online, and it is vitally important that they are able to do so in a safe environment, rather than the unscrupulous black market.

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)The news comes after the UK government launched a Gambling Act 2005 review with a Call for Evidence from the UKGC last year. 

Dugher reacted to the Gambling Act 2005 review by arguing that the UK government should focus on problem gamblers as opposed to put off responsible gamblers in the review. Under this review, the BGC expects that new controls could push customers into unsafe and unprotected black market alternatives. 

Source: iGaming Business 

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