New Study Reveals Shocking Extent Of Black Market Gaming In Europe – European Gaming Industry News

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Research for the Betting and Gaming Council has revealed the shocking scale of black market gambling in European countries following the introduction of tough new measures on regulated operators.

The findings come from industry research and a report by PWC for the BGC as the government finalizes work on the next games review and amid increased use of black market sites in the UK.

UK punters using unlicensed sites have more than doubled in just two years, from 220,000 users to 460,000 and the amount wagered is now in the billions of pounds.

The PWC report said: “This analysis suggests that the UK has a more ‘open’ online gambling market and currently has a smaller unlicensed market share than our European benchmarks.

“While it is not possible to isolate the impact of individual regulatory characteristics, the above assessment suggests that jurisdictions with a higher unlicensed market share tend to exhibit one or more regulatory characteristics or restrictive licensing.”

While the growth of these sites has exploded, revenue from black market sites in Norway has more than tripled since 2010, and revenue from the French black market has nearly doubled since 2015.

BGC chief executive Michael Dugher said: “We support the Gambling Review, but there is a real danger that it will lead to a shrinking of the regulated industry and a substantial growth of the illegal black market.

“This research is clear on the dangers of the black market, we must learn from abroad and make the right choice at this dangerous crossroads.

“BGC members alone employ nearly 120,000 people and pay £4.5 billion in UK tax. The black market, of course, pays no taxes and employs no one in our country.

“Any move to the dangerous black market would also jeopardize the £350 million a year that our members currently give to horse racing in sponsorship, media rights and betting royalty – financial support that has proved crucial during the pandemic.”

Rhadamès Killy, Former Legal Director of the French Gambling Authority, said: “When we introduced our regulations in France in 2010, we analyzed that the black market was most widespread in European states where the legal regime was the most restrictive.

“A balance is needed to regulate effectively without promoting the black market – I believe the balance is best achieved when targeted restrictions focus on supporting those at risk, but do not overly inconvenience or punish the general public. “

According to a recent Gambling Commission report, problem gambling rates have fallen from 0.6% to 0.3% of the adult population, suggesting that the safer gambling measures recently introduced in the regulated sector have contributed to lower problem gambling rates.

By comparison, Norway has a problem gambling rate of 1.4%, while a survey by Public Health France last year estimated the rate in that country to be 1.6%, down from 0.8%. in 2014.

This latest BGC research supports similar studies across Europe that consistently show a link between stricter regulations and increased black market activity.

The BGC calls on the government to consider targeted measures that protect vulnerable gamblers – not a blanket approach that could force the vast majority who bet safely into the black market.

Mary I. Bruner