UK Gamers Move to Black Market

UK Gamers Move to Black Market

In the United Kingdom (UK), a survey addressing potential reforms to gambling control supports what other researchers have already shown. Should the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) or the government try to implement mandatory affordability checks, as most customers will switch to the black market?

YouGov conducted a survey in the past that found 59% of respondents believed that affordability checks would lead to an increase in black market gambling. The results of a recent study conducted by YouGov commissioned by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) point to a more significant number.

Nearly seventy percent of respondents think these obligatory inspections are the final nail in the coffin for the regulated gaming industry. They admitted that they would not participate in them, indicating a trend toward more participation through unregulated websites.

The UK’s Move To The Black Market

The severe restrictions that the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) believes are required for the country’s gambling industry have received consistent criticism. Even while the regulator has not yet implemented all of the measures it desires, there is already circumstantial evidence suggesting that illegal gambling on the black market is rising.

According to the BGC, the number of persons utilising unregulated sites has doubled in the past few years, and there are now 460 thousand of them. Although there is no clear scientific correlation between the two, the surge coincides with the UK Gambling Commission’s (UKGC) ongoing efforts to find methods to tighten the regulations governing regulated gambling.

The YouGov poll discovered another result: if the limits are maintained, 64 percent of those who participated in the survey predict that the prevalence of problem gambling in the UK will rise. According to the studies conducted by the UKGC itself, this rate is approximately 0.3% at present.

At the very least, one lawmaker believes that the United Kingdom Gambling Commission may have outlived its purpose. Philip Davies, a member of the House of Commons, has recently described the regulator as being “out of control” and is advocating for change.

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission is not the only regulatory body that the gambling sector needs to be concerned about. Despite assurances that it will take a “common sense” approach to gambling reform, the government may propose a “heavy-handed” strategy when it finally publishes the long-awaited white paper on the subject.

There have been rumours that the government is contemplating a limit on daily losses of £1,000 (US$1,235) and a limit on total losses of £2,000 (US$2,471) in every 90 days. If an individual incurs a loss greater than £125 (US$154), then that individual may be subject to additional affordability assessments.

The Writing is On the Wall

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission has indicated in a public statement that it does not believe the evidence that black market gambling results from a restrictive market. It, or the government, merely needs to look at Finland if it does not trust the facts. As a result of the country’s stringent rules and current monopoly, there has been an increase in the number of people participating in gaming that takes place abroad.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of the British Gambling Commission (BGC), Michael Dugher, “This data shows that the World Cup drove a variety of worrying gambling trends in the UK—not in the regulated sector, as was predicted by anti-gambling prohibitionists, but rather in the unsafe unregulated black market online.”

One more piece of evidence is the World Cup from the previous year. The quantity of sports bets placed on the event skyrocketed, and each month, approximately 148 thousand consumers visited the websites of illicit operators. With over 15 years in the industry, Free Betting Offers Portal freebets.ltd.uk, reports an 8% downturn in player registrations for the 2022 World Cup compared to 2018. Freebets.ltd.uk, noticed the shift to bookies who operated offshore.

This echoes the data that Yield Sec has compiled for the BGC. A distinct body of research supports these conclusions. According to findings from PwC, the number of gamblers using unregulated betting services is expected to more than treble between 2019 and 2020.

Opponents of gambling are under the impression that they will either persuade everyone to give up gambling or bring the percentage of people who have problems with their gaming to zero. On both counts, the data would dictate otherwise.

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