Yield Sec led the research to assess the potential impact of illegal gambling on the market by 2022. According to the new investigation, illegal online gambling operators were used by more people in December than ever before. The December figure of more than 250,000 people using the services illegal black market operators was significantly higher than the 80,000 for the same period in 2021.
The probe revealed that illegal or black-market operators were used by 46% more visitors in 2022. This represents around 148,000 people who use illegal gambling services each month, according to the research.
Illegal Operators Target UK Punters Who Are Not Excluded
The increase in illegal gambling operators using punters is undoubtedly alarming. Worse, recent research revealed that traffic to illegal gambling sites offering services for problem gamblers has also increased. GamStop is currently a self-exclusion system which blocks access to licensed operators to gambling sites in the UK.
Although the registration process for a UK licensed gambling operator takes around 12 minutes, experts in the industry warn that it is much faster for illegal operators. Experts claim it takes only 30 seconds to register with a black market operator.
Yield Sec’s research shows that 64,500 vulnerable players sought out black market operators to avoid the GamStop self-exclusion scheme. According to the latest research, non-GamStop sites generated 82.68% more visits by 26.88% more unique clients during Nov-Dec 2022 than the previous two months. On average, they spent 78% more time on the site.
A Growing Threat to the Black Market
Michael Dugher (CEO of BGC) stated that the results of the investigation confirm that the black market is a growing threat to vulnerable and self-excluded gambling addicts. Dugher pointed out that UK licensed operators protect the safety of their customers by adhering to the rules. Dugher said that illegal operators “preyed on the vulnerable” during the World Cup.
This research exposes how serious the unregulated, growing black market is to punters.
Michael Dugher, CEO of the Betting and Gaming Council
BGC’s CEO stated that illegal operators and black markets lack the same protection and safer gambling tools as licensed casinos. He also stated that illegal operators don’t pay taxes and do not support gambling harm causes.
Dugher believes that the real threat to the regulated market is not the black market operators who continue to attract new customers. Dugher urged government officials to reject severe gambling restrictions that could push more gamblers towards unregulated online casinos.