In the United Kingdom and the Betting and Gaming Council lobby group has warned the government about the potential danger of unintentionally driving iGaming aficionados into the clutches of unregulated operators.
The London-headquartered organization represents approximately 90% of gaming, sportsbetting, casino and bingo operators in the United Kingdom and it used an official Sunday press release to highlight the results of a fresh investigation from professional services doyen PricewaterhouseCoopers. The concern explained that this examination determined some 200,000 local iGaming punters had made a combined 27 million visits to unlicensed iGaming sites over the course of a recent twelve-month period to place approximately £1.4 billion ($1.8 billion) in accumulated wagers.
The Betting and Gaming Council counts behemoths such as Flutter Entertainment, William Hill and Entain among its members and it explained that this study moreover found that such nefarious sites currently account for around 2.5% of iGaming business in the United Kingdom with nearly 9% of all associated search results being for so-called ‘black market’ domains.
Michael Dugher (pictured) serves as Chief Executive for the Betting and Gaming Council and he used the press release to declare that the findings of this examination were released only a few days after the government kicked off its comprehensive review into the tenets of the Gambling Act 2005. He proclaimed that his body ‘strongly welcomes’ the reassessment of current laws on gambling as this could present ‘a great opportunity to drive further change on safer gambling.’
However, the lobbyist declared that the results of the PricewaterhouseCoopers inquiry also demonstrate that the proposed introduction of a wide range of new iGaming safeguards such as strict identity and age verification checks as well as deposit limits and time outs could unintentionally ‘drive punters into the arms of the illegal online ‘black market,’ which offers none of the protections of the regulated sector’.
Read a statement from Dugher…
“The regulated betting and gaming industry employs 100,000 men and women and pays £3.2 billion ($4.2 billion) a year in tax to the treasury. So, the government needs to be wary of doing anything that puts that at risk. Millions of people in the United Kingdom enjoy an occasional flutter whether that be 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 via the unscrupulous ‘black market’.”