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A Report from the Betting and Gaming Council Indicates a Rise in European Black Market Gaming

Chris Grand |
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Following a survey carried out by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the results have revealed an alarming trend. As opposed to improving for the better, Europe’s restrictive betting markets are witnessing an increase in offshore gaming.

There are several good reasons why it may be a good idea to introduce regulations to the gaming industry. Both users and operators will be protected while increasing matters to do with fairness and transparency.

While regulations also ensure that governments get their fair share of the whole pie, on the other hand, overregulation can come with negative impacts. A recent analysis from the UK’s Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) backs this viewpoint and warns that attempts to over-regulate the gaming industry will lead to self-destruction.

International Gaming a Common Feature in Europe

Ahead of the UK’s upcoming regulatory reform, PWC was commissioned by the Betting and Gaming Council to find out the state of black-market gambling across Europe. It shouldn’t be surprising if the report points out that indeed, there’s an increase in offshore activity in plenty of countries where oppression is on the rise.

The BGC, in a press release, pointed out several European nations and the issues that they have to contend with the use of illegal gambling sites. Norway, for example, a country known for its monopolistic and restrictive markets, reports close to 66% of its online money wagered head offshore.

France doesn’t fall far behind. The country loses close to 57% of the entire funds wagered to illegal firms. While France has a legit iGaming market following a 2009 change in law, unfortunately, the country lacks any iGaming operators with a license to operate in the country.

“As the growth of these sites has rocketed, black market sites’ revenues in Norway have more than tripled since 2010, and French black market revenues have almost doubled since 2015,” said a new BGC report on black-market gambling in Europe.

Self-exclusion is an amazing idea on paper. But examined closely, its operations in the real world aren’t that practical. Like several other countries, Sweden, for example, offers self-exclusion. Surprisingly, this hasn’t prevented 38% of the country’s consumers from opting for offshore options.

Spain and Italy haven’t been spared from offshore betting’s reach too. Even though they’ve gone ahead and introduced new controls and regulations, black-market betting has increased by 20% and 23%, respectively.

United Kingdom Gaming on a Collision Course with the Black Market

Recent research carried out by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) indicated that the current regulations in place are doing a stellar job. In its most recent reports about the “problem gambling” rate across the country, the report indicated that such had fallen from 0.6% to 0.3% in the last couple of years.

But if UK lawmakers and the UKGC continue their efforts to frustrate the gambling industry, it may end up doing more harm than good. According to the BGC, such a move would affect more than 120,000 employees. Furthermore, the government may end up losing £4.5 billion (US$6.12) that they earn in the form of tax revenues yearly.

While the BGC, an entity representing several gaming operators, isn’t advocating for a ban on regulations, they are, however, championing a practical approach to how they are formulated. The Betting and Gaming Council is hopeful that the powers-that-be can strike the proper balance between providing necessary monitoring and allowing consumers to select how and when they seek out their favorite kind of entertainment.

Betting and Gaming Council Black Market Gambling Offshore Gambling

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