Insights New report reveals that number of British punters using black market websites to place bets has more than doubled

The report, commissioned by the Betting and Gaming Council from PwC and titled “Review of unlicensed online gambling in the UK”, is based on data collected during November and December 2020. It was published as the Betting and Gaming Council warned of “the dangers of complacency” about the threat from unlicensed and illegal gambling operators.

The report highlights a series of worrying trends, including a doubling of the money staked with unlicensed operators, a jump from £1.4 billion to £2.8 billion, compared to a similar study in 2019. The new data also shows the number of customers using an unlicensed betting website has grown from 210,000 two years ago to 460,000.

The report also highlights worrying global trends that show the size of the black market in other countries.

The findings came as the Government conducts a Gambling Review, which has formally and specifically asked for information about the black market as part of its Call for Evidence, following widespread concerns raised by a number of parliamentarians. Fears have also been expressed, including from senior horseracing figures, that the ongoing Gambling Commission consultation on affordability risks forcing ordinary punters towards the black market if checks on their income are too intrusive and onerous.

The BGC continues to support further changes to the regulated industry, but is urging ministers to make sure that any changes brought forward as a result of the Gambling Review are carefully thought out. To read the BGC’s press release in full and for a link to the report, click here.