In the UK, the number of players using illegal gambling sites has doubled. This is the alarm raised by Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) following the latest PwC report, which analyzes the trend of the British market in the last two months of 2020. Numbers in hand, the money staked on sites of unlicensed operators has jumped from 1.4 billion to 2.8 billion pounds, at the exchange rate about 3.2 billion euros. The new data – reports Agimeg – also show that the number of customers using an unlicensed betting website has gone from 210,000 2 years ago to 460.000.
The results came as the government is conducting a review of the gaming world. The BGC, the industry standards body, continues to support further changes to the fund’s regulation, but urges ministers to ensure that any moves made by the Gambling Review are carefully thought out.
Michael Dugher, chief executive of BGC, said: «This new report from PwC is impressive and comprehensive work that demonstrates how the unsafe and unsafe black market regulated is a growing threat to UK bettors. These illicit sites do not guarantee any consumer protection, such as strict identity and age checks, safer game messages and the ability to set deposit limits, which are instead present on legal sites “.
Dugher said that, as head of the standardization body representing the regulated gambling and gaming industry, he welcomes the government’s Gambling Review: “It is important to underline that the large increase in the black market is not an argument against further changes in the regulated sector, but an issue that needs to be addressed”.
On the number of UK bettors using unauthorized sites, the PwC report states: “Based on our survey, the percentage of UK online gamblers using an unlicensed operator has increased from 2.2% to 4.5% over the past 1-2 years. This equates to an increase from 210,000 players in 2018-19 to 460,000 in 2020 “.
«Our survey – it still reads – found that the share of online bets with unlicensed operators grew from 1.2% in 2018/19 to 2.3%. This corresponds to a doubling of the stakes with unlicensed online operators from 1.4 billion to 2.8 billion pounds “.
The new report also suggests that the size of the online black market is greater in countries where the regulated betting and gaming sector is less competitive. Indicates countries such as France, Norway, Italy and Spain – which have stricter restrictions on licensed operators – as examples of countries where the black market share is higher than the UK. In fact, the report states: “This analysis suggests that the UK has a more ‘open’ online gaming market and currently has a lower unlicensed market share than European benchmarks. While it is not possible to isolate the impact of individual regulatory features, the above assessment suggests that jurisdictions with a higher unlicensed market share tend to exhibit one or more restrictive regulatory or licensing characteristics “.
And Dugher added: “I know this test is uncomfortable for those seeking to repel and minimize the threat of the black market, but there is a real danger. The UK risks making changes where the main beneficiary will be the unlicensed black market. We all have an interest in making the right changes, so we need to pay attention to this latest data and look at what is happening in other parts of the world “.
In 2020, 374 betting shops and 6 casinos closed due to the pandemic: 5 thousand jobs were lost
In 2020 in the UK the gaming sector it has lost 5 thousand jobs, following the closures imposed to tackle the Coronavirus pandemic: in detail, 374 betting shops and 6 casinos have closed forever. This is what the Betting and Gaming Council. It is estimated that around 30 million people in the UK gamble responsibly. According to the government, the problem gambling rate is 0.5% and has been stable for 20 years.
Michael Dugher, chief executive of the BGC, said: “In a time of economic fears and enormous pressures on public finances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the enormous contribution that betting and gambling make to the UK could not be more important. Ernst & Young’s latest report highlights the vital role they play in helping to finance the public services we all rely on. As the standardization body representing the regulated industry, BGC fully supports the government’s gambling review, as well as the need for safer and higher gambling standards and more regulatory changes. However, it is imperative that the government implement these changes and do nothing to jeopardize the future jobs and revenues of the UK’s leading global industry “.
Brigid Simmonds, president of the BGC, said: ‘The betting and gaming industry makes a huge contribution to the UK economy. London casinos alone contribute £ 120 million to the tourism sector and are looking forward to reopening. The contribution given to the Treasury by the gaming sector, its support for sport and the work it offers to young people, many of them highly qualified, are absolutely vital, especially in these uncertain times “.
In 2019, BGC members contributed £ 7.7 billion to the UK’s gross value added, with a greater concentration of economic activity in the north, Scotland and London. Horse racing benefits from £ 350 million through sponsorships, media rights and betting tax payments.
BGC members contribute at least £ 40 million a year to the English Football League and its clubs, over £ 10 million in darts and snooker and over £ 2.5 million in rugby league. In 2019, BGC members directly hired 61,000 people, with an additional 58,000 jobs generated by the related industries.