Get exclusive CAP network offers from top brands

View CAP Offers

BGC Report: Black Market Betting Spiked During World Cup

December 2022 was a really good month for operators of unlicensed gaming sites. That’s the conclusion of a recent report from the UK Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), a trade group representing licensed operators.

According to the study, which was conducted by Yield Sec, visits to illicit sportsbooks by UK residents more than tripled during December 2022 as compared to December 2021. Yield Sec also determined that Brits made about 250,000 visits to black market sites over the course of the World Cup. That compares with about 80,000 visits in December 2021.

“Non-GamStop sites have generated 82.68 per cent more visits from 26.88 per cent more unique customers during Nov-Dec 2022 compared to the previous two month period, spending on average 78 per cent more time on site,” the report’s author said.

BGC officials say that one of the reasons Brits flocked to illicit sites, is that age verification checks on licensed sites take too long. They found it only takes about 30 seconds to place your first bet with an unregulated operator. Placing your first wager with a licensed operator took more like 12 minutes, due to age verification rules.

Commenting on the findings in a recent press release, BGC Michael Dugher CEO said, “This data shows the World Cup drove a range of worrying gambling trends in the UK – not in the regulated sector as predicted by anti-gambling prohibitionists – but in the unsafe unregulated black market online.

“There has been too much complacency about the threat of the black market. Rather than dismissing the problem, the regulator and the Government need to tread extremely carefully and resist blanket, intrusive affordability checks at low levels that push even more punters to these dangerous sites.”

Ismail Vali, Founder and CEO at Yield Sec summed up the situation adding, “This trend of increased illegal gambling activity during prominent sporting events reflects the ever-present threat that illegal operators pose to players and the audience.”