How Does Strict Regulation Affect Europe’s iGaming Black Market?

The European Union exerts considerable sway over digital gambling guidelines spanning its 27 member states.

How Does Strict Regulation Affect Europe’s iGaming Black Market?
How Does Strict Regulation Affect Europe’s iGaming Black Market?

Digital gaming in Europe can be likened to an “ambiguous industry” due to its complicated and consistently evolving legal environment across multiple domains and vulnerable demographics. The European Union exerts considerable sway over digital gambling guidelines spanning its 27 member states. The central iGaming black market problem lies in the impact of rigorous regulations on Europe’s iGaming sphere. Recent data sheds light on the proactive steps taken by various European countries such as Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, and the Netherlands in combatting illegal betting and the proliferation of the black market. As the CEO of OC24.LTD, I, Michal Kurzanowski, provide crucial observations into illegal and legal online gambling. This article examines the pressing matter of tackling black market gaming in Europe. 

Information About OC24LTD

OC24.LTD is a leading name in the ever-popular iGaming industry, alongside SEO, affiliate marketing, web development, and content creation. We’re a passionate bunch, loving everything about gambling and Europe betting. Our objective is to develop first-class opportunities for our partners. OC24.LTD has been around the block and gained a wealth of experience in European, North American, and Asian markets. We have over 15 successful projects under our belt. In some regions, we’re even the top player, and we’re not stopping there! We always aim to learn more, so we regularly attend online and offline industry events. We only partner up with licensed operators, digital casinos, gambling site managers, regulated providers, and payment processing organizations. We encourage our partners to implement measures to protect every at-risk player. 

Growing Demand for Online Casinos Among Europeans

I’d like to share insights into the industry of sports betting and gambling in Europe. The European gambling sector shows a promising rise thanks to new trends like expanding smartphone use and universal digital access, which make betting more accessible.

Despite the hurdles, the online casino Europe market’s forecast looks favorable, adapting to changing wants and industry developments.

  1. This industry is experiencing dynamic expansion, with the online gambling sector projected to reach USD 46.94 billion by 2024, with a forecasted annual growth rate of 4.72% until 2028, reaching a market volume of USD 56.45 billion. 
  2. Specifically, the online casino market in Europe is anticipated to hit US$20.70 billion in 2024. 
  3. Comparatively, the United States is expected to lead worldwide, with revenue estimated at US$23.03 billion in 2024. 
  4. Furthermore, the average revenue per user in the European digital betting industry will be US$840 in 2024.

Notably, the popularity of digital gambling in the UK has witnessed a surge, driven by factors such as global digitalization, technological advancements, increased recognition, and effective marketing strategies.

What Is the Current Situation with Gambling Regulation in Europe?

Nations like Germany and the UK have intensified advertising restrictions on online betting. Gambling rules include betting amounts, self-exclusion, stringent verification, limited payment methods, and game bans. 

Next, let us describe a little more about the issues faced by each country:

  1. Germany: Research by an economist at the University of Leipzig showed that in March 2023, only about half of people’s gambling time was spent on legal activities. The study was done for major online groups involved in gambling in Germany. It found that around three-fourths of the money made from gambling came from illegal sources and illicit gambling options. This meant the government missed out on tax revenues.
  2. Belgium: A Belgian Association of Gaming Operators revenue report uncovered alarming trends within Belgium’s gambling industry. A survey revealed that 20% of Belgian players engage in gambling in Belgium on illegal platforms, raising concerns about regulation and control within the online gambling sector due to illegal gambling in Belgium.
  3. United Kingdom: Data published by Yield Sec revealed an increase in illegal UK black market gambling operators, mainly targeting vulnerable players, including those who had self-excluded on GAMSTOP. This rise in illegal operators results in reduced tax revenue and diminished funding for responsible betting/gaming initiatives.
  4. Netherlands: Strict licensing conditions in the Netherlands cast a shadow over the white market, adding fuel to the fire for legal gambling operators. The ever-changing regulatory scene for those gambling in Dutch casinos presents substantial challenges for both legal operators of casinos and regulatory bodies.

In short, tougher European betting constraints are causing problems. As a result, players increasingly turn to brands licensed in places like Curacao, which have fewer rules, more games and bonuses, and enticing features. The gray market offers greater functionality and more games than the government-restricted market. The white market loses users and income, resulting in hundreds of millions of untaxed revenues.

Conclusion: More Flexible Regulations and Restrictions Will Positively Impact the Development of Legal Gambling

As the Chief Executive Officer of OC24.LTD, I firmly believe that the implementation of more flexible regulations and the relaxation of existing restrictions will lead to positive outcomes. Excessive regulation drives players towards more enticing illicit offers, particularly impacting vulnerable groups. The existing approach is ineffective, necessitating a shift to streamlined licensing and industry collaboration. Loosening regulations will enable better oversight, foster market growth, and safeguard players and businesses. Therefore, OC24.LTD advocates regulation and legalization across Europe, seeking a transparent licensing process that considers all perspectives.

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