The gambling industry in the United States has expanded this year once the Supreme Court struck down PASPA 1992 and allowed states to legalize sports betting.
So far eight states have regulated sports betting and another than ten plus states are holding discussions on legalizing sports betting.
While this is good news for the gambling industry in the United States, one of the biggest threats continues to be the rise of illegal gambling via both land based and online gaming websites.
A panel of well-known gaming experts recently discussed the problem of illegal gambling and ways to combat this growing black market at the recent 2018 ICE Sports Betting USA.
The panel of experts included the likes of Patrick Hanley who is the chief of gaming enforcement for the Office of the AG of Massachusetts; United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) ex-CEO Jenny Williams and veteran bookmaker Vic Salerno who is the president of USBookmaking.
The general consensus was that it was difficult to estimate how much the illegal betting market was in America. The range could be anywhere between $150 to $500 billion and a lot of this illegal betting is being done via online betting websites.
Salerno said that it took him less than three minutes to find an illegal bookmaker in Boston and highlighted the fact that it was pretty difficult to stop the growth of illegal betting operators as long as there was demand for the same.
UK vs. USA – Illegal Betting Markets
The United States could do well to learn from the UK and then implement those lessons in curbing illegal gambling operations. Jenny Williams pointed out that illegal gambling in the UK was not that big of a concern as it is in America as illegal gambling in the UK accounted for less than three percent of the market.
There were a number of reasons why illegal gambling has not flourished in the UK. Williams pointed out that UK bettors have a wide range of legal betting options available to them and hence they don’t have a need to turn to the black market. The second reason was that the UK had very strict advertising regulations which left no room for illegal operators to advertise and target the UK market.
The third and final reason that Williams pointed out was that the UK made it very clear to its citizens that gambling at illegal websites would be viewed as money laundering and the consequences would be severe.
US gambling experts know that state governments need to take a strict stance and do more to eradicate illegal gambling or deal with the possibility of it becoming a bigger threat!