Unlicensed Gambling Websites In Europe Attracting More Players Th

Posted by Carolyn on Dec 07, 2017 Posted in Legal Poker News, Online Poker News, Poker Industry News | No Comments »

The European online gambling industry is a multi-billion industry that reportedly grows at a rate of 3 percent each year. The latest research from the European Commission shows that the online gambling industry in Europe generates in excess of €84 billion each year and more than 6.8 million Europeans participate in online gambling.

European Online Gambling Figures Inaccurate

These numbers are not very accurate because it does not take into full consideration the massive growth of the underground online gambling industry. The underground industry consists of online gambling operators who offer their services without obtain a license.

These underground operators run illegal online gambling websites and are doing very well because European gamblers prefer to play at these unlicensed websites than licensed sites. The European Commission cannot compile accurate data from this underground online gambling industry and hence its numbers are skewed as there are reports that the illegal online gambling industry generates more revenue than the legalized industry.

Portugal – Good Example Of Underground Operators Flourishing

A Portuguese consulting firm called Europgroup Consulting was recently commissioned by the largest internet betting and trade association in the world – the Remote Gambling Association (RGA). RGA which represents most of the top gambling operators in the world wanted to get a detailed report into Portugal’s online gambling industry.

Portugal passed a law making online gambling legal in 2015 and issues its first online gaming license in 2016. There was initial excitement amongst the poker community in Portugal about the possibility of playing online poker at legal websites but that soon faded away once players realized how stringent the new regulations were and the amount of taxes they would be subjected to.

The Eurogroup study showed that 68 percent of online gamblers in Portugal played at unlicensed websites. The study showed that 38 percent of online gamblers played exclusively at illegal websites while 30 percent spent their time playing on both illegal and legal online gambling websites. Only 32 percent were fully committed to playing at legalized online gambling websites.

France, Spain and Italy Face Similar Problems

Portugal is just one of the E.U members that is seeing its underground gambling industry flourish. France, Spain and Italy also have strict online gambling regulations and as a result the illegal gambling industry in these E.U countries has also grown which has in turn significantly slowed down the legalized online gambling industry.

The four countries recently signed an online poker shared liquidity agreement in efforts to boost their online gambling industry, provide players with better tournaments and prize money and to give legalized iGaming operators a bigger market to penetrate. The agreement was signed in October and shared online gaming operations are expected to go live during the first half of 2018.

Whether the shared liquidity agreement will have a major impact on the online gambling industry in these E.U countries remains to be seen. As long as the E.U. underground online gambling industry flourishes, gaming regulators will continue to struggle to turn things around.

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