Illegal Gambling Is On The Rise According to a New Analysis
The legalization of gambling in most countries has not stopped the practice of illegal betting. In fact, the opposite may be true. There is evidence to suggest that the practice of illegal betting has actually increased since the introduction of legal betting in the 1950s. This is particularly true in the case of the U.S., where online gambling was legalized in 2014 and the estimated amount of illegal gambling activities in 2019 was $12.4 billion.
A new report from the London-based consultancy firm Arcane estimated the global gross gaming revenue (GGR) for legal and illegal gaming activities in 2019 and then compared it to figures from the same period in the previous three decades. The data for this analysis was taken from the International Gaming Industry Association (IGIA)-affiliated Global Market Insights, which collects gambling data from around the world.
The Rise Of Illegal Gambling In The U.S.
The report authors note that, since the inception of legal gambling in the U.S. in the 1950s, the practice of illegal gambling has increased, rather than decreased. In particular, they cite the rise of sports betting and online poker as the principal drivers of the increase. These two categories of illegal gaming accounted for 37% of the overall increase in the estimated amount of illegal gambling activities in 2019.
As noted by the report’s authors, illegal sports betting is a practice that has been around since the 1800s, when bookmakers would place wagers on sporting events that were being played at the time. Thanks to the proliferation of online sportsbooks, which allow gamblers to place wagers on sporting events that are not yet over, online poker has largely replaced sports betting as the practice that the government seeks to crackdown on.
An Increase In The Number Of States That Allow Gambling
The report also notes that the number of U.S. states that permit some form of gambling has increased over the years. Specifically, the number of states that allow some form of horse racing has increased from three in 1953 to 36 in 2019. This increase is likely a reflection of the fact that horse racing is considerably less expensive to sponsor and broadcast than other forms of gambling. In addition, the report authors note that the legalization of poker in the U.S. in 2019 provided additional impetus for the increase in the number of states that permit some form of gambling. In particular, they cite online poker as the most popular form of online gambling because it is legal in most states and is easily accessible to U.S. players.
A Rising Trend Of Online Gaming
The report authors also cite the rise of online gaming as a reason for the increase in illegal gambling activities. Specifically, they cite the growth of eSports competitions and fantasy sports in particular as contributing factors. While it is true that many traditional sportsbook and online poker sites have moved to an all-online platform, those operators still retain the ability to accept U.S. players. Thus, it is possible for U.S. residents to visit those sites and play there.
The Growth Of eSports And Fantasy Sports
Turning to fantasy sports, the report authors cite the explosive growth of this segment as a primary driver of the increase in the estimated amount of illegal gambling activities. Specifically, they cite the Fantasy Sports Trade Association’s (FSTA) reported 2019 fantasy sports participation as a key driver of this increase. They also cite the explosive growth of eSports, the practice of competing in video games, as contributing to the overall rise in illegal gambling. The association of eSports with gambling was first established when the 2016 Olympics was held in Rio de Janeiro and attracted a huge audience. In the years since, the practice of eSports has exploded, with the number of participating countries increasing from 13 in 2012 to 85 in 2019. The most popular game at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will be Arena of Valor, a free-to-play mobile game with an eSports twist.
The Impact of Legalization
The legalization of gambling is often a topic of heated discussion in the world of sports and gaming. Some critics of legalized gambling argue that it will lead to an increase in the practice of illegal gambling due to the fact that it will become simpler and easier for residents of a state to engage in illegal activities.
However, the report authors argue that the legalization of gambling in most countries has had a greater impact on the increase in the estimated amount of illegal gambling than the increase in the number of states that permit some form of gambling. In particular, they cite the rise of legal and illegal sports betting in the U.S., which has made it an international hub for the practice, as evidence that the legalization of gambling has decreased the motivation for residents of a state to engage in illegal activities.
What Is The Legal Status Of Gambling In Your Country?
The report authors also provide some insight into the legal status of gambling in the countries where it is legal. The data for this analysis was taken from the IGIA’s International Gaming Market Revenue Report, which collects data on gaming revenues within the borders of each country.
The report authors found that in most countries, the legality of gambling varies by jurisdiction and is often restricted to land-based casinos and lotteries. They also note that in most countries, the practice of online gambling is still considered illegal. As a result, they suggest that in most countries, the legalization of online gambling may be a means of protecting the country’s online gaming industry, which remains underground. In addition, the report authors also suggest that the use of virtual currencies, such as cryptocurrency, may be emerging as a way of making online gaming more accessible to people in countries where it is still considered illegal.
Overall, the report authors conclude that the legalization of gambling has had a significant impact on the increase in the estimated amount of illegal gambling activities in most countries. Since many countries have decided that it is not in their best interests to criminalize gambling, it is likely that the practice will continue to increase in the years to come.