Illegal Online Gambling Still Rampant in US With $41bn Going to the Black Market

  • People are still using black market sites in states that have legal online gambling
  • An estimated $5.3bn is lost in New York each year to unlicensed gambling platforms
  • The groups behind the report are calling on the federal government to take action
Person holding cash with laptop
A new report estimates that nearly $41bn goes to the online gambling black market from US residents. [Image:]

Concerning figures

As more states allow sports betting and iGaming, individuals in the US no longer have to choose black market sites. Despite this, many people are still using illegal platforms in states with regulated markets.

The country as a whole is losing almost $41bn annually

A new report from the Campaign for Fairer Gambling (CFG) estimates that almost $10bn goes into the pockets of illegal platforms every year from people in New Jersey, New York, and Minnesota alone. The country as a whole is losing almost $41bn annually to these operators according to the research.

A closer look

New Jersey was one of the first states to properly embrace online gambling, licensing online casinos, poker sites, and sportsbooks. Despite this range of options, about $996m still goes to illegal iGaming platforms and $719m to offshore sportsbooks.

New York lawmakers have considered allowing iGaming in the state due to the lucrative revenue the sector could generate. The CFG report estimates that residents spend about $3.4bn on black market casino sites and $1.9bn through sportsbooks that don’t have a license in the state.

CFG used the market intelligence platform Yield Sec to help with its research and arrive at the estimates.

Attempts in Minnesota to legalize sports betting this year were unsuccessful as lawmakers tried in vain to convince their peers that the state would be better making money off the sector rather than the funds leaking into the pockets of black market platforms. The CFG report estimates that Minnesotans bet $929m each year through unregulated sportsbooks.

Calling for change

Talking about the report’s findings, Yield Sec CEO Ismail Vali said that the research shows how illicit operators are “brazenly stealing money from state and federal coffers, and legitimate American industry. He called on the federal government to handle the situation and put a stop to the “theft in broad daylight.”

CFG Founder Derek Webb echoed these sentiments and questioned how unlicensed operators can still cater to people in the US and breach state regulations without facing any consequences.

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