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iGaming and the lure of the unlicensed operator

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The iGaming industry is battling to increase the regulation of online casinos while unlicensed operators are on the rise.


Over the last few years, the online casino industry has implemented a lot of shifts and changes.

Some are new developments, others are removals of old hierarchies, and all are being done in an effort to move the industry forward.

While many changes at the start were entertainment-based, more recent changes have been made to regulations and responsible gameplay.

Regulators pulling on the reigns.

For some time now, regulators have been tightening the screws and putting pressure on licensed casinos. Whether it’s to increase security, push for more responsible gambling, or simply shut down old rules, it’s pushing both casinos and players away.

We’ve previously shared the news on how players want more, and this is causing them to look at unregulated sites in a new light. But regulators are getting even more intense, and they’re starting to focus on those unregulated sites too.

Take it to the courts

These illegal sites may appear attractive, but they can be harmful, and at the end of the day, they have very little protection in place. Regulatory authorities are no longer playing around in the protection of local players.

This was proven in December when a player received €14,000 as a reimbursement after placing bets with the illegal sports betting operator Brivio Limited. In November 2022, PokerStars received an order from the highest level of court in the German state Nordrhein-Westfalen to reimburse another player for €58,517.

Belgium self-exclusion is ineffective

For Belgium players, the use of the self-exclusion option appears to be ineffective, as one out of four players utilising the option goes back to playing.

This is according to a new survey by the country’s Gaming Commission. According to the survey, those who self-excluded using EPIS but chose to go back to gambling did so via the black market.

Magali Clavie, the Gaming Commission chair, believes the scheme should expand to cover unlicensed gambling.

Loyalty schemes not for young adults

Loyalty schemes are a nice way for players to grab additional benefits during their gameplay with their preferred operator. The Dutch gambling regulator de Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), however, has had to issue a warning to make sure operators know that this type of benefit is not fit for young adults.

Two operators were issued a warning for offering loyalty programs to young adults. One operator complied immediately and withdrew the program, while the other was a bit more difficult, issuing its own threats before eventually complying.

Payment providers to assist with data share

Laws make it easier for authorities to block any payments to operators that are targeting the Swedish market unlawfully. It has been found that while this can be a handy tool, many legal operators and payment providers are not utilising it.

The new law now encourages that information must be shared, which will indicate if any betting transactions went to a licensed or black market site.

Stick to reputable sites

There’s a bigger crackdown on unregulated gambling, and it’s showing across the globe. More gaming authorities are throwing their hat in the ring with stricter rules, heavier punishments, and harsher fines.

That being said, there’s the benefit of fair outcomes, secure payments, and great promotions. We review all the best sites, covering everything from the games on offer, bonuses up for grabs, customer support, and everything in between.

Take a look at the top CasinoWow recommendations for online casinos in your region.

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