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Top 3 markets where illegal online casinos are on the rise

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We’re taking a closer look at why and how certain regions are seeing a rise in illegal online gambling – and what can be done to keep online play safe.


Online gambling has always been a complicated form of entertainment. On the one hand, it can provide a fun way to kick back and relax while playing games that are designed with exciting themes and big bonuses. On the other hand, it holds the potential to cause harm as problem gambling can become a serious issue.

Laws are put in place because of the potential harm that casino gaming could have.

These regulations are instilled to protect vulnerable players and keep illegal online casinos at bay. There are strict rules that must be followed, but the internet is filled with those who choose to do the opposite.

Across the UK, Sweden, and Australia, gambling laws have always been harsh and pursuant to making online casinos a safe place to play. Unfortunately, there are those who are finding ways to circumnavigate these laws and provide illegal gambling opportunities to those at risk.

Many illegal online casinos are not necessarily unlicensed as they carry licenses from regulators such as the MGA and Curacao. However, they still accept players from countries that they shouldn’t and provide no restrictions on deposits, and they cannot be held to strict regulator rules. This is what makes them so dangerous.

Online casinos not on Gamstop in the UK

Gambling in the UK has always been a popular pastime, with more than 22.5 million adults said to place bets at least once a month. Thanks to the many changes to the laws and what is considered top licensed by the UKGC casinos, problem gambling is at an all-time low. According to the UKGC, as little as 0.2% of gamblers are considered at risk.

However, along with these strict rules around wagering restrictions and self-exclusion, players are starting to turn to the black market. It has come to the point where many players search for and choose online casinos not on GamStop.

A recent study released by the BCG revealed that almost 80% of UK players consider wagering restrictions the major drive towards No Deposit limit casinos. The number of users at these unregulated sites has jumped from 210,000 to more than 460,000 in recent years.

Unlicensed online casinos in Sweden

While online gambling has been available to Swedes for many years, the options have always been limited. Only very recently did the country open up its doors to allow regulated Swedish casinos from other parts of the world. Before this took place in 2019, only Svenska Spel and ATG, both state-owned enterprises, offered any form of legal online gambling.

Unfortunately, this was when the damage was done. Many Swedish players wanted more options and quickly turned to no verification casinos.

Even now that the Swedish Gambling Authority is handing out more licenses, players are used to seeking out black market casinos that cater to the needs of Swedes.

In order to fight the rise of unlicensed casinos, the government is partnering with payment providers. In a new law that should come into effect very soon, payment providers must report users that make deposits to unlicensed online casinos. The new regulation changes the laws regarding the usage of data by payment providers and should go a long way to help curb unlawful play.

Illegal gambling on the rise in Australia

Australia may be one of the strictest countries in the world with regard to online gambling and the consequences thereof. Currently, the law states that the maximum penalty for anyone that provides the opportunity to participate in an unlawful game can receive up to 12 months in prison.

However, this has not stopped users from seeking out casinos with no limits or illegal operators to target Aussie players. Recently, an offshore casino was caught advertising its services to Australian customers via Facebook ads.

While the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) are quick to put an end to any potential harm, blocking every illegal operator is almost impossible. In fact, even as the ACMA requests that ISPs block offshore sites, unlicensed online casinos simply create mirror links to redirect potential players, circumnavigating the block.

The Australian government is looking to “start seriously negotiating an international treaty to properly regulate interactive gambling, particularly when it’s happening from small jurisdictions like Curacao or St Kitts and Nevis” to find a safe middle ground going forward.

How to play safe around the world

Being a safe online gambler starts with you. While choosing a casino based on the large welcome offer or the software providers they feature may be tempting, doing more research is vital.

You don’t have to be an industry expert to find ways to play responsibly. In just a few easy steps, you can ensure that you’re not playing at an illegal online casino.

  • Step 1 – Make sure you understand the laws regarding online gambling in your region. A quick Google search should tell you all you need to know.
  • Step 2 – Once you understand what is and isn’t allowed in your jurisdiction, choose an online casino you can trust. We have a wide range of casino reviews for you to peruse, and each one of the sites we feature is considered safe and trustworthy. Most of all, they hold valid gambling licenses and can provide responsible gambling options.
  • Step 3 – Visit the casino and learn more about its licenses and security measures. Chat with customer care and browse the site’s terms and conditions. Once you can verify that you’re in good hands, feel free to sign up for an account.

With just a little extra effort, you can make sure that you’re playing safe within minutes. It’s also a good idea to keep your eye on the latest gambling news to learn about companies that fail to protect customers and may even be fined as a result.

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