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Gambling: Black Economy

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 141968, tabled on 22 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment he has made of the scale of black market gambling throughout the country.

Answered on

1 February 2021

Data released by the Gambling Commission in May 2020 on the black market suggested that the scale of the black market had remained low and stable, with little variation in the number of complaints it had received about illegal gambling websites over the previous 12 months. The Commission continues to monitor this area closely and take action against unlicensed operators where needed.

However, new technologies have the potential to increase the risk posed by illegal unlicensed operators, so it is important that we improve our understanding of these risks and the exact scale of the black market. That is why our Review of the Gambling Act 2005 will consider issues around black market gambling as part of its wide scope, and we have called for evidence on the extent of the black market, its accessibility to consumers, and the risk of one emerging in the future. We have also launched our consultation proposing an uplift to industry licence fees, which will provide the Commission with greater capacity in the short to medium term to investigate and tackle the threat caused by the black market.

The Call for Evidence will be open until 31 March 2021, and further details, including how to make a contribution, can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-the-gambling-act-2005-terms-of-reference-and-call-for-evidence/review-of-the-gambling-act-2005-terms-of-reference-and-call-for-evidence.