Despite Legal Industry Growth, Illegal Betting Thrives in the USA

The repeal of PASPA has paved the way for legal sports betting in multiple states across the US. However, despite the availability of legal wagering products, the illegal black market for sports betting continues to thrive, according to analysts.

At the recent meeting of the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States in Florida, experts discussed the ongoing prevalence of illegal betting sites. States without legal sports betting are particularly susceptible to black market operators, as consumers have no legal alternatives, leading them to turn to illegal operators to place their bets.

Lindsay Slader, the senior vice president of compliance at GeoComply, highlighted the fact that individuals in states without legal sports betting still find ways to place bets, even if it means using unlicensed operators. Even in states where legal options are available, some players continue to choose unlicensed operators.

Despite the rapid growth of legal sports betting operators in the US, unlicensed betting sites continue to attract a significant amount of traffic. Data shows that Americans visited illegal betting sites 201 million times during the first three months of the NFL season. Popular unlicensed websites include Bovada.lv, MyBookie, and BetOnline, all of which recorded tens of millions of visits during the football season.

Some individuals in states without legal gambling have attempted to access legal betting sites in neighboring states. However, these attempts have been thwarted by GeoComply’s geolocation services. The firm reported 1.5 million attempts in Georgia and 1.7 million attempts in Nebraska to access regulated websites. Slader also noted that incorrect information about the legality of gambling in certain states further confuses the public.

The prevalence and popularity of unlicensed betting sites, coupled with attempts to access legal sites in neighboring states, illustrate the challenges and complexities of the current sports betting landscape in the US. While legal options are available in many jurisdictions, the black market for sports betting continues to present a significant challenge for regulators and operators.