What Is Illegal Gambling?

What Is Illegal Gambling

Illegal gambling is quite a common topic, but many people don’t know much about it. Players think illegal gambling is a thing of the past, but it couldn’t be any further from that. With the rise of online gambling, we’re seeing a drastic increase in illegal gambling activities.

That’s why, today, we’ll guide you through the basics of illegal gambling, explain the different types of illegal gambling practices, and teach you about the consequences. Let’s start with the most basic definition!

Definition of Illegal Gambling

In short, illegal gambling is when a person engages in gambling activities that aren’t regulated or monitored in any way by a third party. To be more precise, the third party in question is a government-made regulatory body that ensures player protection, proper taxation, fair play, and many other crucial areas.

Illegal gambling sites aren’t regulated or monitored by the government in any way. They don’t operate under a gambling licence, which means they usually have unfair odds, greater risk of being an outright scam, and typically feature unregulated games with low RTP (return to player) values.

Common Types of Illegal Gambling

Illegal gambling activities can be divided into 3 common types. They are as follows:

Sports betting

Sports betting at unlicenced bookmakers, be it online or local, is the most common type of illegal gambling. To avoid it, simply use a licensed bookie. The most common online licences are issued by UKGC, MGA, and Curacao.

Betting on horse races

This is almost the same as conventional sports betting, but instead of sports, the focal points are horse races. This can also be either online or at unlicensed (read shady) local bookmakers.

Gambling at unlicensed online casinos

Last but not least, we shouldn’t interact with unlicensed online casinos. To make sure you’re not doing this, simply explore the casino’s licensing details and ensure their licence number is correct.

Consequences of Illegal Gambling

Delving deeper than the thrill of the win, this section explores the harsh outcomes of gambling on illegal premises. We’ll uncover the hidden costs, exposing the financial, social, and legal ramifications that can leave a devastating impact on individuals, families, and communities.

Financial losses

If you’re gambling on unlicensed sites, you have little to no protection. Even if you win your wagers or spin a massive progressive jackpot win, you might not get your money, and you won’t be able to do much about it.

Legal trouble

Illegal gambling sites are often associated with legal troubles. They might spill onto the players, too, though we haven’t seen that often happen in practice.

Debt and intimidation

If you’re visiting your local shady, unlicenced bookies, you might get into tricky situations with folks you don’t want to mess around with.

Exposure to crime

In short, playing at illegal gambling sites brings forth unnecessary exposure to crime. If you can, we recommend avoiding such an exposure at all costs.


How can I avoid illegal gambling when playing online?

Illegal gambling sites are everywhere, especially if you’re looking for non GamStop online casinos that provide gambling to self-excluded folks. However, if you want to stay safe, we recommend you don’t wander off too far from the beaten path. In other words, stick with the casino brands listed on our website.

How can I tell if an online gambling site is illegal?

The first thing you should do when investigating a gambling site is to check its licensing information. It’s usually located somewhere in the footer. Don’t just look for the regulator’s logo. Look for information on the registration number and additional details. If you want to go the extra mile, visit the regulator’s website and look for its licensee registry. (Look for licensing information from reputable gambling commissions. If unsure, avoid using the site and stick to licensed options)

Can I report suspected illegal gambling activity?

Of course, you can. The best place to report suspected illegal gambling activity is to your local gambling authority or simply through a law enforcement agency. If you’re from the UK, the best place to report illegal gambling activities is the United Kingdom Gambling Commission platform.

Related Articles

Our guide about illegal gambling is only a small portion of our collection of legal gambling pieces. For more information on the legal side of things, make sure you check out the following articles: