Illegal Gambling Operators Targeting Self-Excluded Players in Europe

Online Casinos Law & Politics Crime
Colm Phelan

Updated by

Colm Phelan

Digital PR Manager

Last Updated 14th March 2024, 07:22 AM

Illegal Gambling Operators Targeting Self-Excluded Players in Europe

A spare of illegal gambling operators are targeting self-excluded players in Europe using online search ads focusing on search terms related to players trying to loophole exclusion measures.

Unlike licensed and regulated online casino site operators (the likes represented on, which are regulated against advertising to problem gamblers and children, unlicensed and illegal operators are prone to shady measures to attract new players.

Director of intelligence platform Yield Sec Ismail Vali described to iGB the development he has seen with illegal providers of gambling in several countries across Europe. These illegal operators target players registered in the national register, or those looking to register for the same list.

"We specialise in fathoming the interplay between the legal and illegal facets of the gambling industry. This duality dilemma exists in all regulated marketplaces today," said Vali on Yield Sec.

"A critical concern that has surfaced across our tech, AI and machine-learning radar is what we classify as “VV”, or vulnerability victimisation."

Among the affected countries are the UK, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Germany. Each nation has its own self-exclusion scheme;

Illegal operators are targetting people searching for terms such as "Not on Gamestop" or "Get out of Gamstop" in the UK, with similar search terms in other locations also chosen to advertise non-licensed sites.

Vali continued, "Illegal operators systematically target individuals within self-exclusion schemes, ensuring a steady influx of revenue-positive players.

"Whether through performance-based affiliate arrangements with lucrative net revenue share rates or through standard pay-up-front marketing deals, the exploitation of vulnerable individuals persists as a disturbing reality.


'A Proactive Appraoch'

"Efforts to address this issue must extend beyond mere site or app blocking or regulatory discussions with media stakeholders such as Google."

Vali recommends continuous monitoring to stop the illegal supply, and that restricting one provider at a time would simply not be effective because they can set up new gambling sites within a short time frame.

"A proactive approach ensuring the fundamental purpose of legal gambling is realised – to replace illegal gambling – is crucial."

Meet The Author

8 Years
Colm Phelan
Colm Phelan
Digital PR Manager Digital PR Manager

Colm Phelan has spent several years working in the iGaming industry and has plenty of experience when it comes to writing, researching and rigorously testing online casinos and sportsbooks. While Colm has invested a lot of his time into the digital marketing world but his other passions include poker and a variety of sports including golf, NFL and football.

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