CFG Report Exposes $4.3B Illegal Betting Surge in March Madness

The Campaign for Fairer Gambling (CFG) has disclosed staggering figures regarding illegal betting activities during the NCAA Menโ€™s & Womenโ€™s March Madness Basketball Tournaments.ย 

CFG Report Reveals Social Mediaโ€™s Role in Illicit Betting

According to a comprehensive analysis conducted by online marketplace intelligence specialists YieldSec, commissioned by CFG, a colossal $4.3 billion was wagered illegally and untaxed, overshadowing the legal betting landscape.

The study highlighted the pervasive influence of illegal gambling on social media platforms, where an alarming majority of sports wagering-related posts and videos, up to 73% and 78% respectively, steered audiences towards illicit betting and gambling operators. This revelation underscores the significant challenge posed by unlicensed operators in the American betting market.

Derek Webb, Founder of CFG, expressed deep concerns over the findings, emphasizing the urgent need for a unified strategy to combat illegal gambling in the US. Webb stressed the lack of cohesive government action and lax state oversight as exacerbating factors, enabling entities with dubious backgrounds to operate freely.

The analysis estimated that approximately 43.1 million individuals, nearly 1 in 7 Americans, engaged in some form of interaction with illegal gambling content. This widespread exposure further accentuates the pressing need for stringent enforcement measures and heightened monitoring to curb the proliferation of unlicensed gambling activities.

YieldSec Uncovers Network of Illegal Betting Operators Targeting US Audience

YieldSecโ€™s monitoring uncovered a network of 378 illegal sports betting operators actively targeting the American audience, alongside 651 affiliates promoting these illicit operators to US sports bettors.ย 

Moreover, the study revealed that a substantial portion of social media and video content linked to the NCAA Tournaments could be traced back to illegal operators, indicating the extensive reach of black market betting.

Ismail Vali, Founder and CEO of YieldSec, echoed Webbโ€™s concerns:

โ€œThe overwhelming presence of illegal gambling during one of the biggest sports betting events of the year is a clear signal that enforcement and monitoring need to be prioritized. Our findings are a call to action for stakeholders across the board to intensify efforts in combating the spread of unlicensed gambling operations that exploit the online marketplace.โ€

The CFG is advocating for a cohesive governmental response to tackle illegal gambling, urging key agencies such as the Department of Justice, Treasury, and Federal Trade Commission to address the issue.ย 

Additionally, the American Gaming Association has echoed calls for law enforcement to crack down on illegal betting markets, seeking federal support to combat this widespread problem.Another recent research from Yield Sec also revealed that out of $5.37 billion wagered on this yearโ€™s Super Bowl, only $1.4 billion was legal, indicating that approximately two-thirds of bets were made illegally, maintaining the black marketโ€™s dominance despite the gradual legalization of betting across the US.