5 things gambling operators need to know before Euro 2024.

Major sporting events offer huge opportunities and risks for gaming operators and players. Here, we share the top five things that operators need to be aware of during Euro 2024.

Whether you’re a football fan or not, the Euros (UEFA European Football Championship) is a monumental global occasion that, for the month it lasts, captivates the world. 

Starting in mid-June and running until mid-July, Euro 2024 will see 24 teams compete in a series of games in cities throughout Germany to be crowned the best football team in Europe. 

Major sporting events like the Euros and the World Cup are often a time for friends and family to congregate and perhaps bet on the outcomes of games, either with each other or via increasingly popular online gaming platforms.

Surge in [legal and illegal] gambling activity predicted.

As global sporting events have such broad appeal, they tend to attract both casual and regular bettors. Plus, due to the convenience and accessibility that online platforms now offer, betting during these periods is only getting more popular. Indeed, betting during the 2022 World Cup increased by 13% compared to the 2018 World Cup. Worryingly, the surge in gambling activity was seen on both regulated and unregulated sites. For example, in the UK alone, 250,000 people visited unregulated, black-market sites during the World Cup compared to just 80,0000 during the same timeframe of the previous year. 

First-time players may be lured to unregulated platforms by ‘too good to be true’ bonus offers. However, few are aware that these platforms do not offer consumer protection measures and come with a significantly higher risk of financial fraud or data breaches. 

In fact, gambling on the black market poses problems for both the player and the business. Discover the reasons [and dangers] of why some players decide to forgo KYC and identity verification checks in favor of unregulated platforms in our blog, ‘In the grey: So, how exactly does online gambling work in Brazil?’ and ‘Exploring black market gambling in Germany.’

Gambling regulations 101: Europe and the UK.

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Challenges of operating during Euro 2024.

Although they should be concerns for operators at any time of year, there is an increased likelihood of bonus abuse, multi-accounting/gnoming, underage gambling, money laundering and fake documentation during sign-ups throughout the Euro 2024 tournament. Here are the top five things that gambling operators need to be aware of during Euro 2024. 

  1. Increase in site traffic is often used by fraudsters as a smoke screen for nefarious activities. With these sudden surges of traffic, it can be considerably harder for operators to find anomalies, which could be indicative of fraud. In addition to the above, fraudsters may conduct identity theft, or attempt account takeovers by launching phishing attacks and cyberattacks on unsuspecting users. There is also increased likelihood of more cross border transactions attempts by bots. 
  1. Unsecured public Wi-Fi networks can pose a security risk for gaming and gambling operators, when players log in to place bets. Such networks are susceptible to interception by hackers, leading to unauthorized access to user accounts, exposure of sensitive personal information and potential financial losses for both users and operators.  
  1. Rising rates of gambling fraud, with chargeback fraud a particularly common issue. While identity verification solutions can help verify the identity of users and detect fraudulent activity, preventing chargeback fraud requires additional measures such as transaction monitoring and collaboration with payment processors to identify and block suspicious transactions in real time. 
  1. Lose market share. Increased competition from illegal or unlicensed operators – many of which may offer superior UX or sign-up bonuses or offer registration without KYC – pose challenges to regulated platforms. How to capture new customers and safeguard against potentially losing existing customers should be top of mind for all operators. 
  1. Heightened regulatory scrutiny and enforcement to ensure operators are doing everything possible to protect end users during these times of increased betting. Those who are found to have inadequate KYC and AML and age verification controls in place may be subjected to fines.

“The challenges operators face during major sporting tournaments are not necessarily any different to their regular daily compliance challenges, but the sheer volume of new players from all around the world, coupled with increased activity is likely to cause issues for unprepared operators,” said Roger Redfearn-Tyrzyk, Vice President of Global Gaming at IDnow.

The Euros 2024 will be a huge opportunity for gambling platforms, new and old, so it’s essential they get it right. They’ll need to onboard huge numbers of players and verify accounts thoroughly so that they’re onboarding the right players and effectively fighting fraud

Roger Redfearn-Tyrzyk, Vice President of Global Gaming at IDnow.

Regulations, risks and rewards of the European gambling market.

Although all global gambling platforms are likely to see an uptick in player onboarding, it will likely be European nations that share the same time zone as the tournament (CEST), that will see the most pronounced increase in usage. But, of course, with Copa America just around the corner and many Latin American countries preparing to launch their gambling regulations, similar opportunities and challenges await the LATAM market, which is well on its way to becoming the largest in the world.

Meanwhile, the European online gambling market is expected to grow by 9.20% by 2025, fuelled not only by the rising popularity of gambling and tournaments like the Euro 2024, but also by software and hardware innovations. According to a report published by the Statista Research Department, the five European countries with the highest Gross Gaming Revenue are as follows:

  1. United Kingdom: €15.99 billion 
  1. Italy: €13.2 billion 
  1. Germany: €12.1 billion 
  1. France: €10.2 billion 
  1. Spain: €6 billion

A special mention must also be made about the Netherlands; a market that only became regulated in recent years but has enjoyed rapid growth ever since. Learn more about the Netherlands in our blog, ‘What a difference a year makes: The state of play in the Dutch online gambling market.’ 

Although regarded as a single state in relation to its economy, each of the 27 members of the European Union is responsible for passing its own laws. Because of this, online gaming regulations can be quite complex. Each European country essentially shapes its own gambling regulations. For a more comprehensive overview of European gambling regulations, check out ‘Regulations for online gambling – an overview.’

Betting on a safer, more secure gambling experience with IDnow.

Our fully automated identity verification solutions help gaming operators offer secure player onboarding, deposits and withdrawals, and conduct seamless AML and age verification checks to comply with not only European and UK regulations, but also requirements in emerging markets like Canada and Brazil

Interested in what the gambling industry’s top compliance challenges are likely to be for 2024 and beyond? Check out IDnow’s recently released ‘Challenges in compliance survey’ to discover operators’ most common concerns, why players abandon onboarding, the likely effect of UK’s upcoming financial risk checks, and much more.


5 things gambling operators need to know before Euro 2024. 1

Jody Houton
Senior Content Manager at IDnow
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