Inside Gambling Rings: Operations, Existence and Impact

min read
a man with a mustache sitting at a green felt poker table with poker chips stacked in front of him and a drink and playing cards in his hands
BetMGM Jun 18, 2023, 2:25 AM

It’s no secret that online casino games are taking the world by storm, with both young and old being able to access their favorite games with ease. It’s quite clear that casino games are an enjoyable pastime for many people across the globe and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. Given that gambling is still considered illegal in some parts of the world, avid gamblers have found a way around the law and introduced illegal gambling operations, otherwise known as gambling rings.

Any form of gambling that exists outside the laws of a particular country or region is considered illegal. While small-scale gambling might seem harmless and without any consequence, that’s far from the truth. In fact, the very nature of any gambling ring is opportunistic and rooted in bypassing the law, taking advantage of vulnerable gamblers and operating outside legal confines.

Why Gambling Rings Exist

Like most illegal operations, several motivations behind them have kept them going for decades, if not centuries. This is true for gambling rings as well. Some people find gambling rings intriguing and are drawn to the thrill of it all, with secrecy and exclusivity being at the core of these operations. Only a few people know about them, and those that run these gambling rings stand to benefit in more ways than one.

 Legal Restrictions on Gambling

Gambling laws that are too strict or stringent can pull people away from playing at licensed casinos, but so can gambling laws that are too relaxed. In both scenarios, there’s an opportunity to cater to the market of gamblers that don’t resonate with the legalities of it all. If the law isn’t carefully monitoring gambling activity, these rings are bound to be established. Similarly, if the industry is too regulated, rings will take over and attract people who are seeking an even higher potential for winning.

Potential for Profit

Most illegal operations are driven by financial gain and potential for profit. When it comes to gambling, however, the stakes are even higher! Illicit gambling operations don’t pay taxes, which is one of the reasons why they continue to attract more players who are hoping to win big! Underground gambling tends to offer more winnings because no portion goes towards taxes.

 Besides the fact that illicit gambling isn’t subjected to tax because it’s off the radar, it also provides the perfect opportunity for other questionable dealings, such as money laundering. Money laundering in the gambling industry comes as no surprise, as syndicates often use gambling activities as a front to “clean” dirty money.

Demand for Certain Types of Betting

Another reason why such gambling operations exist is the demand for certain types of betting. Legal casinos and platforms are regulated and are required to abide by certain guidelines, which some people might find less thrilling. With illicit gambling, none of that applies. Players and the owners of these rings have free reign and can set the rules as and how they see fit. This can be extremely dangerous for gamblers who fail to set boundaries or budgets or those who have already developed a gambling addiction, be it from casino games or another form of gambling which is equally popular — sports betting.

How Gambling Rings Operate

Although no two gambling rings are the same, they are relatively similar in structure, methods of evading detection and operations. Let’s take a closer look at each of these.


Illicit gambling is typically structured and located in secret venues. The less people that know about it, the better. In some cases, the venues may be changed regularly to avoid detection, with “members” being alerted of this in time. The roles are quite similar to those of a licensed casino, except here, tighter security tends to be an even bigger concern.


Contrary to popular belief, illicit gambling doesn’t only happen in person; it’s possible online too. The size of the ring often determines how bets will be placed. It can be as simple as a phone call to the relevant person to intricate online portals with usernames and passwords on the dark web! Exorbitant amounts can be wagered with no limits, which brings in the element of dodgy dealings.

Methods of Evading Detection

Gambling rings are a huge part of the gambling industry and it’s a known fact. While the authorities may be working tirelessly to uproot them, there’s a lot more at play. Some larger operations create the impression that authorities are making progress by tipping them off about smaller operations. When busts and raids are carried out, it seems like there’s progress, when in reality, the bigger operations are continuing to flourish.

 Explore Your Options at Our Licensed Online Casino

Despite the existence of credible platforms to access casino games online or in person, there are evidently still countless gambling rings out there. It’s important to gamble responsibly and only interact with licensed casinos. Whether you prefer classics like blackjack and poker or perhaps you like to play modern casino games like online slots, then BetMGM is your best bet! Play casino games with like-minded enthusiasts when you register at our online casino.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
About the Author


Read More

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.