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Velimir Velichkov December 4, 2023 3 min read
ANJ Releases Study on Illegal Online Gambling in France
The new study estimated that the share of the illegal online gambling sector in the country is between 5% and 11%
The gambling regulator in France, the Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), is currently responsible for monitoring the activities offered by licensed operators in the country. There are nearly 20 gambling operators that are permitted to offer their services to French customers, yet, many operators within the illegal gambling sector can also be accessed without any restriction. In light of this, the ANJ commissioned new research that probed into the illegal offerings available for French customers.
The study was conducted by PwC between January and March this year, collecting data and responses from more than 11,000 people. Details released by the gambling regulator Monday reveal that the illegal online gambling sector in the country is estimated to be between €748 million ($810 million) and €1.5 billion ($1.6 billion) in gross gaming revenue. Considering that the licensed gambling sector in the country was evaluated at nearly €13 billion ($14 billion) last year, the aforementioned figures for the illegal offering represent a share between 5% and 11% respectively.
Overall, the new study identified more than 510 illegal gambling websites, offering their services to customers in France. Surprisingly, only 21 of those websites were responsible for 60% of the illegal gambling traffic. Additional details released by ANJ confirmed that some 50% of the illegal gambling websites were related to Curaçao-registered companies.
What’s more concerning is that a majority of the illegal gross gaming revenue came from at-risk or problem gamblers. The newly released report estimated that some 79% of the gross gaming revenue for the illegal gambling sector came from players who exhibited risky gambling.
The fight against Illegal Gambling Continues
PwC’s new study uncovered that an estimated 3 million people accessed illegal gambling at least once a month during this year. The users that selected the services of illegal operators were lured by high expectations for big wins, missing or marginal identity verification and betting limits.
Yet, the ANJ warned that there are different risks associated with using the services of illegal gambling websites. It said that high-value winnings are usually not paid, but since the operator doesn’t have a license, the clients cannot file a legal claim. On the other hand, the ANJ warned that illegal gambling operators do not feature protections for minors or responsible gambling tools. Other threats related to illegal offerings involve theft of bank information or even identity theft.
Considering the findings of the search, ANJ said it will consider actions to battle the illegal offering available for French customers. The regulator confirmed it will collaborate with payment providers to reduce the funds flowing toward illegal gambling websites.
Additionally, the ANJ confirmed plans to create “targeted reports to the judicial authority so that criminal proceedings can be initiated against people who, registered in Curaçao or Cyprus, operate these sites.” Separately, the regulator hinted at plans to warn hosting solutions providers and publishers that collaborate with illegal gambling operators.