The French gambling regulator, L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), will now be able to block illegal gambling websites which have been operating on the territory of the country while ignoring the law. The measure is targeted at rogue operators which have been translating their offers into French or deliberately allowing French customers to register on their websites even though they do not hold an ANJ license.
ANJ to Start Blocking More Illegal Operators
This means that the ANJ will be effectively seeking to suspend access to those websites with the assistance of ISPs. The operators will first be served with an official notice ordering them to seize their activities voluntarily. If they fail to do so, they will then be blocked from the country, a process that has a few downsides as it may inadvertently lead to other Internet blockages as well.
However, should the deadline set by the ANJ not be met, the regulator will then proceed to block the site and prevent access. The ANJ has been actively seeking to suspend illegal operators. So far, the regulator has added 250 websites to its blacklist but this is one of the first times the watchdog has announced large-scale actions that will probably seek to curb more operators at once.
Many countries have been doing this. Germany has at least 400 operators that are targeting Germans or allow people from the country to register without a license. The Australian Communications and Media Authority has been actively suspending illegal websites. France has acted against Stake.com and Cbet recently, citing both websites’ failure to secure a French gambling license. The ANJ explained:
“This legislative development is a major step forward in the fight against the illegal offer of gambling in France, which the ANJ has made a priority project for 2022.”ANJ
New Way to Deal with Illegal Gambling
The ANJ confirmed that the increase in preventative action reflects on a new strategy that focuses on digital assets and specifically seeks to restrict access to illegal gambling websites, providers, and other iGaming solutions. The end goal is to stop the proliferation of illegal offers.
The ANJ is now also looking into reports of suspicious betting activity registered on French licensed sportsbooks which may point in the direction of match-fixing. The regulator has been actively looking to limit the reach of the illegal gambling market. With the new controls in place, the ANJ has a chance of cleaning up the illegal gambling market which continues to target licensed jurisdictions and tries to undermine the competitiveness of licensed and tax-paying operators.
The ANJ previously expressed concerns that underage gambling may be becoming a norm in the country and urged action against it. Overall, the regulator has been acting more sternly against illegal gambling markets in a bid to clamp down on rogue operators.