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Angel Hristov December 5, 2023 3 min read
EGBA Calls on France to End iGaming Ban amid Concerning Black Market Growth
Maarten Haijer echoed the EGBA’s stance, saying that France’s ban on iGaming is counterproductive
The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) calls on France to regulate iGaming. This call comes in the wake of a recent study that highlighted the concerning extent of France’s gambling black market.
The study in question was commissioned by l’Autorité Nationale des Jeux, France’s gambling regulator. According to its findings, France’s black market for iGaming may be earning as much as €1.5 billion a year – roughly as much as the regulated industry does. This figure means that France’s gambling market is one of the biggest in Europe.
The study also says that 3 million French players gamble with an unlicensed website at least once a month. To make matters worse, the study established that high-risk players account for 79% of these sites’ GGR.
The Time to Act Is Now, Haijer Says
In light of this study, the EGBA appealed to France, asking it to reconsider its ban on online gambling. France is one of the only two EU countries to prohibit iGaming. However, the EGBA pointed out that the black market activity shows that there is a strong demand for online casino products.
The EGBA argues that maintaining the current ban would allow the black market to flourish and harm local players. The association pointed out that black market websites operate outside of French laws and thus do not answer to the law and do not offer sufficient player protections.
The EGBA believes that greenlighting a legal gambling industry is a necessary step to ensuring a safe environment for online casino players. It suggested that a multi-licensing model, where several operators can obtain business-to-customer licenses, would be the best approach. The EGBA pointed out that this model has already proven to be the most effective method to reduce the black market’s influence.
Maarten Haijer, EGBA’s secretary general, personally addressed the issue, expressing his concerns with the scale of France’s online black market. He compared the size of France’s black market to the existing black market operations in Germany and Italy. Haijer echoed the EGBA’s stance, saying that France’s ban on iGaming is counterproductive.
By regulating online casino games through a multi-licensing model, France would better protect its consumers, regain more control over its online gambling market, and secure vital tax revenues. The best way to tackle a black market is to establish a competitive regulated market alternative. The time to act is now.Maarten Haijer, secretary general, EGBA
On the same note, the EGBA recently praised Finland’s plans to usher in a licensing model.