The French gambling regulator, ANJ, is currently responsible for overseeing licensed operators in the country. However, there are also numerous illegal gambling operators accessible without any restriction. To address this issue, the ANJ commissioned PwC to conduct a study on the illegal gambling offerings available to French customers.
The study, carried out between January and March of this year, collected data from over 11,000 people. The findings revealed that the illegal online gambling sector in France generates between €748 million ($810 million) and €1.5 billion ($1.6 billion) in gross gaming revenue. This represents a 5% to 11% share of the total gambling revenue in the country.
The study identified more than 510 illegal gambling websites, with only 21 of them responsible for 60% of the traffic. Half of these illegal websites were associated with companies registered in Curaçao. What’s even more concerning is that 79% of the gross gaming revenue from illegal gambling comes from at-risk or problem gamblers.
The study also found that approximately 3 million people accessed illegal gambling services at least once a month. They were lured by the promise of big wins, lack of identity verification, and betting limits.
The ANJ warned of the risks associated with illegal gambling, including non-payment of winnings, lack of protections for minors, and potential theft of bank information or identity. In response to these findings, the ANJ announced plans to take action against illegal gambling operators. This includes collaborating with payment providers to reduce funds flowing to illegal gambling websites and creating targeted reports for initiating criminal proceedings against operators registered in Curaçao or Cyprus.
Additionally, the regulator intends to warn hosting solution providers and publishers that work with illegal gambling operators.
In summary, the ANJ is committed to combating illegal gambling in France and is taking proactive steps to address the issue.