ANJ steps up regulatory action against illegal operators in France


France’s unified gambling regulator, L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux, has stepped up its regulatory action against unlicensed operators which are targeting French customers illegally.

The ANJ has stated that only 17 operators alongside the country’s national lottery operator, Francaise des Jeux, are licensed to offer legal online gambling in France, with all other sites deemed illegal.

The regulator adds that these illegal sites carry multiple risks for players, including personal data theft, payment fraud, installation of malicious software and non-payment of winnings, as well as no problem gambling support, protection against underage gambling or legal recourse in case of disputes.

Unlicensed operators have been warned that the ANJ can demand internet service providers block access to illegal gambling sites and those that promote them. 

If a formal notice to the illegal site to voluntarily remove its content remains unanswered after five days, the regulator can order internet providers to take all measures necessary to block access to the content in French territory, as well remove its results on search engines and directories.

Last March, the ANJ was authorised by the French government to block illegal sites with an administrative blocking procedure.

On its website, the regulator has provided a list of illegal operators that have been blocked. 152 administrative blocking orders have been issued since the first order on 13 June 2022, with 532 URLs blocked. 

Processing of a file is now between one and two months, whereas previously it was in the region of four to six months.