The French gambling regulator, ANJ, has issued a warning regarding the risks associated with illegal online gambling sites. The regulator has discovered approximately 400 illegal websites and has blocked 137 user accounts on Facebook as part of its efforts to crack down on illegal gambling activities. ANJ has partnered with Meta to monitor and resolve the issue of illegal gambling on social media platforms.
The illegal gambling market in France is estimated to be worth €1.50 billion, which is more than 10% higher than the total amount wagered legally in the country. ANJ has identified 510 active illegal websites, with 60% of the traffic coming from just 21 of these sites.
Operators such as Barrière and JOA groups have been implicated in illegal gambling activities, creating fake profiles and mobile apps to attract customers to their illegal websites. These illegal activities pose a significant risk to players, who may not receive their winnings, be victims of payment fraud, or have their personal data stolen.
The regulator has advised players to consult the list of approved gambling sites provided by ANJ to ensure the legality of the site on which they plan to bet. ANJ also encourages the reporting of fake advertisements promoting illegal gambling.
A study conducted by PwC revealed that the gross gaming revenue earned by illegal casinos in France ranges from €748 million to €1.5 billion, accounting for 5% to 10% of the total gambling market in the country. The total gambling market in France reached €12.9 billion in 2022.
The collaboration between ANJ and Meta highlights the efforts being made to combat illegal gambling activities on social media platforms and protect players from the risks associated with illegal gambling. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of gambling responsibly on legal and regulated platforms.