Published: March 17, 2023

French regulator ANJ publishes blacklist of illegal iGaming websites

French gambling regulator l'Autorité nationale des jeux (ANJ) has published a blacklist of iGaming websites that have been the subject of blocking and delisting orders. The list has been shared to enable players to better identify illegal sites and will be updated monthly.

“The fight against the illegal offer of gambling is a priority and constant concern of the National Gaming Authority,” notes the ANJ. For the past year, the regulator has had a new power to block and delist illegal gambling websites, as well as those advertising them.

The blacklist features websites operated by brands such as Campeonbet, Dublinbet, Kahuna Casino, VegasPlus, Winmachance, WinUnique and YBet. Since the first administrative blocking and delisting order, issued in June last year, 152 such orders have been taken, resulting in 532 URLs relating to illegal gambling content being blocked.

In France, legal online gambling is offered by 17 licensed online gambling operators and one operator holding a lottery monopoly (La Francaise Des Jeux). Only the gaming sites of these operators are authorized,” explains the regulator. “All other sites are illegal and carry multiple risks for players.”

The ANJ warns players that when gambling on an illegal site, operating outside of the legal framework in force, they are exposed to multiple risks including the collection of personal data, payments fraud, installation of malicious computer programs without the knowledge of the player, frequent non-payment of winnings, and a lack of measure to prevent problem gambling.

A law promulgated in March last year strengthened the means of action of the National Gaming Authority. The procedures to fight illegal gambling in France have been improved in a way that allows for unregulated websites to be blocked faster, whereas previously it would take four to six months from identifying a non-compliant site to a judge approving the decision to halt access.

The law thus replaced the legal procedure for blocking illegal gambling sites with an administrative blocking procedure. Now, the president of the ANJ can, under the control of an administrative judge, prescribe to French Internet providers to block access to the sites that offer illegal gambling and to the sites which advertise them.

A formal notice is addressed to the publisher and the host of an illegal site. Should it remain unanswered for 5 days, and in the absence of a voluntary withdrawal of the illegal content, the president of the ANJ may order Internet service providers to take any useful measures to block access to the content on French territory; and search engines and directories to delist it.

The processing time has now been reduced to between 1 and 2 months, the regulator points out. Whereas its first list of blocked sites features a large number of names, the authority warns it is not exhaustive of all existing illegal sites, and warns players to consult the list of approved operators before playing on a website.

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