As of March 2, 2022, the President of the National Gaming Authority (ANJ) may order the blocking of all sites that offer or advertise illegal games through ISPs. This power, which until now belonged exclusively to the referee, is aimed at combating illegal offers and protecting the players.
How ANJ Fights Illegal Gambling Sites
You can read more about the legal status of online casinos in France here if you are interested in the topic, but you already remember that only 15 online gaming operators approved by Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) and Française des Jeux (FDJ) offer authorized legal gambling sites in France.
In other words, playing on sites that have not been approved by the ANJ is part of what that regulator defines as illegal gambling and gambling offerings. To combat this illegal offer and clean up the gambling sector in France, the ANJ can block the website of any operator offering irresponsible online gambling offers. In this case, ANJ issues a warning asking the operator to stop the illegal activity with a request for a response within a maximum of 5 days. If no changes have been made after this period, ANJ contacts the operator’s ISPs to block the site and make it permanently unavailable to the French market.
Even if the blacklist of sites not authorized to offer gambling to French Internet users is not regularly published, the ANJ has blocked more than 250 illegal gambling sites in the past for information to protect consumers, and hopes that this ability to block illegal sites will allow it to truly clean up gambling sector in France.
Risks for the player
ANJ explains in detail on its website the dangers for the player of an illegal offer of gambling. It actually comes with numerous risks when playing on an illegal site as it can lose everything if the gaming software is set up so that the site is always a winner, or theoretically have winnings but never get paid for them. The ANJ also cautions against the lack of protection for minors from the risk of gambling addiction or persons who are prohibited from gambling, as most often there is no control of the player’s age and it also does not have a mechanism for self-exclusion or wagering control, which greatly increases the risk of over-gambling and over-indebtedness of the player. .
More generally, Internet users playing on an illegal gambling site cannot claim any legal remedy for unpaid winnings or uncredited bonuses, nor can they sue the site’s publishers for identity theft, which is very common according to the ANJ found on sites of this type.
How to distinguish a legal site from an illegal one?
Once we are aware of all these risks, we clearly prefer to avoid illegal sites and instead turn to those approved by the ANJ. To recognize them, you must keep in mind that all online casino sites are illegal in France for the simple reason that an international online casino license is not legally enforceable under French law. Only the online offer of La Française des Jeux and ANJ approved sites are allowed in France.
If an “ANJ Approved Operator” logo appears on an online gaming site, it’s still best to take a few minutes before doing anything to find out if the site in question is actually on the list of ANJ Approved Sites. This is the only way to check if you are really on a legally regulated site and can therefore play safely, or alternatively, you are on an illegal site that is fraudulently using the ANJ “approved operator” logo to trick players into believing the site is legitimate.