EGBA urges France to legalise online casino games for player safety

With over one million players accessing black market gambling sites each month, they are exposed to unsafe and potentially unethical practices while the country maintains its ban on online casino games.

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The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has called on France to regulate online casinos.

As France does not currently allow for online casino games, this has created an opportunity for black market websites to thrive.

A recent study by the l’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), the French Gaming Authority, found that this black market could account for up to €1.5bn ($1.6bn) in annual gross gaming revenue (GGR).

Maarten Haijer, EGBA Secretary General, said: "The scale of France’s online black market is alarming, and we believe it is one of the EU’s largest online gambling black markets, alongside Germany and Italy.

“The country’s prohibition of online casino is clearly a big part of the problem.

“Given the popularity of online casino, and the need to protect consumers from the risks of the black market, it is imperative that the French authorities urgently reassess their current ban on online casino games.”

According to another study referenced by ANJ, online casinos also account for 50% of France’s black market website traffic, with 3 million players accessing sites at least once a month.

Due to the unregulated nature of the sites, however, they have significantly less protection when it comes to issues such as payments and self-exclusion opportunities.

Haijer continued: “The ban is counterproductive and fails consumers.

“By regulating online casino games through a multi-licensing model, France would better protect its consumers, regain more control over its online gambling market, and secure vital tax revenues.

“The best way to tackle a black market is to establish a competitive regulated market alternative.”

This isn't the only change to the French gambling landscape though, as La Française des Jeux (FDJ) finalised its acquisition of the Irish National Lottery too.


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