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France’s Illegal Gambling Market Estimated at €1.5bn: ANJ Reveals Startling Findings



In a startling revelation, France’s gambling regulator, l’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), has uncovered that the country’s illegal gambling market could be valued at a staggering €1.5 billion.

This figure, representing more than 10% of France’s total annual wagers, emerges from comprehensive research conducted by PwC. The study highlights a worrying trend where 510 illegal gambling websites are drawing significant traffic, with just 21 sites accounting for 60% of this illicit activity.

Amid these findings, the focus intensifies on the critical role of regulatory bodies in combating illegal gambling. This issue is not just about lost revenue; it’s about protecting vulnerable players, particularly high-risk gamblers, who are the primary contributors to this shadow economy.

As the ANJ ramps up its efforts to tackle this challenge, stay informed and engaged in understanding the implications of illegal gambling and the importance of safe, regulated betting practices.


The Rising Tide of Illegal Gambling in France

France’s illegal gambling market, as per the latest ANJ study, could be worth up to €1.5 billion annually. This astounding figure accounts for a significant portion of the country’s total gambling activities, which reached a record €12.9 billion in GGR in 2022. The research by PwC identified a vast network of 510 illegal websites, with a few dominating the market.

High-Risk Gamblers at the Forefront

The study further reveals a concerning trend: 79% of the illegal market’s revenue comes from high-risk gamblers. These players are drawn to the unregulated sector due to the lack of wagering limits, identity checks, higher expected winnings, and a more extensive range of games. This segment’s vulnerability underscores the urgent need for effective regulatory measures.

Geographical Origins and Game Preferences

The research found that half of the illegal gambling sites’ operators are registered in Curaçao. Online casino games and slot machines are the primary attractions, constituting about 50% of the illegal online gambling traffic.

ANJ’s Comprehensive Approach to Combat Illegal Gambling

In response to these findings, the ANJ has laid out a multi-faceted action plan. This includes reporting operators, particularly those based in Curaçao and Cyprus, to authorities for legal proceedings. The regulator also aims to warn software publishers and hosting providers associated with illegal sites and take action against payment service providers facilitating transactions for these operators.


Enhancing Collaboration and Raising Awareness

The ANJ plans to strengthen information exchange and best practices with European counterparts through the GREF. Additionally, there’s a focused effort to raise public awareness about the dangers of illegal gambling.

France’s Record-Breaking Gambling Year

Despite the challenges posed by illegal gambling, France’s legal gambling market saw a record GGR of €12.9 billion in 2022, a 20% increase from the previous year. Online gambling contributed €2.17 billion to this total, with online sports betting, poker, and horse racing bets being the major components.

Navigating the Future of Gambling Regulation

This revelation by the ANJ sets a crucial precedent for the future of gambling regulation in France. It highlights the need for robust measures to protect vulnerable gamblers and ensure a fair and safe gambling environment. As France navigates these challenges, the findings serve as a critical reminder of the ongoing battle against unregulated gambling and the importance of responsible gaming practices.


Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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