Date: 06.12.2023

by Antoni Majewski

Regulation of Online Casinos: A Solution for France’s Gambling Market

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has called for a significant shift in France’s gambling market policies. Despite being one of Europe’s largest gambling markets, France stands as one of the only two EU countries to prohibit online casino activities.

The EGBA emphasizes the need for regulation to curb the growth of the illegal gambling market in France.

France’s Illegal Gambling Market: A Growing Concern

A recent study by French regulator l’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) revealed startling figures: the illegal gambling market in France is valued between €748 million and €1.5 billion. This accounts for up to 11% of the overall regulated market and over half (52%) of the regulated online market. Approximately three million French players are reported to use black market websites monthly, with high-risk players contributing 79% of the Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) in this segment.

EGBA’s Analysis: France’s Black Market among Europe’s Largest

According to the EGBA, these findings position France as having one of the largest illegal gambling markets in Europe, rivaling Germany and Italy. The trade body views the current prohibition of online casinos as a significant contributor to this issue. EGBA Secretary General Maarten Haijer labeled the ban as “counterproductive” and failing to protect consumers.

Proposed Solution: Multi-Licensing Model for Online Casinos

The EGBA advocates for a multi-licensing model in France, allowing operators to obtain B2C licenses for online casinos. This approach, according to the EGBA, would offer better consumer protection, greater control over the online gambling market, and secure vital tax revenues for the country. The organization stresses that establishing a competitive regulated market is the most effective strategy to counteract the black market.

Parallel with Italy’s Situation

This call for change in France mirrors the EGBA’s recent urging for Italy to reassess its ban on gambling advertising, highlighting the nearly €1 billion annual GGR generated by Italy’s online gambling black market.

Our Comment on the Article

The EGBA’s push for regulating online casinos in France is a critical call to action in the face of a burgeoning illegal gambling market. This recommendation underscores the need for a pragmatic approach in addressing the challenges posed by unregulated online gambling. By adopting a multi-licensing model, France has the opportunity to protect its consumers, regain market control, and tap into significant tax revenues.

Such a shift would not only align France with broader European market trends but also represent a strategic move to combat the rising tide of illegal online gambling. The situation presents a pivotal moment for French authorities to reassess their stance and potentially set a new course for the nation’s gambling industry.