To fight more effectively against the offer of illegal online gambling, the Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) commissioned PwC to conduct a study on the supply available in France and consumer habits.
This study estimates that the gross gaming revenue (GGR) generated by illegal supply is between €748m and €1.5bn, i.e. between five and 11 per cent of the global gambling market. The importance and risks associated with this illegal offer justify that it be combated even more vigorously, through actions complementary to those already carried out by the ANJ.
50 per cent of the internet traffic of the illegal offer of online gambling is said to be generated by online casino games (such as roulette, dice games, craps, blackjack and baccarat) and slot machines.
The study, conducted from January to March 2023, identified 510 illegal websites that generate traffic on French soil. 21 of them alone would supply 60 per cent of the traffic of the illegal gambling offer.
50 per cent of the illegal offer websites whose operator could be identified are said to belong to companies registered in Curaçao. 79 per cent of the GGR generated by the market for the illegal supply of online gambling comes from gamblers with a risky gambling practice.
Around 3 million people are estimated to have consumed illegal supply at least once a month in 2023. 1 in 2 consumers of an illegal offer say they are unaware of the illegal nature of the offer they are playing. Consumers of illegal offers are in favour of non-slot online casino games (54 per cent). The main motivations of consumers of illegal offers to play on these unauthorized gambling sites are: the absence of stake limits or identity verification, the expectation of larger winnings as well as a greater richness of the game offer offered. Consumers of illegal offers mainly indicate that they have become aware of these sites through: online searches on search engines (19 per cent), online advertising (18 per cent) and social networks (18 per cent). 35 per cent of consumers of illegal offers would use a VPN to play on it.
Since March 2022, the ANJ has had the power to administratively block and delist illegal sites. Administrative blocking orders are now faster and less costly. Since then, 300 administrative blocking acts involving 1,230 blocked URLs have been issued by the ANJ. Thus, in a year and a half, thanks to the introduction of this procedure, the ANJ has managed to block almost as many URLs as in 12 years of judicial blocking procedure.
If, as it stands, the law does not provide it with any other specific means of action to fight against this illegal offer, the ANJ intends to quickly carry out various actions, namely to carry out targeted reports to the judicial authority so that criminal proceedings can be initiated against the persons who, registered in Curaçao or Cyprus, operate these sites which currently act with impunity and whom the ANJ itself cannot sanction. It will initiate warning actions against illegal gaming software publishers and companies that provide hosting solutions to illegal sites, act with payment service providers that make it possible for illegal operators and players to flow financially. It will also deepen the exchange of information and best practices with its European counterparts in the framework of GREF (Gambling Regulators’ European Forum) and strengthen public information on the dangers of illegal supply.