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French regulator publishes gambling website blacklist

| By Robert Fletcher
French national regulator l’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) has published a blacklist of gambling websites that have been subject to blocking and delisting orders.

The blacklist, which will be updated monthly, features websites operated by brands such as Campeonbet, Casinoextra, Dublinbet, Kahuna Casino, Winmachance, MyStake, WinUnique, VegasPlus and YBet.

Last March, ANJ was handed new powers to block and delist illegal gambling websites, as well as those advertising these sites.

Since the first administrative blocking and delisting orders were sent out in June last year, ANJ has issued a total of 152 orders, following which some 532 URLs relating to illegal gambling content have been blocked.

ANJ said the procedure to block such sites has also been improved so that action can be taken to halt access to illegal websites faster. Previously, it would take four to six months from identifying an illegal site to a judge approving the decision to block access.

However, ANJ can now consult with an administrative judge to request French internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to websites identified as operating or advertising illegally. 

A formal notice will be sent to the publisher and host of a site; if this goes unanswered for five days and the operator does not cease operation, ANJ may contact ISPs to take the relevant action to block access. This, ANJ said, could reduce the length of the blocking process to one to two months. 

Some 17 operators are currently licensed to operate in France, while La Française des Jeux holds the monopoly for lottery in the country. A list of these approved operators is also available to view on ANJ’s website.

“When a French consumer plays on an illegal website, it exposes you to multiple risks such as the unauthorised collection of personal data, payment fraud, installation of malicious computer programs, non-payment of winnings and the absence of measures to prevent excessive gambling and underage gambling,” ANJ said.

“The ANJ also suggests that players report illegal gambling sites to the regulator.” 

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