France’s gaming authority, Autorité Nationale des Jeux, has issued a warning to illegal online casinos that are using French casino brands on Facebook.
The ANJ noted that, since November 2023, the brand image of several French land-based casinos, notably those that are operated by the Barrière and JOA groups, has been used by individuals to deceive customers and direct them to unauthorised igaming websites.
These individuals, who have no connection with the French casinos, create a fake account on Facebook using the images and logos of the land-based venues most often associated with the term ‘online casino’.
Accounts are then used to promote publications which feature several redirecting links to false app download pages, which then redirect to illegal gambling sites, mainly online casinos.
The ANJ stated that no website has been authorised to offer online casino in France and that around 400 URLs have been reported to Facebook’s parent company Meta, resulting in the closure of 137 accounts.
The authority reminded players that they can check the list of approved sites before gambling online, while also making clear that gambling on an illegal site carries multiple risks such as non-payment of winnings, payment fraud, collection of personal data, installation of malicious computer programs and no protection in the event of a dispute.
Last week, the ANJ published its 2024-2026 strategic plan, outlining the issues that need to be addressed within the French gambling market.
Calling on support from all industry stakeholders, the plan’s key objectives include reducing excessive gambling and the social damage it causes, as well as protecting minors.