Arjel FranceOnline gambling has been legal in France for almost the past four years. The French regulatory authority for online games, ARJEL (Authorité de Regulation des Jeux en Ligne) was set up in 2010 with the passing of the French Gambling Act. This law covering both land based and online casinos made provision for the Arjel to be created to regulate online gambling. The regulatory authority is independent and consists of a board with seven members. The chairman of the board who was appointed in 2010, Jean François Vilotte had let it be known at the end of last year that he would resign from his position at the end of January 2014.

A major part of the Arjel’s brief is to stamp out illegal internet gambling websites. To this end just after the regulatory body was created in 2010, the Arjel requested that any online casino operators that permitted French players into their casinos should stop allowing them to play on these unlicensed sites. Then, since it has proven difficult in many countries to bring prosecutions against offshore casino operators, the regulatory body decided to block access to unlicensed online casinos. Internet service providers were asked to block any online casinos that didn’t hold a licence from the Arjel. This was not immediately accepted by the internet service providers but was backed up by a court ruling.

The regulatory authority’s latest plan to move against unlicensed online operators offering their services to French gamblers is its second attempt to dissuade French players from visiting illegal internet casinos by carrying out an educational campaign. This campaign to persuade French players that they could have serious problems by playing on illegal sites even if they appear to offer better deals than licensed operators is a multi media campaign. However it is not known yet if the eradication of unlicensed online casinos will help improve the unimpressive performance of the French online casino industry to date.