All operators who want to offer online gambling products in France must hold a valid license from the French Autorité de régulation des jeux en ligne (ARJEL).
ARJEL was established back in 2010, and it has the legal power to issue gambling licenses, enforce online gambling regulations, and take action against rogue and illegal gambling websites.
Online gambling is a complex subject in France, as there are some pretty strict conditions that licensees must follow if they want to accept French players. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, French players cannot play casino games online, as these are restricted to land-based casinos only. Still, operators can offer horse racing, sports betting, and poker facilities. In this post, we’re going to take a look at who ARJEL are, and what they do.
ARJEL was established in 2010, and it was formed under Article 34 of Law No 2010-476. ARJEL is – by law – formed of 7 members (chaired by a president), and 6 disciplinary committee of 6 representatives. There is also a Special Commissions section, which is formed of qualified persons.
ARJEL can offer a number of different licenses for online operators, including sports betting and skill games. They have been seen to take a proactive approach to tackling problem gambling, and they came into the media spotlight in 2018 when they publicly criticized so-called ‘Loot Boxes’, which allow players in video games to purchase in-game items, at a real-money cost.
While ARJEL are viewed as ‘old-fashioned’ by some, they are working to make France a more operator-friendly region, and it’s hoped that in the near future, they will work with the French government or look towards legalizing casino game gambling, online.
Currently, operators can only offer French players horse betting, sports betting, and poker for real-money. There are strict conditions attached with all of the above, and ARJEL has detailed guidelines for operators, which cover everything.
Operators who wish to offer poker games can only offer two variations; Texas Hold’em and Omaha.
ARJEL also enforces a number of rules about server-based technology, and all operators must ensure that their systems are sufficiently protected. License holders must report to ARJEL about their data security procedures.
Operators must also be seen to take a firm approach to preventing money-laundering and underage gambling, and large fines can be issued to operators failing to carry out sufficient checks. Like most regulators, ARJEL also make sure that operators take responsible gambling seriously, and players must be able to access a number of responsible gambling tools themselves, to help manage or prevent them from gambling.
Top ARJEL Licensed Casinos
You won’t find any ARJEL licensed sites accepting French players, but there are some reputable online casinos that do – and you can see some of the top-rated ones below:
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How To Check If a License is Valid
The official ARJEL website contains a complete and up-to-date list of all of its license holders. This makes it easy to see for yourself whether an operator holds a valid license. You should never play at a casino claiming to hold a license from ARJEL if their name doesn’t appear on this register.
ARJEL’s Complaints Procedure
It’s unclear how ARJEL deal with player complaints, but given their position, it’s likely they will take, and deal with player complaints seriously. If you wish to lodge a complaint with ARJEL, we recommend to contact them using one of the contact methods shown below.
ARJEL’s Contact Details
Address: Regulatory Authority Games Online, 99-101 rue Leblanc, 75015 Paris, France
Phone: +33 1 57 13 13 00
Email: [email protected]