The Power of ARJEL
The acronym ARJEL is an abbreviation for the Autorité de Régulation des Jeux en Ligne of France. Translated into English as the Regulatory Authority for Online Games, this independent administrative authority was specifically created to regulate French online gambling in accordance with Law No 20-0-476 of the French Gambling Act.
Article 35 of this Law says that this Authority should be made up of a Board with 7 members that is chaired by a President; a 6-representative Disciplinary Committee; and Special Commissions of qualified individuals to deal with specific issues and cases.
Objectives and Functions
The 5 central aims of ARJEL are to fight against illegal sites, combat money laundering and fraud, take steps against gambling addiction, ensure that gambling operations are safe and fair and issue approvals and ensure the compliance of legal operators.
These functions are carried out by assessing the financial and administrative systems of any site that applies, and approving those that meet the standards of safety and fairness set by the Authority. The user-friendly, easily navigable website gives a list of approved operators, together with their online addresses. There is also a comprehensive page of Frequently Asked Questions, and a section for the Board’s published decisions of approvals and rejections.
For online players in France, ARJEL is an important resource. Any site that bears their seal of approval can be trusted with their personal information and funds, and is guaranteed to operate fairly. Knowing that all of this is in place allows bettors and players to focus on enjoying themselves and making shrewd strategic decisions to win.
A good example of the way ARJEL operates is the way it dealt with illegal operators, which had not received their approval, in 2010. Several unlicensed sites were accepting players from France, and in June of that year the Authority contacted them to ask them to stop.
When the unlicensed operators refused, the Authority asked French Internet Service Providers to block access to the sites. When the Providers were reluctant to do so, the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris ruled that they had to do so. The fine for failing to block the domains was estimated to be 10,000 Euros per day.
The Authority can also fine the unlicensed casino operators up to 100,000 Euros, but it has been found that acting through the Internet Service Providers is much more effective. It is typical of the Authority to try the most civil way to resolve a matter first, by asking the sites themselves to stop accepting French players, and then appealing to the Internet Service Providers when that didn’t work. The simplest and most elegant way of solving a problem will always be sought which is why, when fines did have to be imposed, they targeted the Internet Service Providers rather than the casino sites.
As the online and mobile gambling industry in France keeps growing, ARJEL will need to keep evolving to keep up with the needs and rights of players. Interested individuals should check the website regularly to keep up with new developments.