ANJ Defines French Targets For Gambling Overhaul

The ‘working objectives’ of its latest three-year plan have been released by L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) to update the current rules, standards and consumer rights of French gambling.

The unified regulatory agency of France will place its ‘strategic focus’ from 2021-2023 on ‘ensuring players are protected from harm’ across all gambling disciplines.

ANJ’s action plan, formalised by its new executive team, headed by President Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, was approved by its new board of governors and broader stakeholders.

Five key pillars

The initiative sees the ANJ set up ‘five key pillars’ to ensure that licensed gambling operations provide ‘a significant return to French society’ while maintaining public protection from gambling harms and the risk of addiction.

The ANJ announced that it would initially pursue a reform of the regulatory system of France with regard to the implementation of new conditions for the conduct of operators and individual licensing requirements.

The regulator emphasised that in order to preserve a positive public image of gambling, which is perceived as a recreational pastime for customers, new requirements will be needed for those in charge.

Protecting vulnerable players

In its position as France’s new regulatory body, as the French Ministry of Health estimates about 1.4 million problem gamblers, the ANJ has underscored its responsibility to protect vulnerable players.

Tackling a ‘growing public health issue,’ the ANJ has begun implementing the safety of new entrants, which must be carried out by licensed operators, including mandatory deposit limits and strict customer service initiatives.

New regulatory framework

In overseeing the new French gambling standards, the ANJ has expressed its intention to establish a new regulatory framework enabling licensed incumbents to update its agency on technical changes, rewards for players and improvements to the network.

It said: “ANJ must integrate this culture of innovation and digital technology, both with respect to the players it regulates and internally, in its operating mode and tools.”

Last week, the ANJ announced its new technical specifications and data obligations that must be reported with the agency by all licensed incumbents.

The regulator stresses the need for cross-border cooperation in the field of AML and minimises criminal threats. At the European level, the ANJ announced that it wishes to play a “leading role in EU member state cooperation, building Europe’s new vision of gambling regulation”.

The final aim of the ANJ is to expand the Agency’s network and capabilities to work efficiently across the 18 regional communities of France.

The Agency has taken regulatory charge of French sports betting, lotteries, games and horse racing, acknowledging the varied regional interests in gambling.