French gambling has begun its ‘unified era’ under the L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), which is to replace the Autorité nationale de régulation des jeux en ligne (ARJEL) as of Monday, after its first formal meeting was held by the board members.
ANJ will serve as a single regulatory body regulating all forms of gambling in France, including online gaming, casinos, horse racing and lottery sports, representing 78 percent of France’s betting industry.
Under its remit, ANJ will control all games of La Française des Jeux or PMU sold via online and retail; activities on the 228 racetracks of the country; the 202 casinos in France – but the ANJ will not be responsible for the anti-money laundering protocols or the quality of the games provided, which will be monitored by the Ministry of the Interior.
Furthermore, the ANJ will have the authority to instruct a gambling operator to withdraw advertising materials and to be able to perform on-site controls.
In March 2020, the transfer of powers from ARJEL to ANJ was formalised, in which Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin was appointed as chairwoman to lead the regulatory body.
Falque-Pierrotin commented: “The ANJ is not an enlarged ARJEL, it is a new project that requires rethinking regulation. It has to adapt its intervention to monopolies (FDJ and PMU) and to players gambling mostly anonymously in points of sale.
“I would like to set up a regulation that combines support and control in order to better serve and protect players.”
The ANJ is said to be establishing two reference structures, the first of which prioritises problem gambling prevention and the protection of minors, while the second focuses on fraud prevention, money laundering and terrorist financing.
In 2019, the French Senate instructed the Government of En Marche to create a ‘unified regulator’ for French gaming, having decided to allow the Government to sell its majority stake in the Francaise des Jeux (FDJ) lottery operator.
The Senate said French gambling laws were undermined by ‘double guardianship’ in which the incumbents were governed by three separate bodies.