L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), France’s unified gambling regulator, has marked its intentions to overhaul public policies and consumer protections related to minimising ‘excessive gambling and improving the protection of minors’.
During December, the ANJ published its first ‘cooperative framework’ outlining the objectives it seeks to achieve on safer gambling as the new regulatory agency of the French gaming industry.
The ANJ stated that whilst France had maintained stable numbers on gambling participation, concerns were held as public health records indicated that since 2014 players identified as high-risk gamblers had nearly doubled from 200,000 to 370,000.
Leading the overhaul of French gambling laws, the ANJ outlined that public health concerns would be treated as the lead criteria in how it will regulate France’s gambling sector.
The ANJ has begun to work with France’s Ministry of Solidarity and Health to develop “a framework to reaffirm public policy objectives as well as to promote an innovative regulatory approach to unite the actors concerned around the protection of players”.
Further working objectives will see the regulator develop new central controls on the ‘supply and consumption of games’ protecting French consumers’ engagements with gambling services.
With regards to under-age protections, the ANJ has entered into a ‘cooperative agreement’ with the ‘National Union of Family Associations’ (UNAF), with the aim of developing safer gambling environments.
On underage gambling the ANJ stated concerns following research undertaken by Harris Interactive, interviewing parents of French children aged 10-to-17.
Harris’ research commissioned by ANJ revealed that 41% of parents ‘had participated/played in a gambling game on average from the age of 11.’
ANJ’s chief concern was that parents may be unaware of the risks of participating in gambling activities with minors.
Recognised as one of France’s most powerful political bodies, UNAF represents family interests in the development of laws, consumer protections and business practices protecting France’s 18 million family households.