SBC News ANJ sets out French gambling overhaul objectives

ANJ sets out French gambling overhaul objectives

L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) has published the ‘working objectives’ of its new ‘three-year strategy’ to overhaul the existing laws, standards and consumer protections of French gambling.  

From 2021-to-2023, France’s unified regulatory agency will place its ‘strategic focus’ on ‘ensuring that players are protected from harms’ across all gambling disciplines.

Formalised by its new executive team, led by President Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, ANJ’s action plan has been approved by its new board of governors and wider stakeholders.

The plan sees the ANJ establish ‘five key pillars’ designed to ensure that licensed gambling activities provide a ‘significant return to French society’, whilst ensuring public safety from gambling harms and the risk of addiction.

The ANJ stated that it will initially undertake a reform of France’s regulatory frameworks, with regards to placing new conditions on operator conduct and individual licensing requirements.

The regulator underlined that new conditions would be required in order for incumbents to maintain a positive public image for gambling, which is portrayed as a recreational pastime for consumers.

In its role as France’s new regulatory agency, the ANJ has underscored its duty to protect vulnerable players as the French health ministry estimates around 1.4 million problem gamblers.

Tackling a ‘growing public health issue’, the ANJ has begun its enforcement of new player protection, which must be carried out by licensed operators including mandatory deposit limits and stringent customer care interventions.

In overseeing the new standards of French gambling, the ANJ has stated its intentions to develop a new regulatory system, allowing licensed incumbents to update its agency on technical updates, player incentives and platform enhancements.

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 disclosed its new technical requirements and data obligations which all licensed incumbents must register with the agency.

Further objectives see the regulator emphasise the need for cross-border cooperation on AML and minimising criminal threats. At a European level, the ANJ stated that it wishes to play a “leading role in EU member state cooperation, building Europe’s new vision of gambling regulation”.

The ANJ’s final objective concerns broadening the agency’s network and resources to work effectively across France’s 18 regional communities.

The agency noted the diverse regional interests in gambling, having taken regulatory command of French sports betting, lotteries, games and horse racing.

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