France’s ANJ Plans to Overhaul Gambling Protections
L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) announced plans this week to change up the public policies and consumer protections in the country regarding gambling.
Most every country around the world is reevaluating gambling in some form or fashion. In some countries, lawmakers are looking at gambling legislation and regulations and figuring out ways to bring more options in to the country. In other areas, regulators are trying to figure out how to continue to keep players safe from harm. In France, the latter is taking place. The L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), the unified gambling regulator of the country, came out this week to announce changes coming to provide further consumer protections regarding minor protection and excessive gambling issues.
The ANJ published details back in December regarding its cooperative framework with operators. The goal is to provide a safer gambling environment as the group takes on the role as the new regulatory agency of the country.
According to the agency, numbers have remained stable when it comes to participation in gambling in France. However, concerns were raised as public health records showed that since 2014, the number of players considered high-risk gamblers increased from 200,000 to 370,000.
The ANJ is now in charge of overhauling gambling laws in France. The group will be using public health concerns as the main criteria when making changes to the gambling sector. The agency is working with the Ministry of Solidarity and Health to create a framework that will ensure public policy objectives are met and to promote a new regulatory approach that will unite everyone in the goal of player protection.
Additional objectives include creating new central controls involving the supply and consumption of gambling games to protect consumers. When it comes to underage-protections, the ANJ will be working with the National Union of Family Associations to create safer gambling environments and protecting those who the most vulnerable and not of age to play gambling games.
The ANJ is concerned about underage gambling as research suggest that children ages 10 to 17 are participating in gambling games. The agency feels that parents may not be aware of how their children are participating in such activities.
Coming into Power
The ANJ first took over the regulation of the French gambling industry back in June. The group replaced the l’Autorité nationale de régulation des jeux en ligne (ARJEL) and acts as a single regulatory body for all gambling activities in the country. The group covers online gambling, horse racing, casinos, and lottery games.
The group will monitor all games in the online and retail sectors. While the group will be in charge of several areas, it will not be responsible for any anti-money laundering concerns or game integrity. This will be done by the Ministry of the Interior.
The ANJ has the power to stop a gambling operator from offering advertising that is considered in violation of regulations and they can carry out on-site controls. The transfer of power from ARJEL to ANJ was completed in March of last year and time has not been wasted getting started with the protection of consumers in the gambling industry.
Chairwoman of the ANJ is Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin. She commented on her appointment and the ANJ when the group took power, stating that the agency is not an enlarged form of ARJEL. It is a new project that requires a rethinking process for gambling regulation. The chairwoman stated that she would like to see the ANJ set up regulation that will combine control and support to better serve as well as protect players.
Once the group was in charge, plans began to take shape in creating the framework that has been introduce this month to help provide better protections for players as well as young people.