ANJ to review operator Action Plans on safer gambling  controls

l’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) France’s unified gambling regulator has instructed all licensed operators to submit a yearly ‘Action Plan’ outlining their responsible gambling controls as a licensing duty.  

The direct command follows recommendations made by an ANJ-sanctioned study on ‘the prevention of pathological gambling and gambling by minors’.

Operator submissions will be scrutinised by the ANJ’s policy team, with the view to have a ‘constant dialogue between the regulator and operator’ on objectives to improve French gambling’s market protections  

2020 figures by French gambling market monitor L’Observatoire des Jeux determined that 1.4 million French players were at risk of gambling disorders, whilst approximately 400,00 players could be classified as pathological gamblers.

During 2021, the ANJ began its overhaul of French gambling market protections, developing safeguards with the Ministry of Health and the National Union of Family Associations.

The ANJ requires operators to submit action plans on how they will restrict minors from accessing websites and engaging with social media accounts as well as their respective advertising campaigns.

Furthermore, operators must disclose a ‘clear pathway’ on the availability of parental control software for families, displays of underage warnings and provisions to strengthen ID verifications.

Of significance, 2022 Action Plans will require operators to use the ANJ’s definition taken from the ‘Canada’s ICJE index on excessive gambling in order to identify and report on at-risk customers.

Operators must disclose how they have structured their identification systems to monitor players’ excessive problem gambling as soon as possible.

Plans must disclose the safer gambling controls available to customer service teams, and how employees have been trained to spot problem gambling risks.

Reports must be presented with a ‘dashboard overview’ of operators’ individual performance on safer gambling metrics, outlining interventions made on vulnerable players and the block of minors.

Feedback from operators will be used by the ANJ to publish its new guidelines this summer, drawn from operators best practices.

The ANJ concluded that it wants to create a ‘culture of results’ in which operators are driven by the protection of minors and the vulnerable.

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