ANJ reveals strategic plan for problem gambling

ANJ reveals strategic plan for problem gambling

The French gambling regulator, L’Autorite Nationalé des Jeux, has outlined its strategic plan at reducing problem gambling rates.

The ANJ has called on “all economic and institutional players concerned” to have input in the plan, which will tackle the societal damages of problem gambling and the protection of minors.

The first of three pillars of the 2024-2026 plan is “drastically reducing” the proportion and number of “excessive gamblers” in the market, with tackling the illegal market also crucial for the ANJ.

The regulator added: “Finally, the strategic plan is based on three foundations that are the conditions for the success of its ambition: to make scientific knowledge of the market and gambling practices the compass of regulation; to embody, at national and European level, regulation based on dialogue and cooperation to drive the repositioning of the market; and finally, to position the ANJ as a laboratory for bold, effective and exemplary public action.”

ANJ president Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin said: “After three years in office, we now believe that the regulation of gambling must take a turn that involves the market gradually moving towards a less intensive model.

“This voluntary target to reduce the number of excessive gamblers and to strengthen the protection of minors will be monitored over a period of three years and adjusted in line with monitoring indicators and prevalence studies.

“It can only be achieved if all the players join forces alongside the regulator to move the goalposts: gambling operators, public authorities, institutions and associations.”

The ANJ said the gambling market in France is “booming” and is now a “mainstream consumer product.”

However, while operators have made “significant progress” in cooperating with the regulator’s recent work in limiting and supervising the supply of gambling products, it said problem gambling “still plays to large a role in the gambling market.”

The ANJ said its new plan “cannot be achieved without a coherent and balanced regulatory policy aimed at consolidating the French gambling market model.”

Recent debate has brewed in France over the illegal market, with an ANJ study, commissioned by PwC, finding that the black market accounts for up to 11 per cent of the country’s gross gaming revenue.

Regulating online casino has been posited as one method of reducing the size and value of the black market by the European Gaming and Betting Association.

Speaking to newspaper Les Echos, though, monopoly operator La Française des Jeux has, however, denied reports that it could form a breakthrough igaming deal with the government.

Nevertheless, FDJ’s £2.1bn deal to acquire Kindred announced earlier this week could be a sign that it is mounting pressure on the French government in this regard.

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