‘Substantial progress’ on problem gambling in France – ANJ

‘Substantial progress’ on problem gambling in France – ANJ

France’s gambling regulator says that more must be done to tackle problem gambling despite operators making “substantial progress” in recent years.

L’Autorite Nationale des Jeux also said the French gaming industry is on an “upward compliance trajectory” regarding anti-money laundering and anti-fraud measures – but has laid out fresh obligations for operators in this area too.

In its analysis of how successfully operators have put their latest annual player protection plans into action, the ANJ said the “entire market” had made “significant progress” in preventing excessive gaming and in actions to promote awareness.

It said there has been an “increase in protection standards” regarding the identification of and support offered to those suffering from gambling harms – with the number in that cohort identified and supported going up.

All operators continue to display the standardised logo made available by the ANJ to promote problem gambling awareness on their websites, the regulator added.

However, it said that problem gambling “still occupies too large a place” in the market.

Feeding into the ANJ’s 2024-26 strategic plan, operators must “go further” and identify a number of players at risk of gambling harms consistent with their player pool and prevalence studies.

The ANJ has therefore called on operators to “detect and intervene as early as possible” and “diversify” support measures to adapt them to the level of risks identified.

Operators must also apply a risk assessment tool before marketing gaming offers and take “ad-hoc measures to limit these risks.”

The ANJ also gave monopoly operator La Française des Jeux specific instructions regarding its operations, calling on FDJ to “strengthen the control system at points of sale to ensure compliance with the ban on sales to minors.”

FDJ and fellow land-based tote monopoly operator must also propose to the ANJ, before March 30 next year, a “new robust system for identifying and supporting excessive or pathological gamblers at points of sale.”

In the ANJ’s fight against money laundering and fraud in the gaming industry, the French regulator said it has observed “significant progress” from operators, who are complying with regulations “to a very large extent.”

The residual money laundering and financing of terrorism risk is “generally moderate,” but the ANJ said the “partial or total anonymity” of players and certain means of payment used leave “certain segments” of the gaming industry “relatively exposed.”

The ANJ has therefore called on operators to formalise and strengthen professional training actions and internal conterols.

Operators must also improve their reporting activity to Tracfin, the French Ministry of Finance’s anti-money laundering tool, “both in quantity and quality.”

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