France enacted its legal framework of gambling and its regulation in 2019. A new gambling regulatory authority (ANJ) which follows ARJEL with a significantly extended regulatory scope and enhanced powers has been set. It is now the responsibility of the ANJ to oversee all components of both online and offline legal gambling markets. Therefore, the foundations for a consolidated regulation are poised to have an overall gambling policy in France under the control of the ANJ. It can now execute a comprehensive “toolbox.”
The ability to require the withdrawal of a commercial communication involving an inducement to excessive gambling or the ability to carry out on-site controls is among the enhanced powers by ANJ to fulfill its missions. It authorizes their games offer, and it annually approves their games program, concerning operators under exclusive rights. Also, their promotional strategy and action plans in the fight against fraud and money laundering, prevention of gambling addiction, and the protection of minors, are controlled by the ANJ.
Regulation that combines support and control will be set by ANJ. The ANJ will use pedagogy in the short term to explain to economic actors and the new rather complex legal framework. Currently, it is finalizing two reference frameworks, on prevention of gambling addiction and the protection of minors and the other on the fight against fraud, the financing of terrorism, and money laundering. They will be submitted for consultation with the stakeholders concerned to develop standards that are as close as possible to the sectorial realities and to secure their practices. Therefore, ANJ will sign an agreement with the Race and Gaming Central Service of the Ministry of Home Affairs for on-site inspections in points of sale and casinos.
One person out of two is a gambler in France, and problem gambling estimated at around 1.2 million. Thus, stopping extreme or pathological gambling is a public health problem to which the ANJ attaches the utmost importance. The ANJ will consider the players at the base of the regulation. On the collective intelligence of the players, it will be as close as possible to the gambling experience and the uses of the players, for that to be real and effective for the ANJ, by enunciating its activities on information, service, and capitalization.
It will be an opportunity to make players more responsible for the transfer of the management of the file of banned players from the Ministry of Home Affairs to the ANJ starting from September. Without a doubt, the ANJ will suggest a new registration process and a real tool for self-protection and faster and less guilt-ridden control of the game. Actually, in order to direct players, a motivational interview with the ANJ staff will be carried out to health-care professionals, if necessary.