New gambling regulations has been introduced by France, in addition with the creation of a new national gambling authority, L’autorité nationale des jeux (ANJ) to take over from the current regulator, l’autorité nationale de régulation des jeux en ligne (ARJEL), ahead of the privatisation of lottery monopoly La Française des Jeux (FDJ).
ARJEL is currently regulating online gambling in France, while casinos, horse racing in Paris and lottery games are regulated by the Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of the Economy and Finance. Under the new regulations, ANJ will act as a single body to oversee gambling in the country.
The country’s Council of Ministers said:
“The National Gambling Authority (ANJ) will become the main player in the regulation of gambling in France. This new independent administrative authority will be endowed with reinforced powers, over a broad scope of competences. In the competitive online sports betting sector, the ANJ will take over the mission of issuing the licenses to online gambling or betting operators, now exercised by ARJEL. It will see its powers of supervision strengthened: the authority will indeed be able to prescribe to an operator the withdrawal of any commercial communication inciting to play excessively,”
The Council of Ministers added.
“On the casino sector: the skills of the ANJ will focus on the fight against excessive gambling. The regulation of this activity for its other aspects, however, will continue to be the responsibility of the Ministry of the Interior, because of its specificities,”
Currently, FDJ is owned and conducted by the French government, but its shares will be sold to institutional and private investors in a primary public offering later this year. Albeit, the Council of Ministers said the state will continue to take the possession of a certain degree of influence over the company.
The council said the state would remain present in the company through a government commissioner present on the board alongside directors representing the state, with the power to “oppose the problematic decisions of the company,”, by delivering an approval notice of the State to the leaders, which may be introverted at any time if the state no longer approves of FDJ, and by having the power to block any capital increase of more than 10% of shares.