ANJ tells gambling operators to reduce GGR from “problematic players”

The ANJ will publish a "practical guide" later in the year.
The ANJ will publish a "practical guide" later in the year.

The French regulator wants operators to prioritise lowering the percentage of revenue from players that display signs of gambling harm.

France.- The French gambling regulator l’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) has told operators to make it a priority to reduce the share of gross gaming revenue (GGR) that comes from “problematic players”. It issued the order after reviewing operators’ action plans to prevent excessive or pathological gambling.

It aims to substantially reduce the percentage of GGR that problematic gambling accounts for and has told operators to “implement concrete actions and best practices to promote a recreational model”. Operators will be expected to show “measurable results on actions undertaken”. 

The regulator says it will publish a “practical guide” later in the year on how to identify problem gamblers. It’s ordering operators to focus on four key areas of action. The first is the prevention of underage gambling. Operators must clearly communicate age restrictions across their products and carry out age-verification checks. FDJ and PMU have been told to enhance their controls on retail sales compliance.

Meanwhile, both online and retail operators must have alert systems in place in order to trigger interventions in cases of excessive gambling behaviour. Operators must record their interventions and customer play so the ANJ can review them.

In terms of game design, all games must show risk percentage warnings. Operators have also been told to revise their portfolios in order to encourage recreational play.

Finally, operators must carry out campaigns in their commercial communications to promote awareness of excessive gambling and to promote tools for moderation and protection. Feedback must be submitted to the ANJ Dashboard to allow results to be monitored.

The ANJ says it’s prioritising problematic gambling as it sees this as the “most significant risk” in the sector. The monitoring body L’Observatoire des Jeux estimated that in 2019, 38.3 per cent of GGR came from problem gamblers and more than 20 per cent from pathological gamblers. Meanwhile, it estimated that 1.4 million gamblers showed signs of risk in 2020, and close to 400,000 were classed as pathological.

ANJ rejects FDJ 2023 promotional strategy

Meanwhile, the ANJ has rejected the French national lottery operator Française des Jeux‘s promotional strategy for 2023. The ANJ requires all gambling operators to submit their strategies for review. FDJ has particularly strict controls as a monopoly operator still partly owned by the state in that it is not allowed to actively encourage the public to gamble.

The ANJ said the FDJ had not been comprehensive enough in responding to its previous reservations. It took issues with the operator’s plans for large-scale promotions, its strategy to make the lottery an everyday product and its intention to communicate a link between gambling and the public interest. FDJ will now have a month to submit a revised strategy.

French regulator reports record betting on 2022 World Cup

Earlier this month, the ANJ reported record betting and operator revenue from the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Not counting bets placed with FDJ, €597m was wagered in France, an increase of 56 per cent from the 2018 World Cup and 37 per cent from Euro 2020. Gross gaming revenue came to €70m.

The Qatar World Cup, in which France was beaten by Argentina in an extraordinary final, attracted 54 million bets, more than doubling the number placed in 2018. Some €51m was bet on the final – a record for a single game and easily beating the €38m bet on the France-Croatia final in 2018.

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ANJ gambling regulation