France’s new gambling regulator has officially begun operations.
France’s new gambling regulator L’Autorité nationale des Jeux (ANJ) has launched today (22 June) after board members held their first formal meeting.
The new regulator has now replaced the country’s previous gambling regulator, l’Autorité nationale de régulation des jeux en ligne (ARJEL). The transfer of powers from ARJEL to ANJ was formalized in March.
ANJ will regulate the French gambling market
ANJ will act as a single regulatory body and will be responsible for regulating all forms of gambling in the country. This includes casino, betting on horse racing, lottery games and online gambling.
France’s previous regulatory ARJEL was only responsible for regulating France’s online gambling industry.
Under its remit, ANJ will oversee the France’s 14 licensed online gambling operators, all online and in-person point-of-sale lottery and betting games sold by Française des Jeux (FDJ)m and Pari-Mutuel Urbain’s retail betting facilities and on-course bookmakers.
ANJ will also be responsible for overseeing operations at the 202 physical casino venues and 228 racetracks across the country.
The regulator said that this represents 78% of France’s regulated gambling market compared to the 11% which was overseen by ARJEL.
ANJ president Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin said: “The ANJ is not an enlarged ARJEL, it is a new project that requires rethinking regulation. It has to adapt its interventions to monopolies and to players gambling mostly anonymously in points of sale.
“I would like to set up a regulation that combines support and control in order to better serve and protect players.”
The new regulator will focus on meeting four core objectives which include prevent problem gambling and protecting children and young adults; ensuring the integrity, reliability and transparency of gambling; prevent fraudulent and criminal activity; and make sure that games are fair and balanced.
ANJ’s enhanced regulatory powers
When it comes to regulatory powers, ANJ will have significantly more influence than its predecessor.
ANJ will have the authority to order operators to withdraw advertising material and the power to carry out on-site controls.
The regulatory body will also be able responsible for licensing operators, including the types of games that can be offered. ANJ will also have oversight over promotional strategies, action plans to prevent fraud and money laundering, responsible gambling strategies and annual review of the service being offered by operators.
ANJ is in the process of finalising strategies to help prevent gambling addiction and to protect minors. In addition to this, the regulator is working on strategies to combat fraud, money laundering and terrorism financing. Once complete, ANJ will submit the strategies for consultation with stakeholders.
The regulator is also placing a focus on problem gambling and aims to provide more information and services to consumers. This will include a new registration process for the country’s national self-exclusion database that will be supported by responsible gambling tools.
ANJ will also speak with financial institutions to set out its new responsibilities to work with banks to fight and prevent criminal activity.