ANJ Launches Five-Part Player Protection Strategy

The French gambling regulator L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) has launched a five-part strategy for 2021-2023, as part of its first activity report since it launched last June.

The regulator was established under amended gambling legislation to supervise the entire French gambling market, taking the online remit over from Autorité de Régulation des Jeux en Ligne (ARJEL).

In this week’s report, ANJ said it is putting player protection at the heart of its medium-term strategy. The five pillars of the strategy are: advertising, bonuses, problem gambling, betting limits and tipsters.

The regulator reported that having taken into account operator feedback from its January 2021 advertising strategy, it may impose sanctions for operators that do not comply. It also said it planned to undertake a stakeholder consultation on advertising, with a view to introducing new intervention tools.

ANJ is working with the French advertising regulator, Autorité de régulation professionnelle de la publicité, to come up with “precise and operational guidelines on advertising by the end of the year”.

In terms of commercial bonuses, including recruitment and loyalty bonus offers, ANJ plans to analyse bonusing practices across Europe to define “reasonable” bonusing practices and establish a feasible supervision or limitation regime.

The regulator has been looking into betting limits and intends to update its guidance on them in September. It said, once a rule has been established, it reserves the right to penalise operators that do not comply.

In the update, ANJ conceded that “many players complain regularly, especially to the mediator, that operators are limiting their bets”.

The regulator plans to strengthen the detection of problem gamblers to prevent operators targeting them with incentives to play. A seminar hosted by the regulator with scientific experts in gambling addiction is scheduled for 21 September.

The objective is to agree on a common definition of excessive or pathological gambling, which will serve as a reference point for all operators.

Finally, the fifth element of the strategy promises to target “tipsters”, which in this context appears to refer to dishonest affiliates using “deceptive commercial practices”.

The ANJ college has met 17 times since it was established on 23 June 2020 and has adopted 240 decisions.

During its first year of operation, it implemented responsible gaming action plans, a gaming program, promotional strategies and frames of reference for addiction and money laundering.

“This institutional engineering forms the basis of ANJ’s action and results in regular compliance monitoring meetings between the regulator and the operators”, a statement said.

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