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ANJ: “Substantial progress” to be made with responsible gaming plans

| By Nosa Omoigui
French gambling regulator, l'Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) has claimed there is “substantial progress” to be made regarding responsible gaming action plans from operators in the country.

This followed the regulator’s annual review of responsible gaming action plans within the industry. Operators are obliged to submit an action plan for ANJ approval each year, with a view to preventing excessive gambling and gambling by minors. The plans should contain the concrete actions to implement the changes necessitated by ANJ.

The regulator conducted a similar review of marketing practices in the country in January 2021, which highlighted several concerns about marketing strategies, particularly for monopolies.

Going into 2022, ANJ said it wants operators to prioritise the protection of minors, in addition to the identification of and support for excessive gamblers.

In terms of preventing underage gambling, ANJ operators must do more to emphasise an anti-underage gambling agenda through the media, restrict the access minors have to operator websites and social media accounts, and make parental control software more readily available.

Operators should also strengthen their player identity checks so as to limit circumvention of the ban on underage gambling.

For identifying and supporting problem gamblers, operators are tasked with establishing identification systems designed to catch problems early, adopt ANJ’s definition of gambling addiction, and setting up support systems which match the level of gambling addiction encountered.

Operators are also encouraged to utilise customer knowledge to deploy targeted preventative actions.

ANJ said: “Excessive gambling and gambling by minors are indeed one of the most significant risks affecting the gambling market in France.

“The ANJ considers that substantial progress still remains to be made by the majority of operators in order to achieve the objective of preventing excessive or pathological gambling set by the state in terms of gambling and thus to consolidate the foundations of a recreational gambling market, which is the regulator’s compass.”

It did also note positive developments, however, such as the increasing visibility of messages against underage gambling and improved systems to recognise problem gambling.

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