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ANJ Makes Strides in Problem Gambling Prevention

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France’s ANJ Reports Advances in Combating Problem Gambling Amid Calls for Further Action

France’s gambling regulator, L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), has recently highlighted the “significant progress” made in problem gambling prevention across the country. Following a mandate from a 2019 ordinance, all French operators are required to submit an annual action plan aimed at curtailing “excessive” gambling and preventing underage access to gambling platforms. The ANJ’s review of these action plans has revealed encouraging developments, yet underscores the persistent challenge of problem gambling within the nation.

Progress in Preventive Measures

Elevated Standards and Awareness

The French gambling market has taken notable steps toward raising awareness about problem gambling risks. Through initiatives like targeted messages to players and the introduction of informative dashboards, operators have significantly improved identification and support for at-risk gamblers. An increasing number of operators are now implementing robust support measures, including the exclusion of players most susceptible to gambling harm from commercial promotions.

The Ongoing Battle Against Problem Gambling

A Call for Increased Vigilance

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Despite the strides made, the ANJ emphasizes that problem gambling remains a critical issue, citing a 2021 study by the Games Observatory estimating that 1.4 million players are at risk, with nearly 400,000 categorized at a pathological level. The regulator’s 2024-2026 strategic plan places a strong emphasis on further reducing excessive gambling and safeguarding minors. Operators are urged to enhance their detection and intervention strategies and to tailor support measures according to the identified level of risk.

Specific Directives and Recommendations

Focus on Underage Gambling and Monopoly Operators

As major sporting events such as Euro 2024 and the Paris Olympic Games approach, the ANJ calls for heightened attention to problem gambling and underage gambling. The regulator specifically points to La Française des Jeux (FDJ) and Pari-Mutuel Urbain (PMU) to strengthen their control mechanisms at points of sale to enforce the ban on sales to minors effectively.

Areas Needing Improvement

Casinos and Racing Companies Under Scrutiny

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While recognizing the progress in responsible gambling practices among approved operators, the ANJ identifies a lack of advancement within casinos, gaming clubs, and racing companies. The report criticizes these sectors for their inconsistent compliance levels and the “heterogeneity” in their efforts toward problem gambling prevention. The ANJ has gone as far as to reject the action plans of two casinos and one gaming club, offering guidance on improving their strategies.

Conclusion: A Stepped-Up Call for Responsible Gambling

The ANJ’s review of the gambling sector’s efforts to combat problem gambling in France paints a picture of progress, punctuated by areas that demand further attention. While acknowledging the significant strides made, the ANJ’s message is clear: the battle against problem gambling and underage gambling is far from over. With high-profile events on the horizon and the persistent prevalence of gambling-related harm, the regulator’s call to action underscores the need for a unified and intensified approach to ensure a safer gambling environment across all sectors.

Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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