ANJ prioritises protecting minors in 2024-26 strategy

The roadmap was made following discussions with stakeholders. It has three central pillars, all of which prioritise the protection of young people and reducing harmful gambling.

The first pillar will aim to reduce the number of people gambling excessively in France’s gambling market. ANJ said this pillar reflects a public health concern in France.

The second pillar will see ANJ work to continue to be transparent in regards to the integrity of the sector. The third is focused on improving the economic aspect of regulation.

Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, president of ANJ, said the objectives of the strategic plan will be monitored over the three years.

“After three years of operation of the ANJ, we consider today that the regulation of gambling must take a turning point which implies that the market gradually pivots towards a less intensive model,” said Falque-Pierrotin. “This proactive objective of reducing the number of excessive gamblers and strengthening the protection of minors will be monitored over three years, adjusted based on monitoring indicators and prevalence studies.

“It can only be achieved if all the players join forces alongside the regulator to move the lines: gaming operators, public authorities, institutions, associations etc.”

Reducing gambling ad exposure

The regulator has set out a number of action points for each pillar. For the first pillar, ANJ plans to limit gambling ads for the public. This will have a focus on the most vulnerable groups – minors and those suffering from problem gambling.

ANJ will also encourage ethical advertising among operators and sponsors.

Following the UEFA 2020 European Championship, ANJ ordered operators to “immediately reduce” the number of ads they put out, stating that “a line was crossed” during the tournament. This led to a public consultation on gambling ads, which saw ANJ implement a crackdown in 2022.

ANJ will also refocus its compliance support policy and increase campaigns around the risks associated with gambling. The overall objective for this pillar is to move towards a less “intensive” model, which would reduce the amount of problem gambling behaviour within the gambling market.

Combatting illegal gambling

Within the second pillar, ANJ will implement a number of policies to combat illegal gambling. This will involve intervening with potential caveats for illegal gambling, including payment services, technology suppliers and other platforms.

It will also increase actions against money laundering and fraud, and develop a specific set of policies for operators offering JONUM – which are games with monetisable digital opjects.

In September 2023, a proposed bill called for the regulation of JONUM. Amendments to the bill – which mostly centred around distinguishing JONUM from gambling – were considered by MPs.

JONUM also features in action points for the third pillar. ANJ wishes to support developments in the games sector, particularly those related to JONUM. This will involve finding capacity to monitor new trends and ensuring these comply with player protection measures.

Alongside the three pillars, ANJ designed its strategic roadmap on three bases: making scientific market knowledge and data a priority; mobilising stakeholders in France and Europe; and ensuring ANJ is an exemplary regulator.

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