L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), France’s gambling authority, wants operators to reduce the gross gaming revenue (GGR) they make from problem gamblers. Echoing Kindred’s Journey To Zero initiative, the French regulator hopes to implement a similar safer gambling initiative on a national scale.
The ANJ claims that it is imperative to solve what it believes to be the biggest danger to the French gambling industry. According to the regulator, companies should do more to lower the income they receive from excessive gamblers or minor players. Statistics from 2019 demonstrated that 38.3% of GGR comes from problem gamblers, out of which 20.7% comes from excessive gamblers.
The initiative comes as France continues to struggle with high problem and underage gambling rates. According to L’Observatoire des Jeux, there were around 1.4 million at-risk players in 2020, 400,000 of which were problem gamblers.
Furthermore, while underage gambling is illegal, it is a grim reality. According to OFTD’s latest EnClass study from 2021, between one in four college students claimed to have already gambled at least once that year. Another study conducted by the SEDAP had a whopping 34.8% of minor respondents say they are active gamblers.
Licensees Must Do Better
The ANJ hopes to drastically reduce the money operators have taken from problem gamblers in 2022 and told its licensees to take immediate and definitive action to improve their practices. The regulator outlined a few criteria, ordering companies to make improvements in four categories.
The regulator told licensees to improve their underage gambling prevention protocols and protect minors from the dangers of gambling harm. Operators will therefore have to communicate to players that only adults are allowed to play and check user IDs.
Gambling companies will also have to modify their measures concerning the detection of excessive players and take action once such customers are identified. Better monitoring systems will help operators prevent problem gambling. Diversification of the problem player support measures will also lower risks, the ANJ said.
In addition, companies will have to examine their games and be careful with offerings that might appeal to minors. Operators might have to reevaluate their portfolios and avoid games of addictive character.
Lastly, gambling companies should make sure to better inform clients of the dangers of excessive gambling, while making sure to promote responsible gambling tools to their clients. The ANJ also asked companies to include detailed information about the chances of winning or losing.
Licensees must provide the ANJ with an update on their results in reducing the GGR they take from excessive gamblers. At a later date, the ANJ will publish a practical guide on the identification and support of problem gamblers. The guide will be consulted with various stakeholders before being published.