France Seeks to Protect Minors from Gambling and Identify Addicts

French gambling regulator L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) updated the instructions to operators related to the Action Plan they submit annually to outline strengthening player protection measures.

Focusing on Underage and Problem Gambling

The action plan submitted as part of operators’ license obligations seeks to prevent excessive gambling and gambling by minors and to promote reasonable gambling in general, on one hand, while establishing a constant dialog between every operator and the regulator to enable the regulator to formulate recommendations.

Reporting insufficient progress in 2021 across underage gambling prevention, identification and support of excessive or pathological gamblers, mechanisms for moderation and self-exclusion, and operator internal structure changes, the ANJ now wants operators to deepen their efforts in two main areas: the protection of minors and the identification and support for excessive gamblers.

Looking to consolidate the gambling market’s foundations as a recreational market and to meet its objective, the ANJ believes substantial progress on those two issues can be achieved by adopting specific actions.

Underage Gambling Recommendations

To further tackle the issue of underage gambling the regulator requested operators first to reinforce information on the gambling ban for minors on all communication channels and in particular via a standardized and more visible notice, and, second to restrict access to their gambling websites and social media accounts for minors.

ANJ also requested licensees to generalize the provision of parental control software and strengthen their player identity check process to prevent underage gamblers from circumventing it. According to the EnCLASS 2021 study from the French Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (OFDT), 1 out of every 4 middle school students responded they had already played a game of money or chance during the year.

Strengthen Excessive Gambling Identification and Support

On the issue of identifying and supporting problem gamblers, ANJ ordered operators to implement the definition of gambling addiction as per the Canadian ICJE index of excessive gambling and set up systems for early identification when player gambling behavior becomes excessive.

According to the level of individual player risk, incumbents should propose support solutions that include drastic action like limiting or blocking the player’s ability to continue play, if necessary. To enforce those actions, operators should utilize their customer knowledge tools.

Operators are also expected to implement tools like limits, tracking of losses, or a comparison against predefined reference values that will allow players to control and self-moderate their gameplay.

Each licensee will send the ANJ a dashboard that shows an evaluation of the effectiveness of their underage gambling prevention systems and the implementation of their objectives.

To help operators, the ANJ will publish before the summer a practical guide that will provide them with examples of key indicators for identifying risk and a list of support measures they can utilize.

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