ANJ Notes RG Improvements, Advises Vigilance Ahead of UEFA Euro 2024

L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) has praised the French licensees’ significant progress in terms of responsible gambling. The authority, which requires all licensed operators to submit annual reports on the matter, was happy with the improvements. However, there is still more to do.

According to the ANJ, gambling companies became better at identifying risky behavior and intervening on time. The regulator said that in 2023, many operators improved their capabilities to spot excessive gambling and support at-risk consumers with individual care.

While the ANJ was happy with the improvements, it also noted that more must be done to address France’s concerning problem gambling rates. For reference, the country continues to struggle with a variety of gambling-related issues such as gambling harm and underage gambling.

According to the ANJ, the problem gambling rates remain too high, highlighting the need for further action. According to L’Observatoire des Jeux, there were approximately 1.4 million players at risk in 2020, 400,000 of which experienced harm. More concerningly, a study from 2019 showed that the share of GGR attributable to problem gamblers stood at 38.9%.

Because of that, the regulator has big plans for the next three years, hoping to mitigate some of the damage.

Operators Should Protect Younger Players

As part of this initiative, starting in 2024, operators will be required to diligently evaluate their player base and provide more accurate reports to the regulator. They will also be asked to intervene at the earliest markers of harm as prevention tends to have better success rates than treatment. Companies should also apply a risk assessment tool before launching products.

The ANJ would also require companies to be extra careful when dealing with young adults (aged 18-24) who are considered a particularly vulnerable group. However, there is an even bigger problem, which is underage gambling.

According to the ANJ, operators should strengthen their point-of-sale controls to prevent minors from gambling. Previous studies show that a large amount of French teens gamble and some do so with their parents.

With the UEFA European Championship and the Paris Olympics just around the corner, operators should also prepare for a spike in problematic behavior, especially among younger players, the regulator warned.

In the meantime, the ANJ reported that some land-based companies did little to improve their practices. Despite proposing a plan of action, not all operators were on board, the authority added.