ANJ Unveils Strategic Plan to Address Excessive Gambling in France

France’s gambling regulatory body, the Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), has revealed its strategic plan for 2024-2026, which focuses on reducing excessive gambling and the associated social harm. ANJ, which was established three years ago, is now fully engaged in its role of closely monitoring the market to ensure licensed operators comply with regulations.

The first phase of regulation under ANJ’s authority, which concluded in 2023, indicated a thriving gambling market with over €13 billion ($14.1 billion) in turnover, marking a growth of over 50% since the market opened in 2011. While gambling has become a widespread consumer product, it also poses risks, leading to the implementation of restrictive regulatory policies.

Despite progress made by gaming operators in player protection, the prevalence of problem gambling remains significant. ANJ acknowledges that in 2019, around 1.4 million players were at risk, with nearly 400,000 classified as pathological gamblers. Problem gambling constitutes more than 38% of the sector’s turnover, with 21% attributed to excessive gamblers alone.

The country also faces challenges from black market operators exploiting the lack of regulated online gambling, estimated to be between 5% and 11% of the market. The European Gaming and Betting Association has urged France to regulate online gambling to combat this issue.

ANJ’s strategic plan focuses on three key pillars: drastically reducing excessive gambling, fighting against illegal gambling, and strengthening the economic dimension of regulation. The plan’s success relies on sufficient scientific knowledge of the market and gaming practices, as well as dialogue and cooperation with other stakeholders.

ANJ president Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin emphasized the need for collaboration to achieve the regulator’s 2026 goals, stating, “Reducing the number of excessive gamblers and strengthening the protection of minors… can only be achieved if all stakeholders join forces alongside the regulator.”

ANJ’s strategic plan represents a critical moment for the French gambling market, aiming to strike a balance between openness and protection while addressing social challenges associated with excessive gambling. The regulator’s confident approach raises hopes for the coming years.

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