France’s ANJ Flags Concerns Over Licensees’ Player Protection Strategies

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L’Autorité nationale des Jeux (ANJ) has approved or suggested improvements to player protection plans licensees were ordered to submit as part of the French gambling regulator’s increased focus on social responsibility.

 The regulator examined action plans from all operators active in the country, including the two former monopolies, La Française des Jeux (FDJ) and Pari-Mutuel Urbain (PMU).

 As well as approving 96 plans, the ANJ said it may make decisions later on some land-based casinos which may only open at a later date because of restrictions related to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

 There was no indication that any plan was rejected outright.

 The ANJ said it prioritised four main issues: prohibiting minors from gambling, allowing for self-exclusion and other checks, identifying and supporting potential problem gamblers and having a general policy that focused on protecting these groups.

 Examining the plan of FDJ, the regulator approved the plan with no further conditions. It said the lottery operator “reflects the operator’s desire to meet” the French government’s objectives regarding protecting minors and problem players.

 “It is distinguished in particular by the setting up of an ambitious program aimed at guaranteeing the ban on gambling by minors on all game types, innovative prevention initiatives, diversified and adapted to the profiles of players, and the existence of an advanced player identification and support system for pathological gamblers,” the regulator said.

 For PMU, however, it raised some concerns and thus added further conditions.

 “Further progress is expected from the operator to fully achieve the objective of preventing excessive or pathological gambling,” ANJ said.

 In particular, it said tools and resources for problem gamblers were not easily available, while identification of problem gamblers and training of employees were also not up to standard.

 While the ANJ approved this plan, it told the operator it must improve these areas. This included providing technical specifications of its system to recognise problem gamblers, taking the effort to strengthen its training system and ensuring the accessibility of RG tools.

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