France introduces new player protection regulations

  • Updated
  • By Hannah Timoney
France regulation law change
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The French government has announced a new set of rules for gambling operators that will come into effect to protect and support players.

All operators will be required to present a safer gambling action plan to the ANJ, (Autorité Nationale des Jeux) a new regulatory body formed in June 2020 to cover all forms of gambling. 

The regulator must approve the plan and will add further recommendations if the plan is found to be unsatisfactory. This was designed to give the ANJ “a better knowledge of the actions developed by the various gaming activity sectors and to identify the difficulties encountered by the operators.”

In this plan, a review of the action taken over the last year will take place, to prevent underage gambling and excessive gambling, and will also include plans for the coming year. 

The country’s two gambling monopolies, the lottery giant La Française des Jeux (FDJ) and horse racing operator Pari-Mutuel Urbain (PMU), will be required to submit their plans by the 30th of September this year. All other online operators must submit their plans by the 30th November, while trackside racing operators, land-based casinos, and gaming hall operators will need to submit their action plans for approval by the 31st December.

An operator may be ordered to withdraw commercial communication if the ANJ finds it to directly or indirectly incite “minors or persons banned from gambling to gamble or it involves an excessive incentive to gamble.”

Further rules will also require operators to put player protection measures in place, such as deposit limits or play time limits, in order to “provide all players with the tools and resources necessary” to stay in control of their gambling.

Additionally, the regulations state that all operators must make it explicitly clear that minors are banned from accessing any gambling products.

These regulations differ from the Germany regulation change last November. These changes saw stake limits and slowed down gameplay, alongside a blanket €1,000 deposit limit per month. The Uk's most recent legislation change meant that online players could no longer deposit using credit cards, that gameplay would be slowed to 2.5 seconds per spin, the removal of the 'turbo spin' feature, and MP's called for a £2 stake limit for online casinos as well as Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs). 

We hope that the changes to the regulations will help protect vulnerable players in France, and we are glad to see operators being held more accountable, though we question why the new regulation does not span further areas of online betting, such as stake limits and gameplay speed.

The ANJ has real potential to make changes for the better, both for minors and potential problem gamblers. It is imperative that action be taken against any and all operators that do not comply with these new regulations and, here at OnlineBingo, we hope that the ANJ will not be afraid to enforce harsh repercussions.