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Compliance Updates

ANJ, the new French gambling regulator is launched

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ANJ: Summary of the Online gambling market for the first quarter of 2021: business continues to grow in all gambling segments
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On Monday 22 June, the members of the ANJ met for the first time around the President, Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin. This first meeting of the ANJ Boardmarks the launch of the new regulator, which is now competent in all segments of the gambling market.

An extended regulatory scope

In 2019, France has amended its legal framework of gambling and its regulation. A new gambling regulatory authority (ANJ) has been set. It follows ARJEL with a significantly extended regulatory scope and enhanced powers.

The ANJ is now responsible for all components of the legal gambling market, both online and offline:

  • online games that ARJEL regulated, such as sports betting and horse racing betting and poker offered by the 14 licensed operators ;
  • all the games of La Française des Jeux or the PMU sold in physical points of sale or online;
  • 228 racecourses;
  • 202 casinos, with the exception of anti-money laundering issues and the integrity of the games offered, which remain under the responsibility of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

 

While ARJEL regulated 11% of the French gambling legal market, the ANJ now regulates 78%, which represents a market of more than 50 billion euros in bets

 

The foundations for a consolidated regulation are therefore laid to have an overall gambling policy in France under the control of the ANJ. It will be able to implement a complete “toolbox” including preventive, prescriptive and control activities, as well as sanction measures throughout the entire gambling industry.

 

The ANJ missions are structured around four objectives:

  • Prevent excessive or pathological gambling and protect minors;
  • Ensure the integrity, reliability and transparency of gaming;
  • Prevent fraudulent and criminal activities, as well as money laundering and financing of terrorism;
  • Ensure the balanced, fair development of various types of games, in order to avoid any economic destabilisation of the sectors concerned.

 

Enhanced powers

The ANJ has enhanced powers to fulfil its missions, such as the ability to require the withdrawal of a commercial communication involving an inducement to excessive gambling or the ability to carry out on-site controls.Regarding operators under exclusive rights, it authorizes their games offer and it annually approves their games program, their promotional strategy as well as their action plans in the fight against fraud and money laundering on the one hand, prevention of gambling addiction and the protection of minors on the other hand. The ANJ will exercise greater control over these operators in these different fields. ​

The methods of regulation

The ANJ will set up a regulation that combines support and control.

  • In the short term, the ANJ will use pedagogy to explain to economic actors the new rather complex legal framework. It has already planned to bring them together shortly to present their new obligations.
  • It is currently finalising two reference frameworks, one on the prevention of gambling addiction and the protection of minors and the other on the fight against fraud, money laundering and the financing of terrorism. These new compliance tools will be submitted for consultation with the stakeholders concerned in order to develop standards that are as close as possible to the sectoral realities and to secure their practices.
  • It will also ensure compliance with the obligations of the law, which implies a credible and appropriate control strategy, and even sanctions for the most serious breaches. In this respect, it will sign an agreement with the Race and Gaming Central Service of the Ministry of Home Affairs for on-site inspections in points of sale and casinos.

Protecting players: a priority for the ANJ

In France, one person out of two is a gambler. Problem gamblers are estimated around 1,2 million. So, preventing excessive or pathological gambling is a public health issue to which the ANJ attaches the utmost importance.

The ANJ will place the players at the heart of the regulation. For that to be real and effective, the ANJ will be as close as possible to the gambling experience and the uses of the players, by articulating its action around the three fronts: information, service and capitalization on the collective intelligence of the players.

The transfer of the management of the file of banned players from the Ministry of Home Affairs to the ANJ starting from September will be an opportunity to make players more responsible. Indeed, the ANJ will propose a new registration process and a real tool for self-protection and control of the game, faster and less guilt-ridden. Concretely, a motivational interview with the ANJ staff will be carried out with the players in order to direct them, if necessary, to health-care professionals.

For Isabelle FALQUE-PIERROTIN, Chairwoman of the ANJ: “The ANJ is not an enlarged ARJEL, it is a new project that requires rethinking regulation. It has to adapt its intervention to monopolies (FDJ and PMU) and to players gambling mostly anonymously in points of sale. I would like to set up a regulation that combines support and control in order to better serve and protect players”.

Affiliate Industry

ACMA Blocks Illegal Offshore Gambling and Affiliate Marketing Websites

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The ACMA has requested that Australian internet service providers (ISPs) block more illegal offshore gambling and affiliate marketing websites.

The sites include Casino Moons, Winnerama, Extra Vegas, Win Paradise, LegitGamblingSites and Gamblers Lab.

The ACMA investigated and found these services to be operating in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.

Website blocking is one of a range of enforcement options to protect Australians against illegal online gambling. Since the ACMA made its first blocking request in November 2019, 568 illegal gambling and affiliate websites have been blocked.

Over 170 illegal services have also pulled out of the Australian market since the ACMA started enforcing new illegal offshore gambling rules in 2017.

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Compliance Updates

Entain to Pay ÂŁ17M Penalty for Online and Retail Failures

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Entain, the global sports betting, gaming and interactive entertainment Group, has confirmed that it has agreed a regulatory settlement with the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) in respect of alleged historical licensing breaches. The regulatory settlement amounts to £14m in respect of Entain’s digital business and £3m in respect of its retail business.

Entain has entered into the regulatory settlement with the UKGC in order to bring the matter to a close and avoid further costly and protracted legal proceedings. Entain accepts that certain legacy systems and processes supporting the operations of its British business during 2019 and 2020 were not in line with the evolving regulatory expectations of the UKGC in respect to aspects of social responsibility and anti-money laundering (AML) safeguards. However, the Group also notes the UKGC’s statement that it found no evidence whatsoever of criminal spend within Entain’s operations.

The issues raised by the Commission relate to the period between December 2019 and October 2020, which predates the many changes in the area of safer gambling and AML that Entain has introduced. For instance, in 2021 Entain launched its Advanced Responsibility and Care (ARC) programme which, using revolutionary AI technology, operates in real-time and is individually tailored for each customer. The initial trials of ARC in the UK have shown a risk assessment accuracy of over 80%, a 120% uplift in the use of safer gambling tools by those most at risk and a 30% overall reduction in customers increasing their risk levels.

Furthermore, in May of this year, Entain was awarded the Advanced Safer Gambling Standard by GamCare, having evidenced the highest standards of player protection and social responsibility for its online and land-based gambling businesses in Great Britain.

As part of the settlement, Entain has also agreed to appoint a Board sponsor to oversee the implementation of any further improvements identified by the original 2020 compliance assessments and to undertake an independent audit of the relevant policies and procedures at a future date.

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Baltics

PopOK Gaming Has Received a Certificate for Latvia

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PopOK Gaming Has Received a Certificate for Latvia
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The innovative iGaming developer PopOK Gaming is now certified for Latvia. 

Further expanding the scope of its activities, PopOK Gaming also reaches Latvia. 18 of the most beloved games from our portfolio, namely Yummy, Lost Treasure, Diamond Flash, 20 Hot Bar, Sultan’s Tale, Los Apaches, Lucky Jungle and the like, as well as the 4-level Progressive Jackpot are now available for locals to try and delight in the fun environment our games will definitely create. This approval is yet another proof of continual momentum PopOK Gaming has been enjoying, opening new doors for our partners to grow their business and powerfully contributing to their revenue streams.

PopOK Gaming Product Manager, Tsovinar Elchyan, said: “This achievement is another important step forward for PopOK Gaming and an impetus for continuous improvements. After receiving the green light to provide our games in Latvia, we are keen on ensuring a remarkable gaming experience for local players and establishing long-term partnerships with our partners.”

 

PopOK Gaming belongs to Soft Construct (Malta) Limited that holds II Class licence (2239) granted by GLI (Gaming Laboratories International).

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