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ANJ, the new French gambling regulator is launched

George Miller

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ANJ, the new French gambling regulator is launched
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

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”.

Compliance Updates

MGA Licenses SoftGamings

George Miller

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MGA Licenses SoftGamings
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

SoftGamings is B2B-licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority. 

SoftGamings is proud to announce its latest milestone that comes in the form of the B2B Critical Supply License from the esteemed Malta Gaming Authority. This B2B service license will help SoftGamings to expand the reach of its casino and sports betting solutions further across the Malta Gaming Authority jurisdiction.
Historical Milestone
By obtaining a license from MGA, SoftGamings will undoubtedly not only expand the reach of its software solutions within Malta’s jurisdiction but also lead to even greater cooperation and trust among existing and potential SoftGamings’ partners from all parts of the world.

The Malta Gaming Authority is one of the most popular gaming jurisdictions and licensing bodies in the world that performs thorough inspections and checks before it grants a license to a casino software provider, which only confirms SoftGamings’ dedication to offering secure, fair and reliable casino software solutions.

SoftGamings’ unique platform features thousands of casino slots and table games, as well as a Betradar-powered sportsbook solution which is also expected to be licensed by the MGA, which will now have even more merit among potential clients and become even more prominent in the iGaming industry.

Irina Sazonova, the director of partnerships at SoftGamings, had this to say about the good news from SoftGamings:

“We are delighted and proud to receive the B2B Critical Supply License from the Malta Gaming Authority, as it represents a significant milestone in our company’s history and another confirmation that we are on the right track. With the current presence and insight we have, MGA B2B licence is the recognition of the quality of our services and opens doors to new and long-term partnerships. Our current and future partners can be sure they are dealing with licensed and compliant casino software provider , which will lead to further expansion of our business. With the boost this MGA license is bound to bring to our company, we are bracing for what is hopefully going to be a record year for us.”

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Compliance Updates

New Survey Shows Huge Public Support for Gambling Law Reforms in Northern Ireland

Niji Narayan

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New Survey Shows Huge Public Support for Gambling Law Reforms in Northern Ireland
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

According to a new poll, the majority of people in Northern Ireland support reforming the country’s gambling laws. The research was carried out by the polling company LucidTalk on behalf of social policy charity CARE NI, which is campaigning for gambling law change.

Northern Ireland’s gambling legislation dates back to 1985 and critics argue it is not in line with the digital age.

According to the Department for Communities’ 2017 research, the north has a problem gambling prevalence rate of 2.3% – more than four times higher than England where it stands at 0.5%. In Scotland, the figure is 0.7% and in Wales 1.1%.

The department held a public consultation last year on the issue, but the final report has not yet been published.

When polling company LucidTalk asked what best described their position, 92% said maximum stakes and prizes online should be regulated by law, with only 8% saying there should be no limit.

Meanwhile, 90% either strongly support (68%) or support (22%) the idea of a mandatory levy for gambling firms, while just 5% were either strongly opposed or opposed to the idea of the levy. There were 1878 responses to the survey.

Public policy officer Mark Baillie described current laws as “hopelessly out of date and belong to a different era where online gambling didn’t exist.”

“Times have changed and the recent lockdown here in Northern Ireland has only increased the pressure on people with gambling addictions.

“The uncomfortable truth is that Northern Ireland has a real problem with gambling related harms and this means it’s all the more urgent to reform our current laws.

“This polling very clearly shows doing so would be hugely popular with the general population with the clear majority supportive on stake and prize limits on online games regulated by law and a mandatory levy on betting firms.

“CARE NI responded to the Department of Communities consultation on problem gambling and we look forward to the results being published soon.

“Our politicians must make this issue a priority and address the exploitation of vulnerable people thanks to a poorly regulated gambling industry.”

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Asia

Kazakh President Signs Amendments to Law on Gambling Industry

Niji Narayan

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Kazakh President Signs Amendments to Law on Gambling Industry
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has signed the law “On Amendments and Additions to Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Gambling.” Bookmakers will be moved to Kapshagay and Schuchinsk gambling zones.

Earlier it was reported that the government of Kazakhstan wanted to create three new game zones in the country, however, deputies of the Parliament abandoned this idea and excluded this rule from the draft law. Now all bookmakers will be moved to the two existing gaming zones – Kapshagay and Schuchinsk.

In order to have information about the players, they will create a unified betting centre in the country and the player’s relatives will be able to limit the right to place bets appealing to court. All bets received by the bookmaker in cash or through electronic payment systems should be accounted in a single monitoring centre.

A single accounting of all payments received by the bookmakers will eliminate the shadow turnover, increase tax collection and simplify control. A database of players will contribute to the introduction of universal declaration, the introduction of a procedure for limiting and self-restricting a client from betting and will also strengthen measures to fight money laundering related to crime and the financing of terrorism.

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