Amidst new gambling regulations, the French government has announced its plan to create a new national gambling authority, L’autorité nationale des jeux (ANJ). The new gambling authority would replace the current regulator, l’autorité nationale de régulation des jeux en ligne (ARJEL).
France is also privatizing the state-operated lottery monopoly La Française des Jeux (FDJ).
At present, ARJEL regulates online gambling in France. Casino and Horse racing in Paris are regulated by the Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of Economy and Finance. However, the new regulatory body will the unique gambling regulator to monitor all gambling activities in the country.
“The National Gambling Authority (ANJ) will become the main player in the regulation of gambling in France,” the country’s Council of Ministers said. “This new independent administrative authority will be endowed with reinforced powers, over a broad scope of competences.
“In the competitive online sports betting sector, the ANJ will take over the mission of issuing the licenses to online gambling or betting operators, now exercised by ARJEL. It will see its powers of supervision strengthened: the authority will indeed be able to prescribe to an operator the withdrawal of any commercial communication inciting to play excessively.
“On the casino sector: the skills of the ANJ will focus on the fight against excessive gambling. The regulation of this activity for its other aspects, however, will continue to be the responsibility of the Ministry of the Interior, because of its specificities.”
Recently, a group of land-based casinos in France has called upon the government to ensure that La Française des Jeux (FDJ) would not be allowed to offer casino games once the market is privatized.
The three associations of land-based casinos – Casinos de France, Syndicat des Casinos Modernes de France and the Association des Casinos Indépendants Français (ACIF) – in a joint open letter to the government called for clarification on the types of gambling offerings which the FDJ would be allowed to make post-privatization.