France Looking At Amending Gambling Laws To Protect Players
France’s gambling regulator has worked hard over the last five years to boost the online gambling market in the country. The French gambling watchdog has succeeded in many ways as the iGaming market in France has finally picked up.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also boosted online gambling revenues as French players had no option but to turn to online casinos during the lockdown. While the iGaming market has blossomed it has also resulted in an increase in problem gamblers which is now proving to be a problem for L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) – the gambling regulator.
Problem Gambling – Worrying Signs
ANJ has been keeping a close watch on the problem gambling stats in France as its neighbour, the United Kingdom is facing serious problems with gambling addiction in the country. ANJ put forward a proposal in December 2020 where it looked to implement a framework that will offer players better protection and also social responsibility.
ANJ stated that public records show that in 2014 there were around 200,000 players in France who had issues with problem gambling. That number has nearly doubled in 2020 as records show that there are now a little over 370,000 players with problem gambling concerns.
ANJ has stated that this significant growth in problem gambling numbers shows that there is a definite need for public health concerns with regards to the gambling industry.
ANJ has already started to collaborate with the Ministry of Solidarity and Health to come out with an action plan where all stakeholders involved in the gambling industry will work together to address the concerns of problem gambling.
Children Must Not Be Exposed To Gambling
While problem gambling among adults in France continues to grow, a bigger concern for ANJ is the number of minors being exposed to gambling. A study carried out by Harris Interactive interviewed parents of French kids between the ages of 10 to 17.
The study showed that over 40 percent of these parents admitted to playing a gambling related game from the age of 11. These stats are worrying because ANJ believes a lot of these parents are not aware of the dangers of exposing their children to gambling related games.
ANJ is currently working with ‘National Union of Family Associations’ (UNAF) to come out with innovative ways to offer better protection to underage gamblers and also educate parents on how to provide better protection their children and protect them from gambling harm. ANJ could announce significant changes to French gaming laws before the end of 2021.