The recent news about the gambling industry in France highlights the main topic – a self-exclusion system for gamblers.
Initially, the control over the system belonged to the Ministry of the Interior. However, the French regulatory body Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) is now responsible for dealing with the problem of gambling addiction.
Regulator strives for an optimized procedure of self-ban
After undertaking the responsibility for the self-exclusion platform, ANJ has the intention to improve the system and make it fast and simple. The gambling authority wants to make registration as easy as possible. In addition to this, it is going to shorten the response-waiting period for applicants. This optimization will allow the control authority to ensure the system’s efficiency. Problem gamblers won’t need to go to the police department to exclude themselves from access to casinos.
The creation of such a platform is France’s government attempt to fight against the problem of excessive gambling. According to the statistics, 370 000 people who gamble in the country (which is 1.6%) are addicted to casino games. It has been also revealed that these players generate a significant share of the industry’s overall revenue, namely 40%.
38 000 problem gamblers have already added themselves to the self-exclusion record. The number of people who want to join the program continues to increase. The latest data show that, from January 1, 2021, 150 new applicants have registered there.
Gambling activities to which the system is applied
The French Gambling Authority has specified from what gambling activities addicts can ban themselves. They include land-based casinos and related establishments, websites licensed by the regulator, as well as state-controlled betting system and lottery.
Currently, players need to visit the police for an interview if they want to participate in the program. ANJ is going to change the self-exclusion procedure so it will consist of several steps:
- A gambler makes a request on the website.
- The regulator contacts a player as soon as possible and checks his or her identity.
- ANJ adds a gambler to the system and sends a notification letter.
It is worth mentioning that, if a person is banned from gambling, he or she won’t be able to participate in any of the above-mentioned activities. However, in three years, the application expires, and gamblers are allowed to request cancellation.
How will the regulator check goals accomplishment?
The regulator will control the system to ensure that all players who are included in it don’t have access to gambling entertainment. Elsa Trochet-Macé, Head of Communications at ANJ, commented on this:
“Number of initiatives have already been implemented by operators (gambling time limits, wagers, and deposits, prevention messages) and their obligations in this area have recently been reinforced with the new French regulation on gambling, which also created the ANJ. A reference framework for the fight against addiction and underage gambling has been elaborated by the ANJ. It will enable operators to support their compliance regarding these new obligations. An order of the Ministry of Health should lead to the adoption of this reference framework within a few weeks.”
How will operators check whether a player is self-excluded?
Gambling venues will require an identity document from every person who visits them. Land-based casinos will have access to the system’s file and will be able to use it to make sure that a visitor is allowed to gamble.
As for online casino operators, they will apply almost the same principle. They should refer to the file every day. The inquiry procedure is based on DNS servers. Operators will provide specific information about a user – date of birth, name, surname. The check will be activated every time a player signs in to the website.
Read more: Regulatory framework for gambling in Europe