French ANJ to simplify Self-Exclusion system

French ANJ Logo

French gambling regulation authority, Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), recently announced its plans to simplify the nation’s self-exclusion system, making it simple for players to deny access to gambling products.

The French ANJ officially took over the reins of the self-exclusion system from France’s Interior Ministry at the beginning of the year and has pledged to revamp the way players sing up for the service. Interested candidates are currently required to physically visit a police station and have a face-to-face interview with a Central Race Gambling Service representative to finalize the registration process.

As of the time of publication, over 38,500 French citizens chose to self-exclude from gambling. The service restricts access to brick-and-mortar casinos and other gambling hubs, including poker websites and sports betting operators.

However, ANJ revealed that the delay between opting in for the service and the self-exclusion taking effect is around six weeks. Moreover, the police are also likely to dissuade punters from opting-in for the service at times.

What Change Does the Reform Entail?

A regulatory reform back in October 2019 saw the ANJ taking responsibility for the French self-exclusion program. And since its inception back in June 2020, the body has been tirelessly working to develop a digital three-step process that it claims will simplify the self-exclusion process for the gamblers.

At first, players would have to place a request for self-exclusion online or via physical letters posted to the ANJ. The ANJ would then write back once the request was in place and the candidate was successfully added to the self-exclusion list. This process was lengthy and cumbersome and often required up to six weeks to complete.

The ANJ believes the new system will drastically cut down the registration period from six weeks to two. Self-exclusion will remain enforced for three years, post which the punters could choose to remove their names from the list.

“The new method makes it easier for the punters to access the self-exclusion list. Problematic gamblers often think about registering, but give up mid-way if the process is overbearing”, explained Mario Blaise, Addiction Specialist, Psychiatrist, and an ANJ board member.

“We hope that the reforms introduced by the panel will aid those who wish to enrol, by simplifying the registration process and reducing the overall period. And as we all know, removing access to gambling is the only way to discourage recovering addicts”, Mario added.

What Does the Future Hold?

The proposal arrives hot on the French government’s heels submitting a series of new player protection rules to the European Gaming Commission. And according to the new guidelines, operators are now required to create safer gambling action plans and offer patrons new tools like deposit limits.

The amendment is currently pending approval, but if enforced, French gambling operators will create a safer environment for the punters. The ANJ is in charge of approving the plan and adding further recommendations if the SOP is deemed unsatisfactory.

Category:   Gambling industry