What is the National Games Authority?
L’Autorité nationale des jeux or the National Games Authority (ANJ), is a successor to the previous authority: L'Autorité de Régulation des Jeux En Ligne (ARJEL). It is an independent gambling authority in France that regulates licensed gambling and betting games and oversees the responsible gambling policy of casinos.
Currently, the ANJ and it’s services are made up of 53 people, including a board of nine members which serve in six-year, non-revocable terms. They report directly to France’s parliament and first began operation in June 2020.
What does the National Games Authority do?
The official mission of the National Games Authority is to:
- Prevent excessive or pathological gambling and protect minors (Prevent Underage Gambling);
- 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.
This is done by creating, maintaining, and enforcing regulations through official licensing within France. A key focus of the ANJ is protecting players through legal gambling that is fair and recreational, but it serves a wide range of functions.
ANJ’s regulations apply to all forms of gambling within France, including online and in-person betting, gaming, and casinos.
The ANJ is also a part of wider European authorities, including GREF and The Regulators’ Group, which bring together many European countries to exchange views and information and discuss gambling policies.
How does the National Games Authority regulate gambling?
Much like other authorities, ANJ has set powers that are granted by the state. In this case, the National Games Authority is a single body that oversees all forms of gambling in France. It covers the country’s 14 licensed online operators, all online and point-of-sale lottery and betting games sold by Française des Jeux (FDJ), as well as Pari-Mutuel Urbain's network of retail betting outlets, on-course bookmakers, and all 202 of France’s casinos.
The one difference it sees from other authorities is that the ANJ has no direct influence over Anti-Money Laundering activities as AML regulation for the online gaming industry remains in the hands of the L'Autorité de Régulation des Jeux En Ligne (ARJEL), itself
established in 2010.
Currently, ANJ has the authority to order an operator to withdraw advertising materials and the ability to carry out on-site controls, as well as being responsible for licensing operators, the games they offer, their promotional strategies, action plans to prevent fraud and money laundering and responsible gambling strategies, as well as an annual review of their service offering.