France is set to become the latest country to address the rise in problem gambling numbers.
French gambling regulator, L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) said it will looking at making changes to the consumer protection and public policies in an attempt to address problem gambling concerns in France.
France’s gambling market has done well in the last couple of years. In the past, French iGaming operators had complained that the market was rather sluggish and that it was difficult to grow. However, the COVID-19 global pandemic has worked well for the iGaming market in France.
The lockdown forced thousands of French citizens to turn to online casinos and betting sites to ease their boredom. This bode well for online casinos who noticed an uptick in player traffic and new player registrations. While 2020 has been a good year for the iGaming market in France, the iGaming market has done reasonable well for itself in the last five years.
The ANJ released data showing that in 2014, the number of problem gamblers in France stood at 200,000. However in the last six years that number has increased significantly and there are now over 370,000 problem gamblers in France.
Given that the problem gambling stats have nearly doubled, the ANJ has decided that it is time to review the gambling laws in the country and look to make things more stringent in order to address problem gambling numbers which could soon turn into a national crisis if left unchecked.
ANJ To Also Address Underage Gambling
The ANJ already released a draft framework in December 2020 outlining what it intends to do with the French gaming laws. The Ministry of Solidarity and Health has started to work with the ANJ to put together better central controls and offer better protection to French players going forward.
One key priority of the ANJ going forward will be to address the growing number of underage gamblers in the country. The ANJ has also partnered with the ‘National Union of Family Associations’ (UNAF) to work on better protection for underage gamblers and create safer gambling protocols.
Harris Interactive carried out a study on parents who had children between 10 and 17. More than 41 percent of these parents admitted to gambling online. The concern that ANJ has is that parents are not fully aware of the risks their children are subjected to when they are exposed to gambling at a young age.