As soon as it was set up on 23 June 2020, the National Gambling Authority began drawing up its strategic plan for the next three years. It sets out its vision of regulation and how it intends to add value to players and economic players. Five priority focus have been set to keep gambling within a sustainable perspective of recreational gambling.
The development of the strategic plan was launched in July 2020 and continued until November. It was built through a collaborative process involving all ANJ agents as well as members of the ANJ Board. It was also based on contacts with operators or civil society that were organized after the launch of the ANJ. This plan was definitively adopted by the ANJ Board on 3rd December 2020.
Beyond the four objectives defined by the law, the ANJ must carry out its action in a medium-term strategic perspective, specify its vision of regulation and how it intends to bring value to players and economic actors. In short: define the regulator’s project.
This is all the more important as the new legal framework is complex and difficult to grasp for operators, as the health crisis has tightened competition conditions, and because each action taken by the regulator will be scrutinized in terms of its effects on market balances.
The central inspiration of this strategic plan is to keep gambling within a sustainable perspective of recreational gambling.
Given the psycho-social risks associated with gambling and in the particular context of health crisis, it is essential to consolidate a regulatory model that makes it possible to reconcile controlled development of the sector with the protection of the public interests involved, first and foremost the gamblers protection. This is a priority ethical issue for our country, and this ethical dimension of the ANJ’s action is included in all of the regulator’s actions and reflections.
Three methodological principles pass through all the proposals in this plan
Pragmatism: The desire to build step by step the regulatory architecture put in place by the 2019 order so that each operator in the gambling market can realistically and effectively adopt the new obligations;
Dialogue: The need to build regulation with all the actors through an organized and continuous dialogue. The ANJ is convinced that, if the roles of each are distinct, it is essential that the regulator be close to the realities on the ground, in dialogue with the stakeholders in order to best adjust its positions, tools and services;
Coherence: Finally, the concern to work with other public structures to coordinate our actions and offer economic players the most coherent and readable public front possible.
The 5 strategic focus that will guide the ANJ’s action over the next three years are as follows:
1st STRATEGIC FOCUS: Building a “value-adding” regulator at the service of a sustainable recreational gambling market
The ANJ must bring value to the gambling sector by implementing a comprehensive toolkit that includes preventive, prescriptive, control and sanctioning actions in a regulatory continuum. This approach is in the interest of operators, the security of their practices and the confidence of their customers. It contributes to the protection of gamblers and the preservation of a gambling practice that must remain recreational.
2nd STRATEGIC FOCUS: Placing the player at the heart of regulation
Gambling concerns almost one French people out of two, which makes it a very appreciated and widespread leisure activity, oriented towards an essentially recreational practice. However, with an estimated 1.4 million problem gamblers, the prevention of excessive gambling is a central public health issue in which the ANJ must take part; the implementation of the new obligations of operators will be decisive in this respect. Finally, the protection of minors is a priority.
3rd STRATEGIC FOCUS: Building a forefront regulatory system
The gambling market is particularly creative in games offers, promotional strategies of operators or gambling platforms. In order to be in tune with this world, ANJ must integrate this culture of innovation and digital technology, both with respect to the players it regulates and internally, in its operating mode and tools.
4th STRATEGIC FOCUS: Promoting a European vision of gambling regulation
European cooperation with the ANJ’s counterparts needs to be strengthened since many issues, both operational and strategic for the regulation of gambling, are now being addressed at this level. This is the case of the fight against money laundering or illegal gambling or the emerging economic role of gaming platforms. At a time when a choice has to be made between several regulatory models, the ANJ wishes to play a leading role in European and international cooperation.
5th STRATEGIC FOCUS: Strengthening our working community
The scope and diversity of its regulatory scope and the new legal obligations imposed on operators result in a high rate of demand and a very heavy workload for the teams; this pressure also requires a great deal of joint work by the teams.
It is therefore essential to pool resources and information, empower employees and attract new talent. The aim is to make “working together efficiently” the common language of the ANJ, by multiplying opportunities for exchanges and meetings, by introducing new forms of work organization that are more transversal and empowering, but also by embodying the values of goodwill and conviviality on a daily basis.
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