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France adopts new regulations ahead of FDJ sale

The French government has introduced new gambling regulations ahead of the planned privatisation next month of state-owned gaming and lottery operator FDJ. Changes include the creation of a new national gambling authority, ‘L’autorité nationale des jeux’ (ANJ).

ANJ will replace the current regulator, ‘L’autorité nationale de régulation des jeux en ligne’ (ARJEL) and will act as a single body to oversee gambling in the country.

“This new independent administrative authority will be endowed with reinforced powers, over a broad scope of competences,” announced France’s Council of Ministers.

The new regulations also give FDJ the exclusive right to operate lottery games in France, both in physical networks and online, as well as retail sports betting. FDJ will also be authorised to offer random number generator (RNG) games, something the country’s land-based casino and gaming industry had opposed.

FDJ is currently owned and operated by the French government, but its shares will be sold to institutional and private investors in an initial public offering later this year. However, the Council of Ministers said the state will continue to hold a certain degree of influence over the company.

According to the council, the state would remain present in the company through a government commissioner present on the board alongside directors representing the state, with the power to “oppose the problematic decisions of the company.”

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