l’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), France’s unified gambling regulator, has expressed concerns about the increase of French minors engaging with gambling activities. 

ANJ conducted research through SEDAP, an observatory for psychological disorders. This comes as part of France’s continued assessment of its gambling market standards and consumer safeguards. 

ANJ President Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin commented on the report: “Gambling is infiltrating more and more into the daily life of minors, relayed by advertising and by a certain complicity of parents. 

“Whether online or in the physical world, combating underage gambling is now a major public policy issue because, as we know, the earlier gambling begins, the greater the risk of addiction.”

The research revealed that out of 5,000 French teenagers aged 15-17, more than a third (35%) of teenagers have gambled during 2021.

Observations from the research also revealed that 50% of teenagers use online and retail platforms to gamble, with a further 78% of respondents claiming to have played scratchcards. 

The research stated: “Young people know very widely (73.4%) that the sale of gambling is prohibited to them, they do not feel this sales ban is an obstacle. In fact, more than half say that it is very or fairly easy for them to play scratch cards.”

One of the more alarming discoveries of the research was finding that 21.5% of young minors have placed bets on esports competitions, which are prohibited in France. 

In action, ANJ expressed that it would review all age ID verification requirements. This is also in part of finding that 73% respondents believe that an ‘underage ban was considered no obstacle’ for scratchcard purchases and other draw-based purchases.

Falque-Pierrotin concluded: “The ANJ is determined to mobilise all its tools to vigorously fight against these practices, including through sanctions. It is also necessary that all the actors concerned are mobilised, parents, operators, social networks and public authorities.”