FDJ operates in the gambling and games of chance sector, which is regulated because of its specific risks in terms of maintaining the public and social order, in particular as regards preventing excessive and underage gambling.
Since 2012 and on three consecutive occasions, FDJ has been awarded a score of 100% compliance as part of the three-yearly responsible gaming certification promoted by the European Lotteries Association. It was issued by Afnor (the French standards body) in December 2018. This highest level of certification confirms FDJ as the leading French operator in terms of responsible gaming in the gambling and games of chance sector, and as one of the European leaders in the lottery sector. Level 4 certification, corresponding to the highest level of global commitment, was also confirmed by the World Lotteries Association in 2018.
In 2019, FDJ obtained an A1 rating from Vigeo* for its non-financial performance as a whole.
FDJ operates in the gaming sector, which is regulated in connection with the specific risks it entails in terms of the preservation of public and social order, through the prevention of excessive gambling behaviour and underage gambling.
Since 2012 and for the third consecutive time in 2018, FDJ has received a 100% compliance rating by AFNOR (French standards body) as part of the three-year certification programme for Responsible Gaming conducted by the European Lotteries Association. This highest certification level confirms FDJ as the French leader in Responsible Gaming in the field of gambling, and as one of the European leaders in the lottery sector.
In accordance with the regulatory provisions applicable to its lottery games and sports betting activities operated under exclusive rights, FDJ is required to submit its “action plan to prevent excessive gambling and underage gambling and to promote reasonable gaming behaviour” for approval to the Minister for the Budget each year, after a review by the ANJ, an advisory committee comprising representatives of public authorities and experts in addictology.
FDJ’s Responsible Gaming action plan is part of a dynamic of continuous improvement and strengthening of the mechanisms implemented. It takes into account the concerns expressed by its stakeholders. All of these initiatives, whether carried out directly by FDJ or through partnerships, are part of an ethical framework based on the recognition of FDJ’s responsibility for reducing the potential negative impacts stemming from its activity, and at the same time the limits on its role in terms of prevention, as an operator, as opposed to that of players in the field of public health.
Fighting underage gambling
The fight against underage gambling is a priority for the FDJ Group. The company’s determination on that issue reflects mounting expectations among stakeholders, but also a strengthening of legal requirements (including government order 2019-1015 of 2 October 2019 reforming the regulation of gambling).
Action to combat underage gambling covers three areas:
Action to combat underage gambling covers three areas:
Training and support for distributors and the sales force
Policy implemented by FDJ with distributors and the sales force.
All commercial players are trained and supported and monitored on a regular basis, using long-term or more irregular arrangements reflecting the calendar of major sporting events for instance.
Information and awareness raising among the general public
For many years, FDJ has made public awareness of the ban on underage gambling an important part of its work. It is rolled out on several channels (TV, digital and events) in order to maximise the reach of the message.
The development of the various preventive information actions is also part of a regular dialogue with all of its stakeholders.
Monitoring and evaluation of the application of the ban on the sale of gambling to minors
Compliance by distributors with the ban on the sale of games to minors is verified by a team of 12 inspectors monitoring the implementation of obligations relating to Responsible Gaming in the field. They put a particular focus on those relating to the prevention of underage gambling.
Since 2014 FDJ distributors have benefited from a 0.2% bonus on their remuneration. Obtaining it is conditional on the compliance of the point of sale, assessed by a network inspector, of seven criteria, three of which relating to the prevention of underage gambling.
If an inspector notes a sale to a minor, the bonus is automatically withdrawn. Each year, roughly 60 distributors are seeing their bonus taken back for non-compliance with the ban on underage gambling. That represents a financial penalty of €1,000 on average per distributor.
A new underage gambling prevention plan for the 2020-2025 period will be rolled out from 2020. The plan was devised as the result of a co-construction process involving professional organisations of distributors (Tobacconists Confederation, National Union of Newsagents), as well as stakeholders from the health and social world (Sedap).
Preventing excessive gambling
The prevention of excessive gambling behaviour and the detection and support of people in vulnerable situations is the second major focus of FDJ’s actions to promote Responsible Gaming.
FDJ continues to strengthen its actions along six axes:
Monitoring its game offering
The evaluation of the game offering and the promotional and publicity activities is part of a process of interaction between FDJ’s Responsible Gaming and Marketing teams, as well as its stakeholders. Gaming offers are also monitored by the regulator within the framework of licensing by the French State to which all the gaming and betting activities operated by FDJ under exclusive rights are subject. A committee of experts comprising a range of expert profiles– addictology, psychiatry, psychology, human sciences – is consulted regularly on the development of game offers, as well as new services made available to players to help them rein in and monitor their gaming habits throughout their gaming experience: matrix for assessing the potential risks of gaming projects (Serenigame®), game moderators, tool for detecting risky gaming habits supporting players and monitoring their practices.
Training of distributors and the sales force
In 2019, in addition to pushing ahead with its general training systems, the Group focused its training efforts on the ban on credit-based gambling. These initiatives took the form of general awareness-raising among distributors via a magazine, Profession Jeux, addressed to all 30,000 FDJ distributors, training provided to a large portion of the sales force and a new experimental module, targeted at a commercial sector in eastern France.
After creating a network of Responsible Gaming liaison officers across all sales offices in 2018, the Group underpinned the ramp-up in these initiatives by providing specific training for these liaison officers in 2019. This system improves coordination between teams in the field and Responsible Gaming teams at the central level in the detection and referral of people in vulnerable situations.
Preventive information on the risks linked to excessive gambling
In 2019, FDJ ran preventive events to mark the Tour de France and the two summer Car Podium tours in 36 cities in July, to raise awareness among the general public of the prevention of underage gambling and excessive gambling. Activities were organised in the form of quizzes, in direct interaction with the public, to promote understanding of the special risks of gambling.
In the media, following a successful experiment on the digital channel in 2018, FDJ ran an advertising campaign in 2019 promoting the tools for preventing excessive gambling made available by FDJ to players, both online and in points of sale (coloured dot on the level of gaming risk with the Playscan™ tool, self-assessment test and betting limits). This campaign was humorous in tone and called on a cast of animal characters to avoid stigmatic representations of risky behaviours and as such to encourage the use of the tools being advertised. The survey carried out after the 2019 campaign shows that the profiles of players most at risk were more inclined to use these tools.
Detection and referral of people in vulnerable situations
For several years, the Group has been developing systems aimed at identifying and then guiding people in vulnerable situations. These initiatives are based on a system for detecting and managing risky situations requiring the training of employees and distributors. To detect and manage atypical situations and potential risks, collegial bodies comprising representatives of the various business lines involved (including the internal Responsible Gaming team) meet to process reports concerning distributors and players.
Initiatives of this nature are aimed above all at directing people in vulnerable situations to gambling support structures (SOS Joueurs, etc.) or local healthcare or social workers such as the CSAPA (centre for the care, support and prevention of addiction). On its websites, FDJ also provides its players with the contact details of helplines and support structures for problem gambling, which offer specialized information areas. In managing certain situations of individual vulnerability, FDJ encourages people to approach these structures and/or works with them to ensure they receive appropriate care. Each of FDJ’s partner helplines provides specific skills in its respective field, enabling people in vulnerable situations to find help and the right tools. The rising number of cases of vulnerability stems from the diversification in means and strengthened training in the detection of vulnerability, in particular the creation of the network of Responsible Gaming liaison officers.
The design and implementation of these various measures and systems is underpinned by the Group’s policy of forming partnerships in the field of research and prevention. These provide input for the Responsible Gaming Action Plan and contribute to the strengthening of expertise and the circulation of knowledge in the fields of gambling and addictology. This policy draws upon the guidelines for the 2018-2022 Mildeca plan to combat addictions. It has three main planks: helplines for vulnerable players; research in addictology and in the humanities and social sciences and initiatives and experiments in prevention and in risk and damage reduction.
Support for big prize winners
In 2019, 364 players won more than €500,000 in FDJ games (i.e. nearly one winner every day).
FDJ offers these big winners a support system, first on an individual basis, at the time of payment, and then on a collective basis over the subsequent five years through theme-based workshops. The purpose of this support is to take stock of the impact of the winnings in the lives of new millionaires, particularly when it comes to financially or emotionally managing this new situation. Support for big prize winners allows FDJ to get to know its customers and their habits better. When the Company identifies a risk of excessive gambling behaviour by a big prize winner, the payout can be an opportunity to raise awareness, especially in view of their new financial situation, which could well generate additional risks. In such cases, an FDJ Responsible Gaming expert may be present when the prize is awarded.
More generally, FDJ is one of the few lotteries in the world to offer its winners (those winning more than €1 million) such a vast support system. The purpose of this support is to take stock of the impact of the winnings in the lives of new millionaires, particularly when it comes to financially or emotionally managing this new situation.
FDJ’s Responsible Gaming policy applies to all stages of its business. Before, during and after the marketing of a game, adapted measures accompany the development and commercialisation of the offer to promote recreational gaming. At the operational level, a specific process ensures that issues related to the prevention of excessive gaming behaviours are taken into consideration as part of the innovations produced by the Company. An experimentation phase is also run for new offers to identify their impact on player behaviour, to identify and consider possible changes to the game to foster recreational gaming.
At the design stage a new game and/or an innovation in the mechanics of an existing game, the level of attractiveness of the game offerings is assessed through analysis matrices developed by FDJ together with experts.
Three matrices are used:
● • a generic matrix enabling evaluation of all gambling games sold by FDJ (universal Serenigame® matrix developed in 2012)
● a matrix dedicated to the evaluation of scratch games (Serenigame Grattage), brought into service in 2018
● a matrix dedicated to to the evaluation of the sports betting offer (Serenisport) rolled out in 2019.