ANJ issues warning to operators over number of ads during Euros

The French gambling regulator L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) has issued a warning to operators after carrying out a review into betting practices during the UEFA European Championship 2020.

According to the regulator, “a line was crossed” when it came to the volume of ads during the tournament.

The ANJ’s warning

The ANJ brought operators in the country together on 20 July to hear its review of marketing practices during the Euro 2020 tournament.

Several “questionable practices” were identified by the regulator, which included excessive gambling advertising and advertising that targeted young people.

According to the ANJ, the Euros “underlined the existence of questionable practices around sports betting, such as advertising hype, targeting young people or excessive stimulation of gambling.”

During the meeting on 20 July, the ANJ issued two messages to operators, one relating to the high volume of sports betting advertising campaigns and one to discouraging marketing communications aimed at young people.

The ANJ said: “A yellow line was crossed in terms of advertising pressure during this competition, likely to question the regulatory model put in place for 10 years; it is important to drastically and immediately reduce the advertising pressure in favor of sports betting.

“Marketing communications that target young adults and fuel the easy money illusion are particularly problematic.”

The regulatory body also asked operators to carry out a mid-term review of their promotional campaigns and threatened sanctions if they fail to comply.

Gambling operators agreed to the messages and said they would change their marketing practices to improve safety.

In order to address the concerns raised, ANJ also announced several new measures.

The ANJ’s action plan

On 21 September 2021, the regulator will hold a seminar with experts in gambling addiction with the aim of agreeing on a set definition for excessive gambling.

The regulator will also launch a stakeholder consultation at the beginning of the academic year in regard to advertising.

Furthermore, the regulator announced plans to launch five projects to help eliminate these issues from future sports events.

ANJ said: “Taking into account the objective shared between the regulator and the operators of correcting practices, the ANJ announced the launch of five projects likely to combat the drifts observed and to clarify, or even complete, the legal framework. These projects must be completed by the end of the year.”

The five projects will revolve around advertising, commercial bonuses, identifying and supporting excessive gamblers, betting limits, and tipsters.

Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, President of the ANJ said: “The Euro football had an extremely useful effect because it highlighted and questioned problematic practices for sports betting that the ANJ had identified during this first year. of existence. 

“It is not possible to make young people believe that one can easily win money by betting. Aware of the risks that the current situation poses to the protection of players, it wants to respond to them in a resolute and effective way with an action plan that will quickly result in the clarification of the applicable rules, the possible proposal of new intervention tools. and reinforced control or sanction actions ”.