France’s ANJ warns operators “a line was crossed” during Euro 2020

The ANJ has warned operators over excessive advertising.
The ANJ has warned operators over excessive advertising.

The French regulator has warned bookmakers over excessive gambling advertising during Euro 2020.

France.- The national regulator L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) has warned operators that “a line was crossed” in terms of the volume of gambling ads during Euro 2020.

It carried out a review of operators’ marketing practices after noting “questionable practices” during the tournament, which ended on July 13. It said it had identified excessive advertising and cases of operators targeting ads at young people.

At a meeting on July 20, it warned operators to “immediately reduce” advertising and to avoid communications that encourage young people to gamble. It reported that 434 million online bets were placed during Euro 2020.

It said: “A line was crossed in terms of advertising pressure during this competition, and it is likely to lead to questions about the regulatory model put in place for the next 10 years. It is important to drastically and immediately reduce the advertising pressure for sports betting.”

The regulator told operators to conduct a mid-term review of promotional campaigns, threatening to impose sanctions on those that don’t comply. Operators agreed to alter their marketing strategies.

ANJ said it will hold a seminar with gambling addiction experts on September 21 2021 during which it will seek to reach a fixed definition of excessive gambling. It will also launch a consultation on advertising at the beginning of the new academic year and will propose new intervention measures if necessary.

AND president Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin said: “The Euros had an extremely useful effect because it highlighted and questioned problematic practices for sports betting that the ANJ had identified during this year.

“As the ANJ is 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 sanctions.”

At the start of the year, ANJ heavily criticised the marketing strategies of France’s two main state gaming monopolies, lottery operator La Française des Jeux (FDJ) and horseracing betting operator Pari-Mutuel Urbain (PMU).

In April, it told some operators to make improvements to their player protection strategies. New requirements to submit player protection strategies were introduced earlier this year as part of the regulator’s five-pillar strategy for the next three years.

Last month, ANJ appointed Christel Fiorina to the new position of director for market, compliance and player protection.

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