French Regulator ANJ Looking to Limit Ads for Sports Betting
The French regulator Autorité Nationale Des Jeux (ANJ) wants bookmakers in France to air fewer betting advertisements.
It has therefore come up with a new set of recommendations. During the Football World Cup at the end of the year, the advertising pressure should therefore be less intense.
The European Football Championship held in June and July 2021 saw unprecedented advertising pressure from sports betting operators in France, the ANJ writes on its website.
After the European Championship, the ANJ organized a consultation round where all parties involved could provide their input. In addition, the French regulator had two investigations carried out.
The consultation and investigations revealed an unprecedented intensification of advertising pressure during 2021, especially in the field of sports betting.
In addition, the prevention messages were not clearly visible, the advertisements had a major impact on vulnerable groups such as young people and excessive gamblers, and current regulations were worked around by mainly digital advertising.
The ANJ then formulated three objectives:
- Advertising pressure in all media (television, radio, display, and digital) must become less intensive.
- The protection of minors and persons at risk should be strengthened, especially in regard to digital media advertising.
- The effectiveness of prevention systems must be improved.
To achieve these objectives, the ANJ has set out new guidelines and recommendations.
New Advertising Guidelines
First of all, there are stricter guidelines. Advertisements that encourage gambling will be prohibited if they
- downplay online gambling
- make unfounded claims about profit opportunities
- promote gambling as an alternative to a paid job
- contain minors
- pretend that gambling is a normal leisure activity
- pretend that gambling leads to a higher social status
That last element, the higher social status, is crystallized by the ANJ. Advertisements should not suggest that gambling causes:
- financial success
- sexual success
- admirations from third parties
- getting wealthy or obtaining luxury goods (sports cars, luxury villas, private planes, yachts, space travel)
In addition to new guidelines, the ANJ has four recommendations for the market:
- A maximum of 3 gambling ads per commercial break and a maximum of 3 digital media exposures per player per day and per medium.
- Implementing a tool (referred to as the “Ad Moderator”) that allows players to easily choose the number, frequency, and type of notifications to be sent to them.
- A minimum age of 18 for ambassadors and influencers who also do not have a physical appearance to suggest they are underage. These influencers are also allowed to have a maximum of 16% of minors among their audience.
- Standardization of prevention messages to improve their visibility.
In order to implement these guidelines and recommendations, there will have to be closer cooperation with ARPP (the Advertising Code Commission in France) and ARCOM (the regulatory body for audiovisual communication).
These bodies will have to align their manifestos with these new guidelines and recommendations and act on them.
In addition, the ANJ is starting a “charter of good conduct” in the field of digital advertising for online casinos and bookmakers in France.
In this way, it aims to better regulate the volume and frequency of advertising for games of chance and better protect the young public.
Finally, a working group will be set up under the supervision of the ANJ and the Ministry of Sport in France to monitor sponsorship and partnerships with clubs, influencers, and ambassadors.
Both the new guidelines and recommendations are not binding. It is not immediately clear how the ANJ wants to ensure that people only get three exposures a day online.
The new guidelines and recommendations of the ANJ should ensure that fewer gambling advertisements are seen during the World Cup in Qatar at the end of the year.