French gambling regulator l’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) has published new guidelines on the promotion of gambling offers and incentives to consumers. They form part of the authority’s wider review of the country’s gambling advertising standards, currently undertaken with the support of media agencies Professional Advertising Regulatory Authority (ARPP) and the Audiovisual Communication Regulator (ARCOM).
At the start of the year, the regulator had alerted licensed operators of its intentions to update rules on gambling’s commercial offers involving financial rewards such as welcome offers, bonuses or free bets, as part of its agenda for the year. “Less than a month before the opening of the Football World Cup, the ANJ wishes to improve the transparency of these practices and moderate them to protect players at risk,” the regulator said at the time.
The regulator deemed that, in order to offer transparency on rewards and incentives to sports bettors, an update was necessary. “Specific guidelines are required to improve market standards,” the ANJ noted. The guidelines are focused on the criteria of ‘Commercial Transparency’ and ‘Consumer Safeguards’.
Regarding transparency, the ANJ provided a breakdown of promotional requirements that must be displayed to consumers who take up offers. The provisions include the duration of the offer, deposit and wagering requirements, how the offer will be rewarded (real money or game credits), and further conditions.
The ANJ said it has been “regularly contacted” by players who complain about the lack of clarity of these commercial offers, which can also be the source of many disputes. “As such, terms such as “free” or “offered” can often be used incorrectly,” the regulator stated. Operators must ensure that customers have full access to the offer’s terms and conditions, which must be written in a legible and transparent manner.
As for consumer safeguards, the ANJ is seeking to “moderate the use of commercial offers” promoted to consumers, adding that it would monitor the volume of bonus offers offered by operators. “The ANJ emphasizes that the reasonable nature of these welcome or loyalty offers will be the subject of particular attention on its part during the annual review of the operators’ promotional strategies and their action plans in to prevent excessive gambling,” the regulator added.
Operators have been warned to ensure that offers are not sent to self-excluded players or customers showing signs of problematic gambling. Furthermore, the ANJ recommends that welcome offers be limited to “no greater amount than €100,” whilst operators must ensure that players can opt-out of receiving gambling offers.
The regulator expects to begin tighter monitoring of player rewards and bonuses offered by operators to make sure guidelines are followed to improve market safeguards and consumer standards, which aim to be adopted as market rules by 2023.