French gaming regulator updates advertising guidelines

French gaming regulator updates advertising guidelines

L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux has issued new guidelines following its condemnation of an “oversaturation” of gambling advertising during Euro 2020.

The national gambling regulator L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) has updated its advertising guidelines and recommendations. The new guidelines follow a review and consultation carried out following the UEFA Euro 2020 Championships last year, which the regulator said had led to complaints from the public about an “oversaturation” of gambling ads.

Under the new guidelines, gambling ads will be reviewed to check their content. Ads that “trivialise gambling” or “contain unfounded statements” that suggest gambling can improve social status, offer an alternative to work or that show unrealistic chances of winning will be banned. So will the use of individuals or characters that are aged under 18.

Operators have been told they should limit advertising to three commercial communications per platform per day (i.e., website, app, social media, search engines). Players must be offered the option to choose whether to exclude themselves from ads. The ANJ is also recommending that TV and radio operators limit gambling advertising to a maximum of three gambling ads per advertising slot.

Operators must submit six-month reports detailing planned advertising spend and campaigns. The ANJ’s new guidelines follow a consultation that took public feedback and led to the formation of a symposium of advertising experts to draw up guidance to “limit the intensity of advertising” and protect vulnerable audiences and minors.

The new guidelines clarify that the “primary purpose of gambling advertising is to allow operators to make their offer known to the public so it can be distinguished from that of illegal/unlicensed operators”.

The ANJ said it would continue to review its guidelines and would take feedback from France’s Advertising Regulatory Authority ARPP and the Audiovisual Communication Regulator ARCOM.

The ANJ said: “In France, gambling is not considered an ordinary service because it carries significant risks of debt and public health issues (addiction and isolation) for the player and their family. This is why it is only authorised by way of derogation and is subject to strict supervision in order to prevent these risks.”

Earlier in the month, the ANJ introduced a new requirement for gaming operators to submit annual action plans outlining their responsible gambling measures. The plans will be studied by the ANJ’s policy team as the regulator seeks to establish a “constant dialogue” with operators in order to improve market protections.

In 2021, the ANJ launched a number of new measures with France’s Ministry of Health and the National Union of Family Associations in a bid to tackle the issue of problem gambling in France, including changes to its player protection strategy.


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