France Introduces Tougher Regulation of Sports Gambling Partnerships
The French gambling regulator Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) has announced a range of new regulations and non–binding recommendations designed to strengthen the regulation of sports partnerships with gambling companies.
This includes the prohibition of role models in marketing communications, aimed at preventing gambling–related harm such as problem gambling and encouraging gambling among minors.
The new measures are the result of a working group set up by ANJ in July 2022, in collaboration with the ministry of sports, General Directorate of Health (DGS) and Interministerial Mission for the Fight Against Drugs and Addictive Behaviour (MILDECA).
The proposals focus on the use of athletes’ images in advertising, the use of marketing techniques to target minors and warning messages displayed in relation to betting. Under the new regulations, the use of role models in gambling marketing is banned if 13–17–year–olds make up 16 percent of an individual‘s audience on social media.
Targeted products containing an operator’s brand are also not permitted to be offered to children and minors are excluded from participating in any commercial activities as part of a gambling partnership. Two non–binding recommendations have also been released by ANJ. These are that a gaming company’s logos are not to be put on child–sized shirts and that on–pitch gambling ads include a “forbidden to those under 18” phrase.
ANJ is also seeking to reduce the normalisation of gambling by banning predictions on the outcome of competitions by active sports players and excluding gambling operators from giving competitions or facilities their brand name.
The regulator has asked that sports betting operators’ brands are only displayed in a limited way in and around sporting premises. Moreover, ANJ is to prohibit sporting organisations and athletes from partnering with gambling companies “operating illegally in France”.
“This association between sport and gambling is likely to trivialise and make the practice of these games attractive, and therefore to stimulate their consumption as well as to promote excessive or pathological gambling and gambling by minors,” said ANJ.
Examples of other countries introducing similar restrictions were highlighted by the regulated, including Spain, Italy and Switzerland and the UK which plans to limit these partnership contracts.
Commenting on the new regulations, ANJ said: “These elements of risk have been highlighted by several recent scientific studies and imply reinforced regulation of the commercial practice of partnership.” The body added that the guidelines and recommendations may be extended at a future date if deemed necessary.