French gambling regulator, l’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) has developed and made public some new specifications for how gambling promotions and deposit incentives can be offered in France.
The new directions reflect the ANJ’s more overarching review of gambling advertisement standards. The review is being done with the Professional Advertising Regulatory Authority of France (ARPP) and the country’s Audiovisual Communication Regulator, ARCOM.
According to a report in SBC News, as part of its agenda for 2022, the ANJ let operators know at the start of the year that the regulator intended to revamp guidelines on “gambling’s commercial offers involving financial rewards such as welcome offers, bonuses or free bets.”
In the most recent announcement, the ANJ stated: “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.” It continued, “An update is deemed necessary to offer consumers full transparency on rewards and incentives offered by licensed operators, in which ANJ stated that “specific guidelines are required to improve market standards”.
Consumer Safeguards and Commercial Transparency
Consumer Safeguards and Commercial Transparency are reportedly the areas of focus for the guidelines.
Regarding the latter, the ANJ has prescribed certain elements of fact that should be displayed whenever an offer or incentive is made available through promotion.
Some of the requirements include a statement of the offers duration, a description of the required deposit amount and any wagering requirements, whether the offer can be claimed as game credits or real money, and other conditions that must be met in order for a player to complete and make use of the offer.
The ANJ noted that terms such as “free” can be confusing to some players if the terms are not made clear. The regulator said in a statement that it is contacted on a regular basis by customers who claim the terms are not spelled out clearly and become the cause of many disputes between players and operators.
Operators now must make readily available transparent and legible terms and conditions and ensure that players have complete access to the terms and conditions of an offer.
Monitoring Promotional Offers
Regarding the former area of concern, Customer Safeguards, the ANJ stated that it is monitoring the types of bonus offers made available to customers and potential clients and would seek to moderate commercial offers. Operator promotional strategies and action plan to prevent problem gambling will be reviewed on an annual basis at a minimum.
“The ANJ emphasizes that the reasonable nature of these welcome or loyalty offers will be the subject of particular attention,” read the report.
Self-excluded players and customers that show signs of gambling problems should not be sent any offers and operators were cautioned to exercise vigilance so that doesn’t occur.
Players must be able to opt out of receiving any gambling offers even if they don’t self-exclude. Welcome offers should be limited to no more than €100.
The new guidelines are not meant to be enforced directly until they become market rules by next year. However, the regulator informed operators it will intensify monitoring to ensure the guidelines are being followed to improve safeguards and standards in the French gambling industry.
Source: ANJ to toughen rules on player rewards and bonuses, SBC News, October 27, 2022