ANJ: Operators may not limit stakes without “legitimate reasons”

| By Marese O'Hagan
France's gambling regulator L'autorité nationale des jeux (ANJ) has warned operators against limiting players' stakes or refusing their bets entirely.
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The regulator reported that it has received complaints from sports bettors in recent months, outlining that operators had refused to take their bets.

On October 21, ANJ released a document outlining deliberation on the issue.

It first stipulates that refusing to provide a service to a consumer is prohibited under article L. 121-11 of the French Code of Consumption. However, ANJ emphasised that this article does not address gambling operators specifically, and that the context must be taken into account.

If article L. 121-11 is violated, operators can be fined up to €1,500, which could be increased to €3,000 if the violations are repeated.

ANJ also ruled that refusing bets could constitute deceptive marketing tactics. Article L. 121-2 of the French Code of Consumption defines deceptive marketing in part as: “false or misleading allegations, indications or presentations relating to one or more of the following: a) The existence, availability or nature of the good or service…”.

In addition, offenders could receive two years in prison and a fine of €300,000.

ANJ concluded that operators cannot refuse bets from a player, unless the operator has a legitimate reason as designated under article L. 121-11 of the French Code of Consumption. This means that an operator could argue that it has a legitimate reason not to accept a sports bet from a patron.

Legally defined legitimate reasons include refusing to allow a minor, someone who has self-excluded or an excessive bettor to gamble.

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