ANJ: Operators must “immediately reduce” ads after overload during Euros

| By Marese O'Hagan
France's regulator L'Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) has warned operators after it conducted a review into betting practices at the UEFA European Championship 2020, during which the regulator says “a line was crossed” in terms of the volume of ads.
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ANJ gathered several sports betting operators to hear its review of marketing practices after “questionable practices” came to light during the tournament’s run, including the targeting of young people in gambling advertising and excess gambling advertising.

At a meeting on July 20, ANJ issued two messages to the operators – one relating to the high number of sports betting advertising campaigns and one discouraging marketing communications that incite young people to gamble.

“A line was crossed in terms of advertising pressure during this competition, and it is likely to lead to questions about the regulatory model put in place for the next 10 years,” it said. “It is important to drastically and immediately reduce the advertising pressure in favor of sports betting.”

ANJ also asked the operators to conduct a mid-term review of their promotional campaigns, with the threat of sanction in the event of non-compliance.

The operators agreed with the messages and pledged to alter these marketing tactics to improve safety.

To address these concerns, ANJ have announced several measures.

On September 21 2021, ANJ will hold a seminar featuring experts in gambling addiction, with an aim to agree on a set definition on excessive gambling.

In addition, ANJ will launch a stakeholder consultation at the beginning of the academic year regarding advertising and, if necessary, propose new intervention measures.

The body also announced the launch of five projects designed to eradicate these issues from future sports events.

“The Euros had an extremely useful effect because it highlighted and questioned problematic practices for sports betting that the ANJ had identified during this year,” said Isabelle Falque- Pierrotin, president of the ANJ.

“As the ANJ is aware of the risks that the current situation poses to the protection of players, it wants to respond to them in a resolute and effective way with an action plan that will quickly result in the clarification of the applicable rules, the possible proposal of new intervention tools. and reinforced control or sanctions.”

The regulator reported that 434 million online bets were placed during the tournament.

In January this year, ANJ expressed concerns for the marketing tactics used by lottery operator La Française des Jeux and racing monopoly Pari-Mutuel Urbain, which it said also targeted young people.

The operators advertised on both Snapchat and TikTok, which both have young target demographics.