France to ban bonuses for “excessive” gamblers, calls for €100 welcome offer cap

| By Daniel O'Boyle
French regulator l’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) is set to ban offering of bonuses to “excessive” gamblers and called for a €100 welcome bonus limit.

The ANJ issued a number of binding guidelines and non-binding “recommendations” to operators on the subject of bonusing, similar to its previous guidelines and recommendations on marketing.

Among the guidelines were new rules about offering bonuses to players at risk of harm.

It said that operators should “ensure that no commercial offer includes financial reward to people identified as potentially having excessive or pathological gambling”; “exercise particular vigilance with regard to people who have recently benefited from a self-exclusion measure or a gambling ban”; and “avoid any allegation of an alleged absence of risk”.

It also said that the frequency and size of bonus offers should be “reasonable”.

The guidelines also dealt with language around bonus offers that could be misleading or not sufficiently transparent.

The new rules note that any bonus offer that “omits, conceals or provides material information in an unintelligible, ambiguous or out of time manner” is prohibited.

For a bonus offer, language that must be present to include its duration if time-limited, if it is completely free or requires a bet to be placed, if the reward is withdrawable cash or “credits”, whether the bonus received is fixed or variable and any other necessary conditions to receive it.

“Write the complete rules of the financial reward offer in a legible and understandable manner and make them available on an easily accessible medium,” the ANJ said.

Non-binding bonus cap

Its non-binding recommendations, meanwhile, go further. The regulator said that operators should not offer welcome bonuses worth more than €100, whether as a single bonus or in a package.

For bonuses for existing customers, meanwhile, it called on operators to “rebalance commercial offers and loyalty programmes” so that promos were “less linked to the level of intensity” of play.

Regarding transparency, the guidelines said that operators should use specific examples to illustrate how much a player is likely to win in practice from certain bonus offers.

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